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Much will be expected of Jaden Ivey around Purdue this coming season, though it may pale in comparison to whatever the particularly driven Boilermaker sophomore expects of himself.

His experience right now in Texas, where he’s trying out for USA Basketball’s 19-and-under national team, could be a step toward him living up to both standards.

“It just builds confidence,” Ivey said from TCU’s campus on Tuesday, “and any time you compete against great players, great dudes, it just makes you better. Playing against this competition, there’s a lot of talent here. I want to be ready once I step back on that college stage and I think it’s helping me in all aspects being here.”

Ivey’s no stranger to high-end competition, having been through perhaps the most grueling Big Ten season the league has seen, on top of his pedigree prior, playing on Nike’s EYBL circuit, then at the nationally prominent LaLumiere prep school program his senior year.

But this USA Basketball stint is his first run with the lessons of last season behind him.

“I feel like I’ll be more prepared, ready for anything, because I’ve been through it all now” Ivey said. “I’ve had ups and downs, but I’ll be more prepared for the moment and hopefully stay more consistent. That’s what I’m trying to do out here at USA Basketball, just trying to stay consistent every day.”

All told, Ivey’s freshman season was outstanding, but far from a straight line, starting with the foot injury that cost him so much of the non-conference season, setting him back. From there, it was pretty standard freshman stuff: Flashes of brilliance coupled with periodic bouts with struggles.

“Just playing through ups and downs,” Ivey said of a step he feels he’s taken this off-season already. “I made a lot of mistakes my freshman year and I think I grew from those mistakes I made on the court. I think it’s made me into a better player. I think it’s a matter of if I make a bad play, just accepting it and getting back on defense and making the next play.”

That presumed steadiness should suit him well in Texas, where he made the first cut to 17 finalists for the 19U team. He’s joined at the try-outs by new teammate Caleb Furst — who also made that first cut — and would have been joined by fellow freshman Trey Kaufman-Renn had a hand injury not undercut him. (Ivey’s sophomore classmate Zach Edey is trying out for Team Canada.)

Ivey closed his freshman season strong, entering the starting lineup when Sasha Stefanovic was sidelined by COVID-19 and finishing the season on a tear.

Tuesday, Ivey was asked how close he feels he is to being where he wants to be.

“I’m just going to keep improving. That’s all I’m focused on,” Ivey said. “Each and every day, I just want to get 1 percent better. That’s been my whole goal this summer. I just try to push myself to the limit and whatever happens, happens. I’m just grateful to be in this position I’m in today.”

Part of that improvement, be believes, has already shown up, though it might be less tangible than many other forms of progress would be: Mentally.

Last season, Ivey’s jump-shooting — an area of his game he invested so much of himself in — clearly weighed on him at times, part of the ups and downs he’s spoken of.

He closed the season very well in that regard, hoping to carry It over into his sophomore season.

If he doesn’t, though, he believes he’ll be better equipped now to take things in stride.

“You saw spurts where when I was on I hit a ton of shots,” Ivey said. “The whole thing is just about staying consistent. It’s more of a mental game than a physical game. A lot of games, I wasn’t into it mentally. I’ve worked on that a lot this summer.

“If I miss a shot, I’m back on defense. I feel like I’ve really stepped up maturing in that aspect, my mental game. I’ve put a lot of hours in in the gym and am excited to show people I can shoot, but I think my mental game has really improved a lot since last year.”