“It stings, but I feel like we have a lot of ball left,” said Trayce Jackson-Davis after crashing in Iowa

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Forward Trayce Jackson-Davis and guard Xavier Johnson return to Bloomington after losing to Iowa 80-77 in the semifinals of the Big Ten tournament.

Jackson-Davis had a double-double of 31 points and 10 rebounds while Johnson added 20 points and four rebounds.

Read the pair’s full transcript or just watch the attached video of the entire press conference.

Q: On how the team feels heading into the NCAA Tournament…

TRAYCE JACKSON-DAVIS: Well, like they said in the locker room, I don’t think anyone wants to see us right now. I think we’ve proven not only to the Big Ten but to the country that we’re a team too, a top team that can compete with anyone. So it took the last three seconds to beat us to the hottest team in the Big Ten right now and it stings, but at the same time I feel like we have plenty of ball left.

Q On the closing of the tournament matches…

TRAYCE JACKSON-DAVIS: Yes, overall we played our basket and executed well. We listened to Coach’s plan, and we finally got over the hurdle. After that first game against Michigan, I think that’s when we started to believe it.

I think when we got to Iowa late, I still think our team believed we were going to win, and then obviously they hit a big blow and it happens. It’s just basketball.

Q By giving the ball to Jackson-Davis…

XAVIER JOHNSON: We continued to feed and feed each other. We made the right play distributing the ball and we managed to knock down the shots. Some shots we haven’t knocked down, but we have to go back to the lab and keep working because if we’re selected for the tournament, we have to be ready to knock them down.

Q On the beauty of Jordan Bohannon…

TRAYCE JACKSON-DAVIS: Just missed communications. Our defense relies a lot on conversation and sometimes guys get confused and you just have to talk about it. He escaped for a few moments and then Keegan escaped for a few moments and he knocked down shots, so you need to know where the guys are.

Q On the chemistry of Jackson-Davis and Johnson…

TRAYCE JACKSON-DAVIS: He and I just talked about it. We talked to Coach, trying to be more ball screen oriented. He’s a great player, especially when he’s going down he’s going to get the good reads. And playing with him, I love playing with him, he’s my guy.

Q On Jackson-Davis helping put the program back on the map…

TRAYCE JACKSON-DAVIS: It means a lot to me because I’m a born and bred Hoosier, and I just came back for my third year playing for this guy next to me, it’s been an honor and a blessing.

I’m just happy because we didn’t have the year we wanted, but just showing people here at this tournament and believing in what we’re doing and how it’s going to help us get to where we need to be. And I think this tournament showed that we’re still here and Indiana basketball is going to take over here soon.

Q Seeing a single cover…

TRAYCE JACKSON-DAVIS: Yeah, I liked it a lot. I thought they were going to send more doubles, but they didn’t. I think they were worried about how we were shooting the ball in this tournament.

But as the coach says, if there is nobody protecting you or if there is someone protecting you, he thinks I am the best player in the country and nobody can stop me. I’m just using that trust to our advantage. Obviously, if they’re going to pass me, I know my teammates have landed enough punches.

Q On Johnson making a difference…

XAVIER JOHNSON: Just my trainer who gives me confidence. More ball screens with Trayce because I’m doing good reads and finding my teammates because that’s my main role for this team because we have good shooters and it’s proven.

Q: Enabled Bohannon’s latest play…

TRAYCE JACKSON-DAVIS: So first I saw the shot clock and then I saw he was pretty well defended and he was probably about four, five feet from half court, so I knew that ‘he was going to hoist one, then like the ball – I thought it was going to be long, then it just came together and sometimes that’s what happens.

It’s March, so obviously March Madness is a crazy, crazy time of the year. But even the stadium and the electricity, just playing in that stadium was really cool. That last shot, the ball doesn’t always bounce in your direction and obviously we’re about a second away from going into overtime.

  • HOOSIERS FALLS IN IOWA: Jordan Bohannon, a sixth-year senior guard in Iowa who has been a thorn in the side of Indiana teams for years, hit a banked 30-footer with a second to go to give the Hawkeyes a victory of 80-77 over the Hoosiers in the Big Ten semifinals of the tournament Saturday in Indianapolis. CLICK HERE.
  • WHAT WOODSON SAID: Indiana head coach Mike Woodson stepped to the microphone after Indiana’s 80-77 loss to Iowa in the semifinals of the Big Ten tournament. Hear what he had to say during his post-match press conference. CLICK HERE.
  • INDIANA-IOWA PHOTO GALLERY: Here’s a collection of several dozen photos from Saturday’s thrilling 80-77 Iowa win over Indiana. CLICK HERE
  • LIVE BLOG: Relive all the action from Saturday’s Indiana-Iowa game on our live blog, complete with full game play and game highlights. CLICK HERE
  • BRACKETOLOGY FOR INDIANA: Thanks to two impressive upsets against Michigan and Illinois, it looks like 20-12 Indiana will finally go dancing in the NCAA Tournament for the first time in six years. Here’s what we know Saturday morning from the nation’s top bracketologists, and all the details for this year’s big dance. CLICK HERE

Comments are closed.