Video, Quotes: Mike Woodson, IU players react to win against Florida Gulf Coast

  • 11/07/2023 9:31 pm in

Mike Woodson, Kel’el Ware and Trey Galloway addressed the media following Indiana’s 69-63 win against Florida Gulf Coast on Tuesday at Assembly Hall.

Watch both press conferences below:

A full transcript is available below, via ASAP Sports:

Q. Coach, your thoughts on Gabe Cupps’ impact? I know he didn’t have big stats, but his play with that smaller lineup in that 14-0 run.

MIKE WOODSON: He’s a winner. That’s the first time I’ve had an opportunity to play he and X some extended minutes. Especially in crunch time you don’t expect that, but I felt comfortable enough with Gabe in the game. I’ve seen him enough plays.

He’s capable of hanging in there and making basketball plays. I thought he was tremendous on both ends.

Q. This is probably a question better asked once you can watch film, but how do you parse a game like that, the good in some individual performances, the struggles, some defensively, the fact that it’s opening night. How do you break that apart for your team?

MIKE WOODSON: Again, I mean, the things I look at is from a defensive standpoint, we held them to 63 points, and that’s kind of in the ballpark where we want to be from a defensive standpoint.

It was all the missed cues on the backside of our defense that we just weren’t executing. I got to get that fixed and clean it up.

We were pretty good the last two years in that regard. And, you know, free throws. I mean, we just got to step up to the line and make them.

I mean, that’s the difference in winning and losing games a lot of nights. We weren’t very good tonight shooting them.

Q. Mike, with Malik Reneau, is he the most comfortable you got attacking the basket? How careful does he have to be? He had that one exchange, six points to start the second half, picks up his third foul right away. What do you tell him when he comes out in that moment?

MIKE WOODSON: That’s where Payton, becomes valuable to us as well. Not having him gives you another center, another big body that you can play.

But Malik has to be smarter. I think he’s a lot better than he was last season. Hell, he came in the game and he looked at somebody and get a foul.

So in that regard they’re letting him play a little bit this year. He’s just got to be smart, especially coming down the stretch, not getting silly fouls.

Q. Mike, you called a timeout with Florida Gulf Coast up 6. After that you went on a 14-0 run. Looked like the defense picked up noticeably, the pressure out there did after that. What did you say during that timeout and what were the instructions?

MIKE WOODSON: I had no choice but to call a timeout. They had gone on a nice little run, and I drew up a play, we came out of the timeout, got a bucket, and then our defense just — you know, we got a double team on the side of the floor over by their bench, which was a big steal and converted that into a bucket as well.

But make no mistake, it was our defense coming down the stretch that got us back. The fans got into it and that was very helpful getting us on a roll. That was enough just to bring it home for us.

Q. Yeah, after that you went to the three-guard set. I think you guys scored on six straight possessions. What made the offense run better with the three guards?

MIKE WOODSON: Again, they were small, too, you know. I mean, I was basically looking at it from a defensive standpoint, and it’s always good. I feel good with all three of those guys handling the basketball. If we run a pick and role offense they all three are capable of making plays out of the pick and roll.

You got to give them credit. Their defense was I thought solid as hell. Their rotations were right on and they stymied the ball in our pick and rolls to the point we couldn’t get it out quick enough to that pass leading to something good.

And that’s something we just got to get better at.

Q. How much better are you offensively as a team when Trey could have a night like tonight, 7 of 9 shooting, 16 points, and really attacking basket when he had chances?

MIKE WOODSON: Well, we’re a lot better, but my concern is CJ and Kaleb and Mackenzie. All three of those guys are capable of scoring too, so when they’re in the game I got to get them comfortable number one, and they got to figure out what the hell we’re doing from a defensive standpoint. A lot of that was missed cues on their part.

I got a lot of work to do, put it that way.

Q. Seemed like down the stretch your captains, X and Trey, stepped up with some big plays. How much did you see those guys step up in moments like that?

MIKE WOODSON: Well, X and Trey are seniors; they’re supposed to step up. You know, the freshman, he’s a freshman, but didn’t play like a freshman. He’s capable of making plays. I mean, I followed this kid for some time now. That’s why he’s wearing an Indiana uniform. He’s a winner. He’s not going to get it right all the time, but he does a lot of winning plays that help you win games.

That excites me.

Q. When you talk about the issues you had with the defensive rotations, what goes into practice and film work fixing that and getting it right?

MIKE WOODSON: Reps, reps, over and over reps. You know, that’s the only way you are going to learn it and then demonstrate it once you get to the games.

Then once you figure it out, it becomes natural. Right now we’re guessing, thinking too much. That’s on me.

Q. Kel’el had a great game tonight. What do you think he did best? Anything you see that he needs to improve on even in a game like tonight?

MIKE WOODSON: Well, he played a lot of minutes tonight, but he plugged the hole up for us and got a few blocks, rebounded the ball for us. I don’t need him to do much more. Just continue to do that. When he’s around the bucket I expect him to finish and make his damn free throws. That’s what it’s all about.

Q. Trey, wanted to ask about the three-guard lineup and you guys closing the game down the stretch. What goes into the cohesiveness of that unit?

TREY GALLOWAY: Yeah, I think it was a good job down the stretch of finding ways to get stops. It’s got to be the whole game. No matter what lineup it is, we got to do a better job on the defensive end and know our coverages and what we need to do on the backside.

So I think just whatever lineup it is, finding ways to be better and get better. Obviously they made a lot of threes and we got to be able to limit that more.

Q. Trey, when you see a freshman like Gabe in crunch time getting those minutes, season opener as a true freshman, what goes through your head? What impresses you the most since you’ve been here a long time?

TREY GALLOWAY: Yeah, I thought he did a great job coming in, stepping up in a big time moment. I think he was really good at talking and kind of just staying poised.

So good to see that, and know we can rely on him and trust him in crunch time. I think just him staying ready and being ready off the bench was good.

Q. Kel’el, you came out had a couple blocked shots early, got into the flow. What did it mean to you in your first Indiana game to demonstrate what you can do at your best?

KEL’EL WARE: Every night it’s just going to be a night that not even just me, but the whole team just come out and play hard and just going to have to try our best to win the game and show the fans what this team is capable of.

Q. Kel’el, I guess guys talk at different times about their offense getting them into a game, their defense getting them into a game. What is it for you when you can score like you can, the rebounds, three blocks in the first half, four assists in the second half, just staying involved, whatever it is, at both ends?

KEL’EL WARE: Well, it’s a 40-minute game, so no matter what it is, if I can just get a block at one point or even just get a rebound and run at the end and get a fast break, it’s like I said a 40-minute game, so we can just score throughout the whole game.

Q. Trey, what did a game like this show you about yourselves? You guys really never took over this game. Almost did, but then they got back into it. What did it show you about this team?

TREY GALLOWAY: I mean, obviously we wanted to be up more because we’re capable of that. But I liked our fight when we got down six late in the second half, because you could easily break there and kind of fall apart.

We made that run and got back in it with our intensity and defensive energy and our stance. So I think just knowing that we got guys willing to fight when things aren’t going well, I like to see that.

Obviously we got to be better and not put ourselves in that position, but to be able to climb out of that and come out with a win was huge for us.

Q. Kel’el, with you being by the rim, wanted to ask you, you get the best view of it. What are you seeing that is causing you guys to break down a little bit off the ball in your rotations?

KEL’EL WARE: I feel like it’s just miscommunication. Once we get the communication down I feel like we’ll be well, even just when, you know, off the ball and getting back to our minutes.

Q. Trey, how important is it for and you X and Malik, the guys that have been with this program for a while, to step up in moments like did you in the second half?

TREY GALLOWAY: It’s huge. Like you said, we have the time and time spent here the longest and we know what it takes to win at the highest level.

I think just pulling guys along and knowing that it’s not going to be easy like it was tonight. That’s the big thing for us really, just focus on the task at hand, one possession at a time, and try to fight for the win.

Q. Trey, you guys gave up 13 threes tonight; a lot of them were clean looks. What did you see break down to give them those looks and those threes?

TREY GALLOWAY: I think just missed communication and knowing our spots, knowing where we need to be. They made a lot of shots, but a lot of the those we could have affected more. I think just going back and watching film and knowing what they need to do next time to prevent that from happening.

I think just going back and watching it and really getting a look at it. I can’t really tell right now, but a lot of missed communication and not being in our spots at the right time. We’ll work on it and get better.

Q. On Malik specifically, obviously last season he kind of would fall into foul trouble issues and was headed down that road again tonight, and then checked in, 12 minutes or whatever it was and played without fouling and really made a lot of big plays. How much have you seen him grow in that way since last year?

TREY GALLOWAY: Yeah, our biggest thing is we want him on the floor. I think in the off-season telling him we need you on the floor and you can’t foul. Obviously last year he had a lot of times where he got in foul trouble and a lot of the dumb fouls.

So him being disciplined and not gambling, because he had that one, got him the third foul. So I think just knowing we need him out there and to not gamble will be huge for him to stay on the floor because we need him.

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