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Indiana basketball NBA Draft preview: Jalen Hood-Schifino

Lottery Bound?

NBA: Combine David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

We’re about three weeks out from the 2023 NBA draft and, for the first time since 2019, Indiana is expected to have at least one player selected in the first round.

The league already has a few Hoosiers with the Tom Crean finals set to tip off tomorrow, but two more should join them this year: Jalen Hood-Schifino and Trayce Jackson-Davis.

Of the two prospects, Hood-Schifino is projected to go higher, so we’ll start our previews with him. That said, there’s still a wide range of opinions as to where he may go.

Based on his NBA Combine physical measurements, some outlets have him as a top-10 pick. According to the Daily Hoosier, Hood-Schifino came in at 6’4” with no shoes on and has a whopping 6’10” wingspan.

Hood-Schifino’s size was already one of his biggest assets, as he demonstrated great strength and body control from his first day on campus. In maybe his most famous play as a Hoosier, he went right at National Player of the Year Zach Edey and finished a layup through contact to seal the win for Indiana in Bloomington.

His other game against Purdue demonstrated his other best asset - the midrange jumper. Inefficient as it may be, there is no doubt that he can score the basketball. With some concerns about his distance shooting, the midrange game he already has is why he’s considered a lock to be productive on both ends of the floor as a pro.

Even on his misses, his ability to stop his dribble and shoot over larger defenders should transfer well to the professional ranks. Scouts also like his feel for the game and passing ability, which along with his defense and scoring ability, make him a bonafide first-rounder.

According to the most recent HoopsHype Draft aggregator, Hood-Schifino’s average spot across mock drafts is 16th. The biggest knock on his game is that he hasn’t hit the three consistently enough for the modern game, but it will be interesting to see how he develops with better shooters around him and less of a scoring burden than he had at Indiana.

For all of his potential, I think Hood-Schifino would be best served going somewhere that he can be a backup first and develop a little more before he sees a ton of minutes. He’s still just 19, and at times struggled with how much he was asked to do as a true freshman at Indiana.

Whoever drafts him will get a guy who could easily stick around the league for a while as a good-sized guard with good defensive instincts and playmaking ability on offense. If he becomes a reliable shooter from deep, he could prove to be a steal.