Indiana Hoosier Men’s Basketball Coach Feels Optimistic About Upcoming Season
BLOOMINGTON, Ind.–The Indiana University men’s basketball team is welcoming 10 new players to its program and hoping to build on last season where it made the Round of 32 in the NCAA tournament.
“I took this job to win Big 10 Titles and National titles. I’ve fallen short the first two years,” said Indiana University men’s basketball head coach Mike Woodson in a Wednesday news conference.
The team is expected to be led by returning senior guards Xavier Johnson and Trey Galloway.
“I’m not the loudest guy. I like to lead by example. I’m one of the most experienced guys on the team, so I’m expected to lead by example and by voice honestly,” said Johnson. Johnson is back for a sixth college season (three at Pitt, three at IU). He broke his foot in December 2022, forcing him to miss the rest of the season.
Woodson is excited to have Johnson back.
“I think he’s hungry. This is his last go-around. He can’t come back for a seventh year. He’s got to give us all he can to make it right,” said Woodson.
The other returners include Malik Reneau, CJ Gunn, and Kaleb Banks.
Joining Indiana this year includes: Mackenzie Mgbako, a five-star, McDonald’s All-American. Kel’el Ware, a 7-foot transfer from Oregon, is a former McDonald’s All-America.
They will be accompanied by Ball State transfer Payton Sparks, Miami of Florida transfer Anthony Walker and high school guards Gabe Cupps and Jakai Newton.
“When you’re building a basketball team, you’ve got to get a little bit from everybody. The freshmen who were freshmen last year are sophomores and have to step up and play like sophomores. The sophomore who are juniors have to give us more. Seniors like X (Johnson) and Galloway have got to give us more. There’s a lot that’s got to be done between now and when we start playing actual basketball,” said Woodson.
Indiana’s first exhibition game is October 29th against the University of Indianapolis.
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