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Indiana gets embarrassed at Rutgers: What should be done about Xavier Johnson?

Publish Date: 01/10/2024
Fact checked by: Simon Briffa

Indiana lost 66-57 to the Rutgers Scarlet Knights on Tuesday night in New Jersey. To say the loss was an embarrassment would be a massive understatement. The Hoosier played uninspired basketball for 40 minutes of the game and now sit at 11-5 and are in serious trouble. I know the loss was terrible, but the most concerning thing is the fact that Xavier Johnson just revealed the culture of the Indiana Hoosiers.

Video: Indiana at Rutgers | Highlights | Big Ten Men's Basketball | Jan. 9, 2024

Indiana at Rutgers | Highlights | Big Ten Men’s Basketball | Jan. 9, 2024

You get what you allow.

Xavier Johnson was atrocious in the first half; fine, it happens, but you don’t reward him by starting him in the second half, sit his ass when he plays like that. That happens rarely at Indiana University because consequences are seldom involved, especially for Johnson.

Johnson compounded his play on the court by crotch-grabbing a Rutgers player with 13 minutes left in the game, gaining a flagrant two-foul call, and being kicked out of the game. It was as dirty a play as an Indiana Hoosier player has ever committed; it was an embarrassment to any man who put on a Hoosier uniform. Don’t tell me Xavier is just a kid and he made a mistake because he is 24 years old!

Two former IU Players (Joe Hillman and Brian Evans) have called out X and said he should never be allowed to put on an IU Jersey again. His action is not an IU BB Standard. Unfortunately, there is a coach who refuses to discipline players on the court for poor performance and actions. Remember, Xavier, at one point, went 90 while driving and, when pulled over, tried to switch with the passenger side to try to get out of trouble. That is relevant to this because he wasn’t punished for it at least nothing that would have gotten his attention. Indiana Basketball has got to be better than this!

Woodson wasn’t even asked about Xavier’s action in the post-game press conference, and what’s worse is that he never really addressed it! Maybe he wanted to talk to Xavier about it before commenting publicly; we shall see.

Video: Mike Woodson postgame: Rutgers: Jan. 9, 2024

Mike Woodson postgame: Rutgers: Jan. 9, 2024

As a coach, you must build a culture, and that culture, no matter what it may be, has to have accountability involved, and it doesn’t. The easiest way to get a player’s attention is to sit his ass on the bench. Xavier Johnson was horrible during the game, but except for a few minutes of rest, that never happened.

Im not going to sit here and complain about the mass subbing of players like an NBA coach does or the lack of playing time for certain guys. I realize no matter who the coach is, I am not going to agree with him all the time. My issue is the effort and accountability of this team. That includes players and coaches. You get what you expect as a coach, and let’s just say expectations are not high at the moment.

This is not what was expected of Mike Woodson

Can someone explain why we are the only team with two bigs running a post-first offense in 2024, and we can’t rebound?

Other teams are focusing on shooting threes, and we are trying to groom the post like we are playing to make the field of 48 in 1983, but somehow, we can’t rebound.

Don’t say the old heads asked for this, either. We asked for a Bob Knight guy. A Bob Knight guy would have players blocking out, securing rebounds with both hands, hitting free throws, and playing good defense with smart players on the court, especially at the point guard position.

That is not what we got.

I will not sit here and criticize Woody’s coaching. It’s not about that. I have never been a high-level basketball coach and don’t claim to be. My issue as a Indiana Basketball fan is that I was always proud to be a Hoosier fan, after last night I feel disgusted and ashamed. What we saw last night needs to be addressed by the coach immediately. Xavier Johnson should be done, and what Coach Woodson does leading up to Friday night’s game against Minnesota will tell you whether we have the right guy in charge. As a Hoosier fan I want to see accountability, energy, and effort!



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