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Indiana Basketball Weekly

Publish Date:12/07/2023
Fact checked by: Simon Briffa

Welcome to Indiana Basketball Weekly, your dedicated podcast for all things Indiana basketball. Whether you bleed cream and crimson or cheer for the Hoosiers from afar, our show is your source for in-depth coverage, analysis, and discussions about Indiana University’s storied basketball program.

Join our passionate hosts and expert guests as we break down game performances, roster developments, coaching insights, and the rich history of Hoosier basketball. We’ll take you through the highs and lows of the season, from buzzer-beaters to championship aspirations.

Indiana Season recap

Video: Indiana Basketball Weekly: 2024 IU Season Recap, Did Mike Woodson do a good job this season?

Indiana Basketball Weekly: 2024 IU Season Recap, Did Mike Woodson do a good job this season?

Indiana vs Penn State Recap and Nebraska Preview!

Video: Indiana Basketball Weekly: IU/Penn State Preview W/Alec Lasley from Hoosier Illustrated!

Indiana Basketball Weekly: IU/Penn State Preview W/Alec Lasley from Hoosier Illustrated!

Penn State started slowly but managed to stay in the game thanks to their impressive defense, managing to stay close against Indiana and keep them at arm’s length for most of the game. While Ace Baldwin may not have had his usual stellar offensive game, he led Penn State defensively.

Penn State outwitted Indiana despite its size advantage by dominating on offensive boards and hitting free throws. Head coach Mike Rhoades pressure defense forced some unruly possessions that allowed Penn State back in and even take the lead!

Indiana was just as impressive defensively. Penn State attempted to get the ball inside to Qudus Wahab, but Kel’el Ware’s length caused shots to be altered all night long due to his length. There were more than a dozen lead changes and Anthony Leal put back gave Indiana their victory in overtime.

Indiana received their reward for defeating Penn State: Nebraska swept Indiana earlier in 2024.

Indiana vs Michigan State Recap!

Video: Indiana Basketball Weekly: IU/Michigan State Recap, Hoosiers make it four in a row!

Indiana Basketball Weekly: IU/Michigan State Recap, Hoosiers make it four in a row!

Kelel Ware capped an outstanding sophomore campaign with perhaps his finest game yet against Michigan State.

This 7-footer from North Little Rock, Arkansas was an undeniable force both offensively and defensively throughout his 37 minutes of play.

Ware set a career-high 28 point total while also collecting 12 rebounds, two assists and blocking two shots in his debut performance against Michigan State. His length prevented the Spartans from getting clean looks in the paint due to his protection.

Though Ware had struggled from the free throw line (he finished 1-for-6), he managed to make the decisive free throw of the night to put Indiana ahead with just under 18 seconds left in regulation.

Ware finished the regular season with the top effective field goal percentage (66.2). He also led the Big Ten in defensive rebound percentage, was fourth in block percentage and held third-best 2-point field goal percentage.

Ware refused to acknowledge his success at convincing those who once doubted him.

Ware acknowledged postgame that she still had something more to prove and did not feel that her performance had proven herself yet.

Indiana Hoosiers take an early lead before losing Trey Galloway derail momentumThe Indiana Hoosiers began the final regular-season game of 2018 on a high note. Tom Izzo called timeout before even waiting for a media timeout had expired to call one himself.

Indiana surged ahead to take an 11-point advantage at 12-3, prompting Izzo to call timeout at 15:10.

That break didn’t help change the momentum, as Hoosiers extended their lead to 20-5 by 13:14 thanks to Mackenzie Mgbako’s 3-pointer.

Once Trey Galloway, who was wearing a knee brace, left the floor at 12:54, the momentum changed for the remainder of the half.

Michigan State outscored Indiana 24-14 over the final 12:15 of play to pull within five points at intermission.

Indiana prevailed despite not getting Galloway back into the game; yet their guards scored eight total points – five from Galloway himself! — making this victory even more impressive.

Indiana was dominant in the paint, scoring 19 of their points within its confines and hitting six 3-pointers during crucial points of the game – many coming at critical times – but ultimately this contest was decided in the paint.

Indiana outscored Michigan State 40-22 in the paint. Additionally, Indiana won 12-9 second chance points and never allowed Michigan State any breathing room at the rim.

Ware, Malik Reneau and Mackenzie Mgbako combined for 57 of Indiana’s 65 points this season.

Michigan State’s post-play was nearly inconsequential statistically.

No matter who Izzo deployed at post, production remained disappointingly minimal.

Xavier Booker began and played seven minutes without registering any stats outside of a missed shot, while Carson Cooper went just 1-for-3 from the field and collected seven rebounds in 17 minutes. Jaxon Kohler scored no points over 14 minutes but still collected two rebounds; Mady Sissoko committed four fouls during her six minute appearance.

Indiana vs Maryland Recap

Video: Indiana Basketball Weekly: IU/Maryland Recap, Hoosiers with come from behind win!

Indiana Basketball Weekly: IU/Maryland Recap, Hoosiers with come from behind win!

Mackenzie Mgbako of Indiana had his best half of basketball during the final 20 minutes at College Park.

Mgbako had an offensive explosion against Maryland after shooting just 2-for-7 in 14 minutes during the first half.

Mgbako scored 18 of his game-high 24 points in the second half. Playing all 20 minutes, Mgbako did much of his damage through transition as Maryland struggled to find him on the break, as Indiana ran more action to open up more space for Mgbako since they realized he had the hot hand.

“Once he started making shots, we started running plays to direct it more,” Mike Woodson stated postgame.

Mgbako completed an efficient 8-for-15 performance from the field, including 4-for-8 shooting from 3-point range and 4-for-4 free throw attempts.

Indiana made three pointers and free throws at an impressive rate on Sunday afternoon, in an unlikely performance from distance and line shots. Indiana outshot all other opponents from 3-point range as well.

Indiana shot 7-for-16 (43.8 percent) three point baskets and 14-for-17 from the free throw line (82.4 percent).

Mgbako made four out of eight threes during the game to set an astounding 3-for-8 3-point shooting performance, while three other Hoosiers also contributed three timely 3-pointers: Gabe Cupps made his only triple early, followed by back-to-back 3s from Xavier Johnson and Anthony Leal that tied up the game early.

“That is something we’ve struggled to find this season,” Woodson noted, “but tonight it all came together a little.”

Indiana relied heavily on free throw shooting as an integral component of its success.

Maryland posted an impressive 9-for-10 free throw shooting performance against Indiana on Tuesday night, but Indiana made up for their lack of shooting at the line by getting seven extra attempts than their opponent and making six different hoosiers successful with making free throws in this victory.

Indiana Backcourt Delivers IU’s backcourt play has been disappointing this year, but Trey Galloway and Xavier Johnson delivered when it counted in Sunday’s win.

Johnson played virtually the entirety of the second half, tallying 13 points, six assists, three rebounds and only one turnover.

Galloway put up impressive stats: 12 points, five rebounds, four assists, two steals and two turnovers in 38 minutes of action.

“Xavier Johnson was really my focus last season,” Woodson stated. “He did some wonderful things defensively while controlling the game out front alongside Trey Galloway (our two senior guards). I really missed those days.”

Indiana benefitted immensely from Johnson playing one of his finest games of the season, giving them two scoring and facilitating threats in their backcourt at once.

“They played as well together since I have had them together,” Woodson noted. “These two games may be their best yet.” It was rewarding to witness them lead like seniors this evening – that made for an impressive sight!

Indiana vs Wisconsin Recap

Video: Indiana Basketball Weekly: IU/Wisconsin Recap! Ware Goes Crazy, plus IU/Maryland Preview!

Indiana Basketball Weekly: IU/Wisconsin Recap! Ware Goes Crazy, plus IU/Maryland Preview!

Kelirl Ware missed Indiana’s initial matchup against Wisconsin on Jan. 19 at Kohl Center due to illness. This loss resulted in an Indiana loss by 91 points 79.

Ware made his presence felt during Assembly Hall’s rematch against Wisconsin Badgers.

Ware scored 20 of his 27 points during the first half.

Ware displayed why he’s expected to be selected in the first round of NBA draft this June with an array of scoring tactics from dribbling all the way to scoring off lobs or 3-pointers from outside.

Ware’s performance wasn’t limited to scoring alone – he also grabbed 11 defensive rebounds and blocked five shots, altering several looks at the rim in the process.

Ware has delivered numerous impressive performances this season, but Tuesday’s was among his finest.

“He was absolutely incredible tonight,” Mike Woodson noted. “We needed every bit of his talent in order to win this game.”

Hoosiers Strive Late to Secure StopsIndiana’s defense has fallen off significantly this season.

Indiana was able to stop Wisconsin at crucial moments, missing six shots in the final 2:06 without scoring.

Indiana made sure every play count and kept Wisconsin at bay on every possession, without succumbing to any breakdowns in their defense.

While Wisconsin didn’t match Indiana’s impressive defensive effort from previous seasons, their overall defensive effort improved greatly from their initial meeting at Kohl Center in Madison against Indiana. They recorded 1.115 points per possession versus their opponent’s 1.403 mark against them on Tuesday.

Indiana held Wisconsin to just 43.5 percent shooting during Tuesday’s win, limiting their free throw attempts to three.

Woodson has consistently noted his team’s lack of success making shots this season, even when given good opportunities. Woodson believes his squad has good looks but simply has not converted them to scores.

On Tuesday, Indiana made key shots.

Indiana shot 61.7 percent from the field and 4-29 from three-point range during their win against Wisconsin. Five Hoosiers made three pointers during this game.

One key factor was how well Hoosiers distributed the ball.

Indiana finished with 17 assists on 29 made baskets. Although their ball handling at times was inconsistent – 12 turnovers were committed – overall the ball movement was solid, and many shots had rhythm.

Indiana vs Penn State Recap

Video: Indiana Basketball Weekly: IU/Penn State Recap and Wisconsin Preview!

Indiana Basketball Weekly: IU/Penn State Recap and Wisconsin Preview!

Rebounding Win: Penn State has shown such an improvement this season in Big Ten games that I had to check and see if this contest marked their inaugural win on the glass in conference action. Penn State ultimately triumphed over Rutgers and Northwestern, as well as Indiana by just one rebound – further proof of its dominance over its opponents. Hoosiers won the offensive rebounding margin by just one, which was an encouraging step and great way for Indiana to regroup after losing against Illinois, who entered as one of the top four rebounding teams nationally. Qudus Wahab led Indiana with 11 boards as part of his double-double performance.

Pickpocket: Ace Baldwin was on top of his game against Indiana with four steals against them, marking his 10th game with at least four this year. Baldwin entered ranked sixth nationally in terms of steals per game at 2.78; that remains top spot among Big Ten schools. Penn State managed to score 13 points off 12 Indiana turnovers; they themselves only gave away 11 times; this made an excellent performance by Penn State within conference play! Ace is second among all active Division I players for career steals at around 260 and may conceivably increase further should he return for next year’s action!

Indiana vs Nebraska Recap

Video: Indiana Basketball Weekly: IU/Nebraska Recap and IU/Penn State Preview!

Indiana Basketball Weekly: IU/Nebraska Recap and IU/Penn State Preview!

Indiana came into Wednesday’s contest against Nebraska as a slight betting favorite after suffering two consecutive home losses to Penn State and Northwestern.

Nebraska had not won a road conference game this season, losing all seven attempts by an average margin of 12.4 points. On Wednesday afternoon, however, Nebraska finally found success when beating North Dakota State by 18 points at home.

History was irrelevant as soon as Nebraska and Indiana took the court shortly after 8:30 p.m.; Nebraska were eager to play while Indiana appeared disinterested in playing.

Woodson has spent much of this season seeking an explanation as to why Indiana has underperformed expectations. Injuries, youth, missed shots, defensive assignments and blockouts are often referenced.

Indiana’s problems, however, have yet to be adequately addressed or fixed this season by Woodson. With 26 games gone and Indiana trailing their opponent by 20 points at halftime – which hadn’t won an away conference game all season – their issues remain unaddressed or fixed meaningfully.

Indiana made Nebraska’s 22-point lead more manageable for a while in the second half, closing it to three before succumbing to Nebraska’s 14-1 run that closed the door on any chance for Indiana victory.

Indiana is on its final stretch, and things continue to worsen under Mike Woodson. Things don’t appear to be moving in a positive direction and that falls directly on his shoulders.

Nebraska Shuts Down Indiana from 3-Point RangeIt’s no secret Indiana has not prioritized perimeter shooting under Woodson.

Hoosiers coach Thad Matta has focused his teams’ play around a post-heavy style during all three years of his tenure and Indiana is currently one of the low volume 3-point shooting teams within their conference.

Nebraska came out aggressively Wednesday night and got open for three-point shots that were falling.

Nebraska made nine out of 19 attempts from distance during the first half, for an incredible 47.4 success rate and led to them scoring an astounding 1.44 point per possession and leading 51-31 at halftime.

Indiana made just 1-for-11 3-point shots (9.1 percent) during the first half and was outscored from the perimeter by 24 points in that period.

Nebraska was much better than Indiana at hitting threes, shooting 14 of 33 from long range and Indiana only 4-for-21 compared to Nebraska’s 30-point advantage from long distance.

Fourth-year senior Trey Galloway had difficulty in his debut game for Indiana on Wednesday and committed six of their 10 turnovers, contributing heavily to their loss.

As Xavier Johnson remains sidelined and Gabe Cupps remains unwilling to fill his role of primary playmaker, Galloway has been given the task of taking over point guard duties.

Woodson noted after the game: “Gallo really struggled tonight trying to play point with his six turnovers.”

Galloway isn’t your traditional point guard – he’s more of an offensive-minded wing who thrives when operating in space and attacking the rim.

Issue is less Galloway and more Indiana’s ineffective roster management.

Hoosiers head coach Jim Valvano had an open scholarship available, yet did not use it to bring in another ball handler or guard who could provide more depth or shooting.

Indiana vs Northwestern Recap

Video: Indiana Basketball Weekly: IU/Northwestern Recap and Nebraska Preview

Indiana Basketball Weekly: IU/Northwestern Recap and Nebraska Preview

Hoosier Basketball had a full week off to prepare for their matinee matchup against Northwestern on Sunday afternoon.

Unfortunately, no tangible improvements were seen following Indiana’s time off – particularly early. Indiana scored just 0.8 points per possession against one of Big Ten’s worst defensive teams and registered just 8 points total in their opening half performance.

Mike Woodson made his comment during his postgame press conference. Woodson suggested the offensive issues were “straightforward”.

Woodson acknowledged he watched the same game, saying: “You just got to make shots, we had some good looks at making shots but just couldn’t take advantage of them. There’s nothing complex or scientific here – we moved the ball well enough to open up shots; now it’s up to us all to step up and take them!”

Woodson should have solved Indiana’s offensive woes during Big Ten play by now – something he has not managed.

Indiana vs Northwestern Preview Show

Video: Indiana Basketball Weekly: IU/Northwestern Preview W/Alec Lasley from Hoosier Illustrated!

Indiana Basketball Weekly: IU/Northwestern Preview W/Alec Lasley from Hoosier Illustrated!

On Thursday night, Northwestern suffered a close defeat against the Scarlet Knights by just three points (63-60). Northwestern got out to an early lead (13 points at 5:21 left in first quarter), but were unable to keep that momentum going throughout the game.

Northwestern lost in spite of Boo Buie’s strong performance; she scored 27 points after hitting 6 out of 10 3-point attempts for 6 totaling 27 total points and 5 assists on her way there. For the season overall she is averaging 19.2 points, 5.2 assists, and 3.6 rebounds per game.

Indiana Last Saturday, Indiana experienced a serious setback against Purdue Boilermakers with a loss of 79-59. However, this doesn’t tell the whole story; several Indiana Hoosier players had outstanding games; CJ Gunn was particularly active scoring 13 points himself.

Kel’el Ware provided some assistance to Indiana with 11 points and eight rebounds in just 20 home games played this year – Indiana is 16-4 in its home record but entering Sunday’s contest having dropped five out of seven contests overall.

Indiana vs Purdue Recap

Video: Indiana Basketball Weekly: IU/Purdue recap, Where do the Hoosiers go from here?

Indiana Basketball Weekly: IU/Purdue recap, Where do the Hoosiers go from here?

Purdue’s Zach Edey was dominant in Bloomington with 33 points and 14 rebounds, and continued that performance on Saturday in West Lafayette with 36 points and 16 rebounds.

Edey, who leads national player of the year voting, earned himself another double-double at Mackey Arena on Monday night. She shot 7-for-15 from the field and 11-for-16 at free throw line for 26 points and 13 rebounds over 34 minutes of playback time.

After winning national player of the year last season, Edey may have raised his level of play this year; indeed he has. His free throw rate (FTA/FGA) now tops 80 percent.

On a postgame radio show with Don Fischer, Mike Woodson noted Kel’el Ware was effective against Edey but noted he can be difficult to matchup against.

Braden Smith set the tone early for Purdue against Indiana, having struggled in all three previous meetings against them. But his first half showed how powerfully Purdue could prevail against Indiana.

Purdue’s point guard had struggled in three previous games against Indiana, scoring just 15 points on 5-for-33 shooting from the field over those contests.

However, Smith was exceptional on Saturday night, scorching Indiana with 15 of his 19 points scored in the first half alone.

With much of the focus on Edey, Smith repeatedly beat Indiana guards off-dribble in the first half and got to the hoop.

Smith not only scored 19 points but also grabbed nine rebounds, handed out four assists and recorded four steals in 36 minutes against Indiana, producing his best performance ever against them.

Indiana’s offense underwhelmed after an impressive start against Purdue on Saturday night, as Indiana saw their initial offensive effort against them falter.

Hoosier players displayed precision with their passing and made cuts with purpose early, leading to an early 10–7 lead by 15:30 mark.

But Purdue quickly turned around their success when Indiana’s offense quickly faltered after being stopped, prompting an 18-1 run by Purdue.

Indiana managed just 25 points at halftime and scored at just.73 points per possession, which only worsened post-halftime as no points were scored until 15:32 when Kel’el Ware hit a 3-pointer for Indiana.

Indiana scored one point per possession during the second half and made four of 11 3-point attempts; however, most of its damage occurred after it had already become out of reach – leading by 20 points for much of it.

Purdue excels at getting to the line and creating a significant disparity at the free throw line, and Saturday was no different.

The Boilermakers outscored Big Ten opponents at the free throw line by an average of 9.3 points per game.

Indiana held an edge at the free throw line, going 9 for 15 against Boilermakers 21 for 33.

Purdue outscored Indiana by shooting 60 free throws compared to 24 in two games this season – too many for an Indiana team that relies heavily on its ability to get to the free throw line as its strength. Indiana simply couldn’t compete, which rendered Purdue’s advantage too great for them to overcome.

Indiana vs Ohio State Recap

Video: Indiana Basketball Weekly: Indiana vs Ohio State Recap and Purdue Preview!

Indiana Basketball Weekly: Indiana vs Ohio State Recap and Purdue Preview!

Indiana had two very different halves defensively against Ohio State.

Ohio State scored 41 points against Indiana in just 20 minutes in an impressive performance as they shot 14-for-28 from the field and made 13 free throw attempts en route to an 11-point halftime advantage, thanks mainly to an average points per possession score in the opening half of 1.1 points per possession for OSU.

Roddy Gayle Jr. of Ohio State proved difficult for Indiana guards to contain during the first half, scoring 15 first-half points while going 5-for-5 from the field and remaining perfect from 3-point range (5-for-5).

Indiana changed in the second half, ramping up their intensity significantly and taking control of the game.

Indiana started making stops and Ohio State found itself reeling. After shooting 50 percent in the first half, Ohio State could only shoot 8-for-25 over the final 20 minutes – scoring only 31 second half points while managing just.969 points per possession.

“There was a sense of urgency and togetherness on the field,” Trey Galloway noted. “Five guys working as one; ultimately that was our main focus: coming together to get stops.”

Trey Galloway was dominant in the second half, while Gayle Jr. stood out as the best guard in the first.

Trey Galloway turned in his finest road performance as an Indiana University player during the second half.

Culver Academies guard, Javonte Smart scored 19 of his 25 points post halftime to lead Indiana to its second road win of the year.

Galloway made his mark all over the floor. He hit 4-for-7 on 2-point shots, 3-for-3 on 3s and was 2-for-2 from the free throw line in the second half – as well as dishing out four assists, grabbing four rebounds, having four steals, playing all 20 minutes and recording four assists of his own.

Galloway played an instrumental role in Anthony Leal’s game-winning three point shot from out of timeout, driving right and drawing in defense before passing to Leal in the right corner for an effortless 3-pointer that gave Indiana their lead for good.

Galloway believes Woodson trusts her with the ball in her hands, while she herself trusts herself and herself as well. Galloway noted: “Coach Woodson gives me complete trust with it in my hands – that trust goes both ways… Finding ways to get myself involved so I can make plays for other people is also important; just getting hold of the ball, making the right play or read is what really counts to me.”

Galloway recorded 25 points, six rebounds, four assists and only two turnovers over 38 minutes of play for Indiana – an Indiana net score was +10 with him present on the floor.

Malik Reneau continues his remarkable second-season development at Indiana, putting on many impressive performances through 23 games of his sophomore campaign.

But his performance Tuesday in Columbus demonstrated why he’s one of the premier frontcourt players in the Big Ten.

Indiana vs Penn State Recap

Video: Indiana Basketball Weekly W/Steve Risley: Indiana vs Penn State Recap

Indiana Basketball Weekly W/Steve Risley: Indiana vs Penn State Recap

Indiana had been excelling at guarding the 3-point line during Big Ten play leading up to Saturday’s matchup, ranking first overall in 3-point field goal percentage defense through 10 league contests.

On Saturday, Penn State displayed an almost total system failure in stopping Penn State’s outside shooting barrage despite their reputation for 3-point accuracy.

Penn State managed to hit 12 of 22 attempts from distance, or 54.5 percent.

Only a handful of Nittany Lion makes in the first half were competitive, but once their offensive rhythm started rolling it was hard to stop them.

Jameel Brown hit four triples, as did Zach Hicks. Ace Baldwin Jr. added three, with D’Marco Dunn accounting for another one of Penn State’s 12 3s.

As Ryan Corazza pointed out on The Minute After, Saturday’s loss may have been Woodson’s most disappointing in Bloomington.

Woodson had already reached nearly halfway through Year 3, when his Hoosiers lost to a team formed almost solely from transfer portal players under first-year coach Mike Rhoades’ guidance last spring. Although just beginning program development at University Park, Rhoades found no difficulty winning in Assembly Hall after making his debut appearance this spring.

Woodson earned praise and commendations for leading his program into the NCAA tournament within his first two seasons as coach.

Now in February of his third season on the job, Indiana still hasn’t shown any tangible progress under Heebner. They aren’t even in contention for NCAA tournament and they still don’t know their desired style of play.

Indiana should expect to win most games they face; their performance on Saturday was inexcusable for an institution with so many resources and expectations.

Indiana Guard Play Underwhelms There’s no denying Indiana has struggled all season with their guard play, which has been one of their primary points of weakness.

Penn State exploited Indiana’s weaknesses on Saturday with its pressure defense, ability to get around their guard off-the-bounce and 3-point shooting prowess.

Injury issues for Xavier Johnson have certainly played a part, but entering this season with so little guard depth is also a significant contributor.

Trey Galloway’s 3-point shooting has sharply declined and can no longer provide consistent scoring contributions to his team. Gabe Cupps, an untested freshman being asked to fill in for Johnson against some of the nation’s premier guards such as Baldwin Jr. who tallied 22 points and eight assists, proved incapable.

Anthony Leal has shown flashes of talent but was held scoreless during Saturday’s strong effort against Iowa, while CJ Gunn’s lack of development is disappointing.

No matter how hard Woodson has concentrated on building a strong frontcourt, winning at an elite level in college basketball requires elite guard play – something Indiana lacks.

Indiana vs Iowa Recap

Video: Indiana Basketball Weekly W/Steve Risley: Indiana vs Iowa Recap and Penn State Preview!

Indiana Basketball Weekly W/Steve Risley: Indiana vs Iowa Recap and Penn State Preview!

Kelel Ware had limited practice sessions before Tuesday’s matchup as he rehabbed from an ankle injury that forced him to miss games at Wisconsin and Illinois.

Woodson had indicated during a pregame radio show with Don Fischer that it was unclear how many minutes Ware could play; however, after Malik Reneau suffered an early foot injury it quickly became evident that keeping Ware on the floor would be essential to their Hoosiers victory.

Ware wasn’t at her full health during this victory but still managed to battle hard for 35 minutes before falling short in her effort.

The 7-foot sophomore went 8-for-10 from the field and 6-for-11 at free throw line, scoring 23 points and 10 rebounds while being an +13 contributor for Indiana. Additionally, he showed signs of emotion for which is has long been known despite being quite subdued personality.

Woodson noted, “we have tried to coach him into playing better, with more energy. And I thought tonight was especially telling – he actually showed some emotion! Something we hadn’t seen much of all season – but it was nice to see!”

Anthony Leal shines for 22 minutes off the bench Woodson decided to turn to Anthony Leal off of Illinois’ bench during extended minutes against Minnesota, Purdue and Wisconsin after not seeing much playing time against these teams.

Woodson noted Leal earned 16 solid minutes against Illinois by working hard in practice.

Bloomington South product Jordan Wehmiller returned to Indiana University’s basketball floor Tuesday night and delivered one of his most impactful performances since arriving on campus.

Leal went 4-for-6 from the field and made three 3-pointers en route to scoring 13 points in 22 minutes of action. Additionally, he grabbed seven rebounds while providing solid defensive support.

“I gave Leal the game ball after the game; I thought he was huge – 13 points and seven rebounds,” Woodson noted of Leal’s performance. “He defended like crazy. This was a nice carryover because he did well against Illinois.”

Indiana vs Illinois Recap

Video: Indiana Basketball Weekly W/Steve Risley: Indiana vs Illinois Recap

Indiana Basketball Weekly W/Steve Risley: Indiana vs Illinois Recap

Mike Woodson kept to a two-big lineup when Kel’el Ware missed games against Kennesaw State and Wisconsin but switched up against Illinois.

Woodson decided to go with Anthony Walker rather than Payton Sparks due to Ware’s absence for another consecutive game.

Indiana made an adjustment that enabled them to switch more effectively, and as a result their defensive performance over the past two games has greatly improved.

After giving up 1.225 points per possession to Purdue and 1.40 against Wisconsin, Indiana held Illini opponents to only 1.03 per trip.

Illinois finished the day with its lowest effective field goal percentage since their loss against Tennessee on Dec. 9. IU’s defense played an essential role in keeping them competitive throughout the afternoon.

Woodson noted postgame that they played an outstanding defensive game but to come away victorious on the road it takes more effort and focus to find victory.

Woodson employed a shorter rotation, playing all his starters for over 30 minutes each and only two subs – Gabe Cupps and Anthony Leal – saw significant playing time off the bench.

Indiana Hoosiers Fail to Make 3-Point Shot For First Time Since 2010For the first time since Indiana lost 78-46 at home to Wisconsin on February 25, 2010 without making a 3-pointer, Indiana failed to connect on one during Saturday’s loss against Virginia Commonwealth University.

Hoosier shooters attempted two 3-pointers during the first half, then went 0-for-9 in the second.

Under Woodson, Indiana has not prioritized 3-point shooting; nine attempts last month tied Indiana’s season-low from wins against Maryland and Michigan combined in December.

Indiana ranks near the bottom 15 nationally in terms of 3-point percentage; according to KenPom’s data, they only score 20.4 percent from 3-pointers.

KenPom.com ranks Indiana among the lowest 15 in terms of percentage of 3-point field goal attempts at 27 percent, which ranks them near the bottom nationally.

Indiana vs Illinois Preview

Video: Indiana Basketball Weekly W/Steve Risley: Indiana vs Illinois Preview

Indiana Basketball Weekly W/Steve Risley: Indiana vs Illinois Preview

The Illini come into this game off a tough Overtime loss on Wednesday night; the Hoosiers have not played in eight days since a 91-79 road loss to Wisconsin. The Hoosiers have a possible injury situation with Ware, and as always, they are tight-lipped about whether he will play or not.

On offense, the Fighting Illini are adept at shooting 3-pointers at an impressive rate, currently hitting 34.3% from outside and with various options when looking for big buckets.

Indiana ranks 308th nationally for allowed 3-point attempt rate, and opponents are shooting nearly 34% from distance against them this season โ€“ neither factor bodes well for Indiana.

Illinois will look forward to the return of Terrence Shannon Jr. after missing six games due to injury. This game could provide him a great chance to make up lost ground.

Even without Shannon at his full game form, Illinoisโ€™ offense has shown it can still score freely โ€“ something they should continue doing here.

Indiana has struggled to rebound against almost every team itโ€™s faced, ranking below 230th for both offensive and defensive rebounding.

Indiana doesnโ€™t have many reliable options when it comes to breaking the glass, with only Kelโ€™el Ware as an effective scorer and he might not be available Saturday โ€“ even if he does play, Illinois could easily dominate on that end of the court.

Illinois boasts size at every position on its team. Quincy Guerrier, Ty Rodgers and Coleman Hawkins will take advantage of this to maintain a wide margin on the glass.

Indiana excels at shooting 2-pointers and can do it effectively, while Illinois ranks 12th nationally for 2-point rate defense, and most of their opponentsโ€™ shots will come from inside the arc.

Illinois ranks third for Rim and 3-Rate defense per ShotQuality, so opponents will take inefficient shots against them. Indiana stands in at 309th when it comes to offense when considering Rim and 3-Rate rates; Indiana doesnโ€™t rebound well, and they defend the three-point shot poorly. The Hoosiers will be in trouble unless they make drastic changes over the last eight days. Take the Illini and give the -13.5

Indiana vs Wisconsin Recap

Video: Indiana Basketball Weekly W/Steve Risley: IU/Wisconsin Recap

Indiana Basketball Weekly W/Steve Risley: IU/Wisconsin Recap

Indiana was helpless against Wisconsin on Friday as the Badgers came into the matchup as one of the nation’s premier offensive teams, scoring in various ways and offering up one of the strongest offenses nationwide.

Indiana’s defensive performance at the Kohl Center proved futile; Wisconsin was free to do whatever they pleased when they pleased.

Wisconsin outscored Indiana by 91 points and scored an efficient 1.40 point per possession average. It was worse than their performance against Auburn when they lost by 28 and allowed the Tigers to score 1.39 per possession.

Wisconsin shot 69.2 per cent on 2-point attempts and 47.7 per cent on threes; they got to the free throw line 29 times, connecting on 86.2 per cent of their attempts from there.

Defense is essential when traveling the Big Ten Conference, yet on Friday night in Madison the Hoosiers didn’t show any.

Indiana’s defensive metrics continue to decline under Mike Woodson in Year 3. They rank 88th nationally according to KenPom’s adjusted defensive efficiency rankings after 19 games, according to their current record.

Continued Flagrant Fouls Show Lack of Discipline Indiana was flagrantly fouled three out of the last four games and, for the second straight road game, saw one player ejected due to flagrant two fouls.

Woodson noted on his postgame radio interview with Don Fischer that CJ Gunn had caused Friday’s “flare up.”

Fourth-year guard Max Klesmit poked Gunn in the face near Wisconsin bench in the second half and instead of taking up Klesmit’s bait by not responding, Gunn responded with an elbow strike to Klesmit’s head.

Gunn was promptly dismissed from the production.

Gunn’s ejection did not directly contribute to Indiana’s defeat; in his five minutes on the court he went 0-for-1 without any rebounds or assists – rather it served as another sign of their lack of discipline as a team.

Indiana lacks the mental toughness needed to remain competitive when times become difficult, giving in instead to mental crumbling and instead resorting to cheap shots as Gunn or Johnson did recently instead of responding with play.

Indiana’s 19 game winning streak remains underwhelming and few signs of progress have emerged thus far.

Indiana vs Purdue Recap and Wisconsin Preview!

Video: Indiana Basketball Weekly W/Steve Risley: IU/Purdue Recap, and IU/Wisconsin Recap

Indiana Basketball Weekly W/Steve Risley: IU/Purdue Recap, and IU/Wisconsin Recap

Mike Woodson’s decision to auto-bench Kel’el Ware and Mackenzie Mgbako with two fouls early was one that ultimately backfired.

Indiana trailed 10-7 at 15:30 with Mgbako having scored seven of Indiana’s initial nine points and taking his turn off of the bench.

Ware was placed on the bench with two fouls at 13:40, with Indiana trailing 11-9.

At 3 minutes and 33 seconds into the second quarter, Indiana trailed 39-25; when Ware returned at the 2:14 mark, they trailed 43-25.

Benching players with two fouls to save them for the second half can sometimes work, but on Tuesday, it did not. Indiana fell too far behind before Woodson could bring both players back into play.

“We fell behind so quickly,” Woodson lamented postgame. “I brought him back around the two or three-minute mark right around halftime; however, looking back, I probably should have brought him back sooner; unfortunately, I didn’t.”

Woodson eventually brought Mgbako and Ware back, but by that time the game had already become insurmountable. Mgbako finished with two fouls while Ware had three.

Indiana gambled big on Xavier Johnson and it hasn’t paid offInstead of signing another point guard last spring, Indiana decided to keep Xavier Johnson as its point guard for yet another season – an indecisive move which has not shown positive results yet.

Johnson’s injuries have been out of his control, yet his on-court performance and behavior has been disappointing.

Sixth-year guard and one of the oldest players in college basketball, one of his two flagrant fouls came against Purdue for two games in a row.

Since returning at Nebraska on Jan. 3 Johnson has only been effective in one of Indiana’s five games since then – scoring 18 points against Ohio State on Jan 6 while totaling four points, six assists, and 11 turnovers during its other four matches.

Johnson played 19 minutes against Purdue on Tuesday and shot 0-for-5 from the field, tallying two rebounds, two turnovers, two steals, a blocked shot, no assists and three fouls.

Hoosiers had no answer for Zach Edey and it appears he will win national player of the year again this season.

On Tuesday night, Indiana was no match for this 7-foot-4 center’s impressive dominance over Indiana.

Edey scored 33 points on 11-for-23 shooting from the field and 11-for-12 performance from free throw line, playing 36 minutes while collecting 14 rebounds.

Indiana did an admirable job of keeping Edey from collecting offensive rebounds – he pulled down only two. When Edey got settled into his post position, however, they paid dearly.

Woodson admitted his team was missing Trayce Jackson-Davis and Race Thompson due to injuries, so Woodson needed to address how his two big guys can become tougher and improve Edey’s approach in terms of playing tough. “That will have an effect,” he noted. “That will require me to work on that myself – it is something we are currently working towards.”

Indiana vs Minnesota Recap and Purdue Preview

Video: Indiana Basketball Weekly W/Steve Risley: IU/Minnesota and IU/Purdue

Indiana Basketball Weekly W/Steve Risley: IU/Minnesota and IU/Purdue

After suffering their second consecutive loss to Rutgers at Jersey Mike’s Arena on Tuesday night, Indiana must show more energy, fight, and cohesion to move forward successfully.

That was exactly the case from the opening tip against Minnesota.

Indiana made their presence felt against Minnesota with a solid defensive effort and took great care in terms of ball control on offense, contributing to an impressive start for them.

Hoosiers raced out to an 11-2 lead early, never relinquishing it and leading by as many as 21 points in the second half. Minnesota coach Ben Johnson claimed postgame that his team spent most of the evening trying to catch up.

“I felt confident going into the game that the scouting report would be perfectly tailored, and they followed it from the outset,” Mike Woodson noted. “Our focus on defense allowed us to keep their guards at bay in terms of getting downhill; instead we focused on not giving out too many straight-line drives where help had to come quickly. ”

Minnesota appeared unnerved by the level of defensive pressure applied on their ball, making their offensive attack appear out-of-sync with reality.

Minnesota opened up with several wild misses and never found their range beyond 3-point range, shooting just 3-for-20 from deep.

Mackenzie Mgbako had his best performance yet as a Hoosier on Friday in their win against Illinois State. Mgbako displayed all aspects of his offensive arsenal, from blocking to his full offensive arsenal on Friday’s win.

Gladstone, New Jersey five-star forward Jakobi Meyer has typically relied on his outside shot but used his strength to drive hard toward the basket against Minnesota.

Mgbako wasn’t content to stop at the rim alone; when not making his shot he took advantage of every opportunity at free throw line to attempt seven free throws and convert five.

He scored 19 points in 34 minutes to lead his team in scoring.

Mgbako’s defense was the key factor. Due to his defensive shortcomings this season, Mgbako has had limited minutes played on Friday; however, due to his outstanding effort on Friday he managed to stay out for 34 minutes of game action, which marks a career high for him.

Woodson commented, “He has put in the hard work.” All coaches can do to maximize results is teach and push as we continue on this journey together.

1-1-1/2-1 for more.

Indiana vs Rutgers Recap and Indiana vs Minnesota Preview Show

Video: Indiana Basketball Weekly W/Steve Risley: IU/Rutgers Recap and IU/Minnesota Preview!

Indiana Basketball Weekly W/Steve Risley: IU/Rutgers Recap and IU/Minnesota Preview!

Indiana was anticipating that Xavier Johnson’s return, following a seven-game absence, would strengthen its backcourt.

Johnson performed well against Ohio State on Saturday but has been an issue in road losses at Nebraska and Rutgers. His play and decision-making on Tuesday at Rutgers were especially disappointing.

Sixth-year point guard Avery Johnson turned over five times. He was ejected early in the second half for taking an aggressive shot at Antwone Woolfolk below the belt after Woolfolk knocked Johnson to the floor with 13 minutes remaining and reviewed after Woolfolk knocked Johnson off balance with just over 13 minutes remaining. The replay showed Johnson hitting Woolfolk in his groin area – considered a flagrant two and an automatic ejection.

During an important road game for Indiana, Johnson made an unfortunate choice: striking an opponent below the belt and risking ejection rather than remaining available for his team and offering leadership. That isn’t good leadership.

Johnson is one of Indiana’s two appointed team captains but has struggled to play like one. Over 38 minutes against Nebraska and Rutgers, he scored only two points while committing nine turnovers.

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Indiana vs Ohio State Recap and Indiana vs Rutgers Preview Show

Video: Indiana Basketball Weekly W/Steve Risley: IU/Ohio State recap and IU?Rutgers Preview

Indiana Basketball Weekly W/Steve Risley: IU/Ohio State recap and IU?Rutgers Preview

Indiana and Rutgers face each other in this critical matchup for both teams, as Indiana is coming off an impressive win against Ohio State at home, while Rutgers sits 0-3 in Big Ten play and faces Michigan State later this weekend – Rutgers must not lose this contest to remain relevant while Indiana needs a victory to show that its gains against OSU were real and show that its improvements against them are real as well.

Rutgers Hope to Revamp Offense

Offensively, the Scarlet Knights have been an absolute nightmare – shooting 29.1% from 3-point range and 45.3% from 2-point distance.

Rutgers University regularly accesses the free-throw line, shooting 67% from there – meaning Indiana won’t find scoring easy.

Rutgers lacks accuracy with its shots, ranking 285th nationally for Rim and 3 Rate; Indiana holds onto an edge here by ranking 63rd for Rim-and-3 Rate Allowance; Rutgers ranks 341st offensively, while Indiana sits 80th defensively when it comes to Open 3 Rate.

Rutgers has seen some reduction in its ability to rebound the ball since last season. Indiana currently ranks 237th for offensive rebounding and 200th on defense – which indicates that each team may only receive one shot per possession and could allow an average of only one put-back attempt per possession from either side. Don’t expect many put-backs attempts unless Clifford Omoruyi scores some baskets!

Rutgers is a slower-paced team than Indiana, ranking 185th overall for Adjusted Tempo and 357th in terms of average defensive time of possession at 18.8 seconds per possession on average.

Hoosiers Hope to Earn Win at Rutgers

Indiana ranks 94th in Adjusted Offensive Efficiency and 98th in Adjusted Defensive Efficiency. They come in 110th for Adjusted Tempo, but their 17.5 second per possession defense average ranks 215th in terms of average.

Indiana Hoosiers stand out on offense with 34% 3-point shooting and 54.2% inside-perimeter shooting, ranking them 355th for 3-point attempt rate but 14th in free throw attempt rate, although their threes may not have increased significantly recently.

According to Shot Quality, Indiana ranks 97th for points per possession at the rim while Rutgers ranks 21st defensively. Indiana may not shoot many 3-pointers but still ranks 219th in Open 3-Rate Rate and 38th overall for Open 3-Rate Allowance Rate; compare this against Rutgers who ranks 38th overall in Open 3-Rate Allowance Rate.

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Rutgers is the favorite in this matchup due to their home court advantage and should dominate this contest if Indiana can avoid foul trouble and keep Johnson, Reneau and Ware out of foul trouble. Take Indiana +3.5.

Indiana vs Nebraska Preview

Video: Indiana Basketball Weekly W/Steve Risley: Indiana vs Nebraska Preview and Kennesaw State Recap

Indiana Basketball Weekly W/Steve Risley: Indiana vs Nebraska Preview and Kennesaw State Recap

Big Ten conference play has officially kicked into high gear, and Wednesday marks a highly-anticipated matchup between Nebraska Cornhuskers and Indiana Hoosiers.

Nebraska has been one of the biggest surprises so far in the Big Ten this season, losing only twice to Creighton and Minnesota while recording impressive wins against Michigan State, Kansas State and Duquesne.

Indiana stands at 10-3 with losses against UConn, Auburn and Kansas and top-100 KenPom victories over Maryland and Michigan.

However, Nebraska does not boast the most illustrious resume and both teams boast comparable defenses. Indiana is an underdog by six points at home – can the Hoosiers keep this matchup competitive?

Indiana Hoosiers focus on getting the ball inside, shooting 55.3% from inside the arc while only shooting threes 25.7% of the time. Of their points scored this season, 59.7% have come from 2-point range with 22.5% coming via free throws.

Keep an eye on Kel’el Ware and Xavier Johnson, who could both be out. Ware is recovering from illness; thus, having at least one 3-point threat would help with the flow of this offense.

Nebraska’s interior defense has been impressive. They rank sixth for points allowed per possession at the rim per Shot Quality and 16th in free throw attempt rate defensive free throw attempt rate – but with a 297th strength of schedule ranking overall their strength of schedule rankings may have allowed them to boost defensive numbers through weak competition.

Indiana has struggled to rebound this season. Indiana ranks 226th in Offensive Rebounding Rate and 139th in Defensive Rebounding Rate; Nebraska stands out at 66th offensively and 161st defensively – not an overwhelming advantage compared to Indiana, although Rienk Mast, one of Nebraska’s best rebounders recently underwent knee surgery could give Indiana an edge here.Nebraska shoots an abundance of threes on offense; ranking 32nd in 3-point Attempt Rate and Indiana yielding 34.7% from deep; however, Nebraska only collectively shoots 32.9% outside the arc collectively – ranking them 254th for Open 3 Rate while Indiana holds up well defensively (96th defensive ranking).

Hoosiers should possess an edge when facing Nebraska’s offensive attack; only CJ Wilcher and Juwan Gary have meaningful minutes while shooting above 35%.

Nebraska does not frequent the free throw line frequently despite not fouling often on defense; their Free Throw Attempt Rate of 116th ranks them 116th overall while Indiana ranks 62nd defensively so this could be an area of strength for Indiana even on the road.

Indiana and Nebraska can both slow the opposing pace with effective defensive tactics, with Nebraska ranking 343rd at 18.4 seconds per possession while Indiana comes in 215th with 17.4 seconds per possession on defense. This may play an integral part of this contest as less possessions between these teams could mean closer matchups.

Indiana vs Morehead State Recap and North Alabama Preview!

Video: Indiana Basketball Weekly W/Steve Risley: Indiana vs Morehead State Recap and IU/No. Alabama Preview

Indiana Basketball Weekly W/Steve Risley: Indiana vs Morehead State Recap and IU/No. Alabama Preview

Join Mike Goodpaster, Former Hoosier Steve Risley and Brian Mohr as they recap a come-from-behind Hoosier win! After an unexpectedly close contest, Indiana pulled through to beat Morehead State 69-68 at Assembly Hall Tuesday evening.

Indiana appeared listless early against Morehead State after dominating No. 2 Kansas for nearly 35 minutes on Saturday. It was an 11-point deficit against a team that had lost its previous three road games against high-major opponents by an average of 28.3 points. Indiana struggled to hit shots, allowing Morehead State’s Jordan Lathon to establish rhythm and gain confidence in their offense. Indiana finished an inauspicious 3-for-9 from the free throw line and 0-for-6 on 3-pointers during the first half. Indiana made their poor performance even worse at the end of the half, as Hoosiers holding for one final shot turned over the ball and allowed it to be stolen away, leading them downcourt for an easy dunk that extended their lead beyond double figures.

“Well, again it wasn’t real pretty,” Mike Woodson lamented of his halftime conversation with his team. “Based on how we were playing. We were awful. However, you have to give them credit because they competed through the first half.” Indiana struggled against lesser opponents during its initial three games against Florida Gulf Coast, Army and Wright State – all three being early November contests.

As Big Ten play resumes and we head toward the Big Ten season quickly it may be too late to address Indiana’s energy issue. Miami (FL) transfer Anthony Walker produced an outstanding performance in his first IU game and proved invaluable as they needed every point he produced to capture the victory. Walker scored 10 of his team-leading 18 points in the second half. He went 7-11 from the field and made his inaugural three-pointer while wearing an Indiana uniform.

Woodson extolled Walker for being “phenomenal, deserving the MVP honor tonight”. Walker played 22 minutes, had 18 points and nine rebounds for Indiana during their game on November 19th; Woodson stated this as one of Walker’s finest performances since becoming part of their lineup. They needed every bit of his efforts to defeat Morehead State and win this matchup tonight. Walker earned nine rebounds thanks to his hustle, as he brings much energy into each game he enters. Walker made it clear in preseason that he takes pride in playing hard – something which he has certainly shown on this Indiana team. “Woody trusting me in specific games gives me tremendous confidence,” Walker stated postgame.

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