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Kennesaw State v Indiana

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It has been an inconsistent, up and down, and frustrating season for Indiana basketball. After going 23-12 last year, making the Round of 32, and seemingly making a step towards national relevance, this season has been the total opposite.

Everyone knew that it would be hard to replace two NBA players like Jalen Hood-Schifino and Trayce Jackson-Davis, but there was some level of optimism they could distribute their success around. Mike Woodson and company brought in Kel’el Ware via the transfer portal. Xavier Johnson was granted a sixth season of eligibility. Malik Reneau should make an improvement as a Sophomore. Finally, they landed a former Duke recruit in Mackenzie Mgbako.

Where has that gotten Indiana? 14-10 and 6-7 in conference play. They’re behind Minnesota, Nebraska, and Northwestern in the standings. Teams that lack rich basketball history like Indiana. The starting five does not lack talent, when healthy, so are players not buying in to what their roles are, or should be?

“We’re twenty-four games into the season. If this team doesn’t understand their roles at this point, I don’t know what to tell you. You’re twenty-four games in, your team is inconsistent on an almost game-by-game basis in some way, shape, or form. There’s just nothing there you can count on consistently. I’m not putting this on coaches and I’m not putting this on players. It’s the issues that are going on right now. All you’re doing is looking at the situation and trying to figure out what is the issue and I can’t put my finger on it. It’s got to be something inside the program at this juncture. That’s all I can tell you.” Don Fischer said on Query & Company Monday afternoon.

Last week, Trayce Jackson-Davis went on the Ride with JMV and supported the third-year Indiana head coach. If IU sticks with Woodson after this season, then will there be changes to the coaching staff? There will be changes with the roster, but how many changes is the question.

“From that perspective alone, I would say this is a toss up with this roster at the end of the season. These next seven games are going to be pivotal to what we’re going to see at the end. They’re going to lose players like Xavier Johnson and Anthony Walker, whose eligibility is up. Will Trey Galloway come back? Will Malik Reneau come back? Will Kel’el Ware come back? I think these next seven games are going to be pivotal in regard to who is going to be on this roster a year from now.”  Don Fischer stated.

This is what the next seven games look like for the Hoosiers:

  • 2/18 vs Northwestern (17-7 | 8-5)
  • 2/21 vs Nebraska (17-8 | 7-7)
  • 2/24 at Penn State (12-12 | 6-7)
  • 2/27 vs #20 Wisconsin (16-8 | 8-5)
  • 3/3 at Maryland (13-11 | 5-8)
  • 3/6 at Minnesota (15-8 | 6-6)
  • 3/10 vs Michigan State (15-9 | 7-6)

Maryland and Penn State are the only two teams that are behind Indiana in the Big Ten standings. If they were able to close the season strong with some wins, then there should be some optimism for next season.

As of right now, things do not look good for the Indiana Hoosiers, especially if multiple key players (Reneau, Ware, or Galloway) enter the transfer portal or take their talents to the NBA.

To listen to Jake Query and Jimmy Cook’s conversation with Don Fischer, download the podcast containing the conversation below! You can always listen to the Query & Company from 12pm-3pm on 93.5/107.5 The Fan. You can also watch and interact with the show by going to the 107.5 The Fan YouTube Channel.

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