News and notes from Mike Woodson’s radio show

  • 12/19/2023 7:41 am in

For the last time in the 2023 calendar year, Don Fischer hosted “Inside Indiana Basketball” with Mike Woodson at the Chop Shop Market and Table in Bloomington.

Indiana is coming off a four-point home loss to Kansas and will host Morehead State Tuesday night. Topics ranged from George McGinnis and updates on former IU players to the Kansas loss, while former Hoosier Race Thompson also joined the show.

Here’s a recap of what Woodson had to say:

• Woodson mentioned that he felt some calls didn’t go Indiana’s way on Saturday, but that the Hoosiers didn’t do the things necessary to win down the stretch. “I thought Malik (Reneau) really got hammered in the middle… but when the game is that close you gotta make free throws, gotta rebound and get stops.”

• On the environment against Kansas: “The fanbase has been that way for 40 years… it was really nice to see the turnout. We needed it… I appreciate them to the utmost, we’re going to need them the rest of the way.”

• The Kansas game was also huge for Indiana from a recruiting perspective. Indiana hosted seven recruits, including official visits for Joson Sanon and Bryson Tiller. Woodson said multiple recruits told him they were impressed with the environment and mentioned it was unfortunate they couldn’t “pull out the win for them.”

• Woodson says he felt IU played for 35 or 36 minutes against the Jayhawks but he always preaches playing a full 40. “This is the first game, a close game, where we just didn’t close it… you have to learn how to win. It’s not just given to you. And we have to learn how to win.”

• Woodson said after Trey Galloway’s quick start against Kansas he drew up some plays for him. “This was really a breakout game. I hope he can continue to build on that and grow… he’s a senior, and I’m just happy as hell he had a game like that. Because he’s been on a rollercoaster.”

• On the passing of George McGinnis: “Our friendship never wavered. I just spoke to him after the Michigan win… when you talk about Indiana basketball here in the state he sits right at the top… I’m going to miss him and his beautiful smile and the person he was off the court.” Woodson says he first met McGinnis when he was a sophomore in high school.

• Woodson says, Gabe Cupps gets by with his toughness and will to compete. “I didn’t come into this season to play Gabe Cupps 38 minutes.” He says Cupps’ effort has been a nice surprise with the injury to Xavier Johnson injury.

• More on the Johnson injury: “He’s still gonna be out.” Added he has not been back on the floor yet but has gotten work in on the stationary bike.

• Woodson on Miller Kopp being a part of the Oklahoma City Thunder G-league team: “He’s playing well. He’s making some 3s and they’re winning a few games here and there.”

• Former IU forward Race Thompson joined the show. He is in Bloomington rehabbing a knee injury that occurred earlier this fall when he was with the New York Knicks. He fractured his tibia, tore his meniscus and partially tore his ACL while trying to block a shot.

• Thompson gave a few thoughts on this year’s Indiana squad after traveling with and being around the team. He first mentioned the importance of Johnson’s presence or lack thereof. Thompson also said he’s happy to see Malik Reneau improve as a vocal leader and how important the summer was for Cupps to go against Johnson, who he called one of the fastest players in the Big Ten.

• Thompson on Trayce Jackson-Davis and his rookie season: “It’s just fun to turn on the Golden State Warriors and see Trayce about to check in and playing with guys like Steph (Curry) and Klay (Thompson)… He’s a hard guy not to like. He’s a good person above all.”

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