2022-23 Indiana basketball player profile: Malik Reneau

  • 10/13/2022 9:03 am in

With the start of college basketball season on the horizon, we’ve transitioned from our look at other Big Ten programs to our player-by-player previews of the 2022-23 Indiana roster.

Today, our player profiles begin with a look at freshman Malik Reneau.

Malik Reneau wasn’t supposed to be a Hoosier. Or maybe he was always meant to be one.

The Miami native originally committed to Florida, but when head coach Mike White took a job at Georgia, Reneau reopened his recruitment. He committed to Mike Woodson and Indiana a little over a month later.

The 6-foot-9 power forward comes from Montverde Academy, a Florida school incredibly well-known for its basketball talent. The school has produced Ben Simmons, D’Angelo Russell, Joel Embiid and many other NBA players. Reneau and fellow Hoosier Jalen Hood-Schifino are both Montverde graduates, and expectations loom large for both.

“I was with him when he de-committed,” Hood-Schifino said on a Zoom call over the summer. “As soon as that happened, I texted my coaches. I was like, we have to get Malik. As soon as I said that, the coaches got on him and they did a great job of recruiting him.”

Reneau helped lead his team to back-to-back GEICO High School national championships in high school, averaging 14.3 points and 8.3 rebounds per game at the GEICO Nationals his senior year. In the 2021-22 season, he averaged 11.9 points and 6.6 rebounds per game.

A part of the fifth-ranked recruiting class in the country, per 247Sports, Reneau is a highly touted five-star recruit who boasts an impressive resumé in rankings alone. ESPN ranked him the 22nd-best player in the nation’s recruiting class, and he was ranked 25th by Rivals and 27th by 247Sports.

Since arriving in Bloomington over the summer, Reneau has already made significant improvements on and off the court.

“My body has changed tremendously,” Reneau said at IU basketball’s media day. “Just cutting down, trimming down, and just really getting stronger in the weight room because that’s a big key for playing Big Ten basketball because there’s a lot of big, strong big men down there.”

At 6-foot-9, Reneau has good reach and stretch and can move around the basket quickly and with agility. While he’s primarily known for his work closer to the basket, Reneau also showed he could shoot and make 3-pointers in high school. Perimeter shooting isn’t Reneau’s specialty, but he could be called upon to take those shots on occasion.

There are few questions about what Indiana’s starting lineup will look like, but Reneau has a chance to be brought in early off the bench if he can live up to expectations. A true post player, Reneau is a solid presence near the basket and has good awareness on and off the ball.

Like all freshmen, Reneau will have a lot to adjust to as the season starts. Conditioning and growth are always beneficial, but the end result is never clear until the season actually begins. He’ll have to prove himself on both ends of the court, but it seems like he’s already accomplishing that.

“He was already a Big Ten body,” Trayce Jackson-Davis said at IU basketball’s media day. “The first week or so he was killing everyone. We couldn’t guard him. And so we kind of had to figure out his moves and what he did, but he’s a really really solid player. He has really good footwork. We’re going to just continue to have him under our wing and just get him ready to play, because he’s going to have a lot of significant minutes.”

Reneau has the added benefit of playing alongside Hood-Schifino in high school, so the two already know how the other plays. Both are expected to be big contributors this season, and that previous knowledge and comfort could come in handy for both players.

Bottom Line: Reneau is sure to be a very positive addition for Indiana off the bench this season. His skills on offense are highly regarded and he’s seemingly had no problem adjusting to the college level. He’ll have more to adjust to when the season begins, but he seems prepared for that, and the rest of the team believes in his abilities. Confidence and maturity will be key for him as a freshman coming onto the NCAA stage. All signs point to Reneau as a solid player on offense and defense, and he could easily be a big contributor, even as a freshman.

Quotable: “He’s an outstanding offensive player who continues to expand his game. He has great touch and tremendous footwork and he uses his quickness to his advantage. He has a great Basketball IQ and is an unselfish teammate who has benefitted from working with and against some very talented players on a daily basis. Defensively, he is well suited to today’s game. He keeps his man in front of him and can step out in pick and roll situations and hold his own.” – Mike Woodson after Reneau committed to Indiana.

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