Indiana freshman guard Jalen Hood-Schifino, a projected lottery pick, will forgo his remaining college eligibility and enter the 2023 NBA draft, he told ESPN on Friday morning.
"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, the No. 13 prospect in ESPN's NBA draft projections, was voted the Big Ten Conference Freshman of Year and second-team All-Big Ten after averaging 13.5 points, 4.1 rebounds and 3.7 assists.
"My freshman season was nothing short of amazing," said Hood-Schifino, who is 6-foot-5 with a 6-foot-10 wingspan. "My coaches kept their word by having the ultimate trust in me as a freshman. We didn't win a national championship, but overall the season was successful and experiencing March Madness was a surreal moment."
He later made the announcement on Instagram.
Although he wasn't initially projected as a clear-cut one-and-done player, Hood-Schifino emerged as a potential top-10 draft pick based largely on his productivity and impact on the Hoosiers' winning.
In mid-December, Hood-Schifino was asked to step into an outsized role upon the team losing starting point guard Xavier Johnson to a season-ending injury. After a turbulent start, Hood-Schifino grabbed hold of the point guard position and helped catapult Indiana to victories in 11 of their final 15 regular-season games, securing third in the Big Ten and a No. 4 seed in the NCAA tournament.
"NBA teams were able to see that I can take over a game, create my own shot, run a team, that I have a high IQ, that I'm tough, and that I have a unique pace to my game," Hood-Schifino said. "I'm looking forward to showing the NBA teams my body measurements matching what's on paper, my athleticism, and my shooting ability."
Hood-Schifino fits the NBA prototype as a big, ballhandling lead guard with versatile shot-making prowess, live-dribble playmaking creativity and defensive toughness.
The NBA draft combine is set for May 15-21 in Chicago, and the draft will be June 22 in New York.
Jonathan Givony is an NBA draft expert and the founder and co-owner of DraftExpress.com, a private scouting and analytics service utilized by NBA, NCAA and International teams.