TheHoosier - Player Q&A: Jalen Hood-Schifino talks summer workouts, role and more
{{ timeAgo('2022-06-23 16:22:56 -0500') }} basketball Edit

Player Q&A: Jalen Hood-Schifino talks summer workouts, role and more

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Freshman guard Jalen Hood-Schifino discusses summer workouts, expectations for his role and expectations for Indiana this year.

Above is the full Q&A.

Below is the full transcript.

Q. On working with Clif Marshall…

HOOD-SCHIFINO: Aside from him being a strength coach, he's just a great guy. Outside of, you know, being in the weight room he does a great job of sending motivational messages.

And as far as in the weight room, he does a great job with us on our body making sure we are staying on top of our nutrition.

So overall it's been great for me. Through my time being here, I got here on June 2nd and when we started our workouts from then until now, I see a difference in my body, so it's been great.

Q. On potentially playing alongside Xavier Johnson…

HOOD-SCHIFINO: I mean, the way he wants to play fits my game perfect. He wants to play fast, get the ball out. For me, playing alongside Xavier Johnson that would be great. I think we both complement each other's games pretty well.

Prior to coming into Indiana, I already had a relationship with Xavier, so we kind of already built that bond. So, I get to practice with him and kind of get a feel for everybody, I think it's going to be great.

Q. On the biggest learning curve…

HOOD-SCHIFINO: For me playing at the highest level of high school basketball, playing at Montverde, a powerhouse, we were playing against some of the top guys in the country. So obviously transitioning from high school to college is definitely a big difference.

But for me honestly, I already had the body and worked on my game all the time. So really just some of the small things, some of the terminology everything and but I'm pretty much good, just learning every day, learning from the older guys and watching film, and pretty much that's it.

Q. On the many roles filled at Montverde…

HOOD-SCHIFINO: Yeah, that situation at Montverde my junior year is different from the situation now.

But for sure that year at Montverde, my junior year, was definitely a different year for me. Like you said, coming off the bench a little bit and not getting as much minutes as I would like was different.

But I think it was good because sometimes you might be put in situations like that. I think that prepared me for whenever, if I have to come across that in the future.

Q. On Malik Reneau…

HOOD-SCHIFINO: Malik is a really good person and a great player. He works really hard, and that was my high school teammate obviously, so I know his game really well

Like I said, he works really hard, and from being up there with Indiana, I know Coach is going to get him right and he's going to be locked in and he's going to have a big year.

Q. On improvements to be made as a player…

HOOD-SCHIFINO: Everything, really. I'm still young so I feel like every part of my game has to get better. For me, keeping up with my body, being a leader, being vocal.

At the college level, you have to be vocal, especially at the point guard position. Just pretty much just keep doing what I'm doing. Getting better at everything. Keep shooting the ball. Everything, really.

Q. On the relationship with Xavier…

HOOD-SCHIFINO: I'm from Pittsburgh and he played at Pitt, so me and him had kind of already built a relationship. I started to talk to him like through Instagram and I even played pickup with him when I was in Pittsburgh a couple times. Just building that relationship was pretty good. So, for me coming here, me just continue that relationship.

And getting here, playing against these older guys, I've been playing against older guys all my life, so it's definitely good. It's been great learning from everybody, you know, getting out there with the guys.

Q. On CJ Gunn and Kaleb Banks…

HOOD-SCHIFINO: Before coming to Indiana, I watched a lot of film on those guys but sometimes film can be a little different from seeing them in person.

From seeing them in person and being around them, they are pretty good. CJ is a great player. Kaleb is a great player. They still have work to do like all of us, but they are going to be good. I think they are going to be good for us this year, and just got to keep grinding.

Q. On learning from head coach Mike Woodson…

HOOD-SCHIFINO: Yeah, everything, defense and offense, but really getting up and down. Coach Woodson is big on, you know, live actions because then, you know, that's how you get better.

We do a lot of scrimmaging, and some of the biggest things I've learned is he just want his guys to play hard. He's big on defense, which that's a big part of my game. So, I think this year is going to be a really good year for sure.

Q. On being welcomed to Bloomington…

HOOD-SCHIFINO: It's been great. Obviously, we are the new guys, so the coaches are tough on us and they push us but it's like tough love. Outside of the basketball court, they are loving. We have great relationships with each other.

But whenever we're on the court, they are really tough on us. Make sure we're on top of our game, because Coach Woodson always says we have to speed up the process. It's been good.

Q. On adjustments moving forward…

HOOD-SCHIFINO: Like I said before, I'm still young and I have to get better at everything. I'm nowhere near as good as I can be. Just keep working on everything. I think the next, you know, thing I really have to showcase is probably my 3-ball, which I'm in the gym every day working on it.

This year, I think people had get to see a lot of my game. You know, how much better I've got since the high school season and how much more expanded by game has got. I think it's going to be good.

Q. On the defensive side of the ball…

HOOD-SCHIFINO: I'm just very competitive and I hate for somebody to ever say they got the best of me. So just growing up, I always played against older competition. Played against my older cousins. When I was younger, they used to like bully me, so I always took it to heart. As I grew up, I always wanted to be the best defender and make sure no one ever got the best of me.

Q. On describing his game…

HOOD-SCHIFINO: I'm a definitely a true point guard. But at the end of the day, I'm a basketball player. I'm versatile. I can play wherever the coach needs me to play, but I'm definitely a point guard, I love getting my teammates involved, love leading.

As far as players I look at, old school players, I like looking at Jason Kidd's highlights, Kobe Bryant, and then current day I like looking at Chris Paul, Devin Booker and Luka Doncic.

Q. On becoming a better point guard…

HOOD-SCHIFINO: I would just say that every day grind, just the practices, every day you're going against the five-star guys in high school, so it's just good. The coaches did a good job of pushing us, and you know, I think overall, you know, it gave me a big leap to where I am now, and it's definitely helped me now that I'm in college.

Q. On watching IU last season…

HOOD-SCHIFINO: I watched everything. I'm big on film. I like to see. Last year, I like to see how they played and how Coach Woodson coaches and everything just to see if I can fit in. And I still watch the games now to make sure I'm on top of everything, just looking at some of the defensive schemes, looking the offense.

Now that I'm here, it's great. I get to watch and actually like break down film with the coaches and everything, so it's been good.

Q. On Malik Reneau’s recruitment…

HOOD-SCHIFINO: I was with him, actually, when he decommitted. So as soon as that happened, I literally text my coaches, I was like, we have to get Malik. As soon as I said that, the coaches got on him and they did a great job of recruiting him.

Q. On developing toughness at a young age…

HOOD-SCHIFINO: It was literally just every day playing in my grandma's backyard, my grandma and granddad's backyard, going against my other cousins Sherron and DeAndre, they pushed me every day. I was always the young kid, and all their older friends, my big bros, they would be up there and they would always bully me.

It got to a point where I got good and I was able to compete with them, so it just helped me and really bred me into who I am now.

I would say 12 I was able to compete with them and then once I hit probably eighth, ninth grade, I was like wing some games a little bit. But now, it's like, you know, I don't lose no more.

Q. On the transition from Montverde to college

HOOD-SCHIFINO: Like you said, it's a prestigious program and Coach Kevin Boyle and Coach Rae Miller have been in it, for, what, 30-plus years. They have the track record; if you look at the players they have, they have NBA All-Stars and things of that nature.

But like I said, the everyday grind at Montverde, people don't know what we put into it, like the practices. It's almost like college practice; you're practicing three-plus hours every day, and it really prepared me for now. Now that I'm in college, it's almost like I'm at Montverde but at a college level. It's been great and I'm very thankful for Monday adversity.

Q. On Bloomington…

HOOD-SCHIFINO: I love and support from everybody, and really just for me, my favorite thing is being in the gym. Just grinding, working on my game and being around the fellas and the coaches.

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