IU freshman star Jalen Hood-Schifino a one-and-done, enters NBA draft

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BLOOMINGTON – Jalen Hood-Schifino’s IU career will last but one season.

The talented guard, who came to Indiana from Pittsburgh by way of Montverde Academy in Florida, and won Big Ten freshman of the year this winter, declared for the NBA draft via social media post on Friday.

Hood-Schifino’s decision is not particularly surprising.

In his one college season, he proved himself a capable lead guard and a prolific individual offensive player. Hood-Schifino started every game for which he was available this season, only missing three in mid-December thanks to a minor back problem. His midrange jumper was one of the Big Ten’s distinctive weapons in a season that saw Hood-Schifino 19 or more points seven times.

“From start to finish, my freshman season has been nothing short of amazing," Hood-Schifino wrote in his post. "To the fans and people in Bloomington, you welcomed me with open arms. I can’t thank you enough. This is an experience I’ll take with me and remember forever. No matter where basketball takes me, I’ll always be an Indiana Hoosier!”

So what's next? IU's roster doesn't need reloading, it needs reconstructing.

More: IU needs offseason to mold itself around modern basketball. Or risk being left behind.

Feb 11, 2023; Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA; Indiana Hoosiers guard Jalen Hood-Schifino (1) dribbles in the second half against the Michigan Wolverines at Crisler Center.
Feb 11, 2023; Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA; Indiana Hoosiers guard Jalen Hood-Schifino (1) dribbles in the second half against the Michigan Wolverines at Crisler Center.

His masterpiece performance, a 35-point outing in IU’s 79-71 win at Purdue — the Hoosiers’ first in 10 years in West Lafayette — ranked among the league’s most-exceptional individual outings all season.

More broadly, Hood-Schifino’s stock rose when Indiana turned to him in place of injured point guard Xavier Johnson, only to see Hood-Schifino’s performances improve. Starting alongside Johnson until the latter suffered a season-ending broken foot Dec. 17 at Kansas, Hood-Schifino elevated his game when the Hoosiers turned to him as their primary point guard. He finished his lone college season averaging 13.5 points, 4.1 rebounds and 3.7 assists.

Major NBA draft projections see Hood-Schifino falling anywhere between late lottery and the end of the first round in this summer’s draft, making his decision to turn pro after one season a sensible one. He leaves behind a program whose reputation for developing talented young guard prospects should be enhanced for Hood-Schifino’s time in Bloomington, and the Hoosiers will hope they can restore Johnson to that lineup by securing him a waiver-allowed sixth year of college basketball next season.

Hood-Schifino will be one of two Hoosiers on the draft circuit this summer.

Trayce Jackson-Davis had already announced his intention to forgo his COVID-allowed fifth year of college basketball and enter the NBA. Jackson-Davis received a combine invite last year before a positive COVID test forced him to pull out, and it seems likely he’ll be invited again. Hood-Schifino, in all likelihood, will join him.

Follow IndyStar reporter Zach Osterman on Twitter: @ZachOsterman.

This article originally appeared on Indianapolis Star: Indiana basketball: Jalen Hood-Schifino enters 2023 NBA draft