Jalen Hood-Schifino is the most highly touted recruit we’ve had since Romeo, maybe even Cody. With outstanding hype surrounding his game, and that hype being evident through any of the many nationally televised Montverde games, Jalen will have unprecedented pressure and expectations for a freshman just setting foot in Bloomington, Indiana. But, tons of pressure make for the most brilliant diamonds so I think Jalen Hood-Schifino will end this season better for it.
While taking in young stars, many can question if he will respond to the situations and moments that he will be called to handle in crunch time. How will Jalen respond to more difficult competition (although not much more considering he was most often playing against top tier recruits game in game out)? How will he be able to adjust to a new coach and system? How will he be able to handle the stress and beatings that come with a Big Ten basketball schedule? Only time will tell us.
For this reason, I wanted to share with Jalen a quote from Sir Winston Churchill. Churchill once said, “A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty”. Losing. It happens in today’s NCAA. Team’s have been chasing Indiana’s perfect season for about half a century. For high school players with unprecedented success (like Jalen has had) losing can be a very new, very strange feeling. I am hoping and believe that Jalen can absolutely adjust to the college game, while also never getting comfortable with losing.
The speed of the game can’t be too much different than Jalen’s been used to. Again, I will reiterate that he was playing top tier prep ball and winning national titles. Those boys can all hoop. But what will come are losses, as much as I’d love to tell myself with hopeless optimism that we are going undefeated, we are not. How will Jalen be able to respond to taking a few losses? Look for the young man to respond with intensity. Personally, I never want a guy comfortable with losing and I can’t imagine JHS would ever be that guy.
Listen to the words of Churchill Jalen. Take the beatings and bruises as they come, but do not dwell on them too intently. Learn from each set back that pops up along this season and move forward wiser, and better prepared for it.
While Indiana will be favorite in plenty of matchups this season the time will come when Jalen must look at the scenario of the game with optimism. If we need a comeback we need someone handling the ball who believes in themselves and their teams’ ability to scratch and claw back into any game. If our defense remains half as stout as last season, the Hoosiers will be in contention towards the end of each and every game. Have faith in yourself Jalen. Have faith in TJD, X, and the rest of the Hoosiers to be able to persevere in the face of adversity.
Thank you for taking the time to read these, the musings of an Indiana fanboy. If you would like to read the quote I had chose for Xavier, Click Here
LUX ET VERITAS!!!