Indiana guard Jalen Hood-Schifino is declaring for the 2023 NBA Draft after shining for the Hoosiers in his lone season of college basketball. Hood-Schifino earned Big Ten Freshman of the Year and Second Team All-Big Ten honors while helping Indiana advance beyond the first round of the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2015.
"For me, the time is now," Hood-Schifino told ESPN. "This has been a dream of mine since I was a little boy."
Hood-Schifino started all 32 games in which he played and infused the Hoosiers with the type of playmaking prowess the program needed to compliment the interior play of star forward Trayce Jackson-Davis. The 6-foot-6 guard finished second on the team in scoring at 13.5 points per game and dished out 3.7 assists while proving capable of exploding offensively.
In a Feb. 25 win at No. 1 Purdue, Hood-Schifino scored 35 points on 14 of 24 shooting. In a loss to Northwestern on Jan. 8, he racked up 33 points on 12 of 17 shooting. Though his 33.3% 3-point shooting mark is only middling, Hood-Schifino has all the tools needed to develop into long-term NBA player after ranking as the No. 26 overall prospect in the Class of 2022.
If he is selected, he will become the first Indiana player taken in the NBA Draft since Romeo Langford in 2019.
Jalen Hood-Schifino's NBA Draft projection
With good height and a solid frame, Hood-Schifino is a true combo guard who can run the point or play off the ball at the next level. He played serviceable defense for the Hoosiers and should be able to defend multiple positions at the next level. While his 3-point shooting remains a work in progress, he showed promise in that regard. He is a playmaker capable of scoring at multiple levels, and as his shot develops, it will only make him more dangerous.
Hood-Schifino ranks No. 35 in the 2023 NBA Draft Prospect Rankings from CBS Sports. He landed at No. 16 in a recent mock draft from Gary Parrish.
"Hood-Schifino is a combo guard with size who can shoot," Parrish wrote. "He's been up and down for an up-and-down Indiana team for much of this season but still projects as a quality NBA player for many years to come."
Impact on Indiana
As a fringe five-star prospect entering IU, there may have been some hope within the program that the Hoosiers would get more than one year out of Hood-Schifino. But with Xavier Johnson aiming to play a sixth college season in 2023-24 after his 2022-23 campaign was cut short, there is a good chance that IU will have a proven veteran producer in the backcourt. Four-star guards Gabe Cupps and Jakai Newton are also signed as part of the 2023 recruiting class and will provide depth at guard. But it would be unrealistic to expect either to provide the caliber of play that Hood-Schifino did as a freshman.