Mike Woodson kept a close eye on Trayce Jackson-Davis this offseason. Woodson felt good about his 2022-23 ballclub, but without Jackson-Davis, Indiana would have to hit the transfer portal.

At Tuesday’s Big Ten Media Days, Woodson described what it was like on Jackson-Davis watch.

“He was the missing piece, the major piece to our ballclub,” Woodson said of Jackson-Davis. “I kind of rode along this summer trying to figure out if I was going to get Trayce or would I have to go out into the portal and find another big.

“But he made it easy for me when he decided to make the decision to come back. It just puts us in a better place. I mean, he had a tremendous season last season. I just got to get him to the next level, to the point where if we handle our business in terms of winning, I think everything else will take care of itself.”

Jackson-Davis started all 35 games for Indiana last season. He led the Hoosiers in scoring (18.3), rebounding (8.1), field goal percentage (58.9%), free throws made (147), free throws attempted (218) and blocked shots (81), earning second-team All-B1G recognition from the media and conference coaches.

Woodson says Jackson-Davis has worked hard to improve his game this offseason.

“He’s really put a lot of work in this summer, shooting the midrange, the three-point shot,” the Indiana head coach told reporters. “I never been one to tell him not to shoot it. I think in the game he’s just got to figure out when is the right time to take the shot.

“He was a workhorse for us down low last season. He does a lot of things for our team. He blocks shots, he rebounds, he pushes the ball in the break. He’s a great passer out of the double-team. I just think the sky’s the limit for him this season. I’m going to try to push him in the right direction and hopefully everything else will take care of itself.”

Jackson-Davis and the Hoosiers open 2022-23 with an exhibition game on Oct. 29.