News and notes from Mike Woodson’s radio show

  • 02/13/2024 7:58 am in

Don Fischer was joined by Indiana associate head coach Kenya Hunter, who was filling in for head coach Mike Woodson, on Monday night’s “Inside IU basketball” radio show.

The two covered topics from leadership to the loss at Purdue and the upcoming game against Northwestern.

Here are news and notes from this week’s show:

• Hunter said the week off is a “good thing” for Indiana, who is coming off a 79-59 loss to No. 2 Purdue. Hunter added that it’s important for Indiana to fix some things during this week and look ahead to their final seven games.

• Hunter optimistically mentioned that four of Indiana’s next seven are at home and two of them are on the road against teams Indiana has already beaten at home.

• On Indiana’s inexperience and how it impacts defense: “We have a lot of young guys that are playing a lot of minutes… They don’t have the understanding of help the helper sometimes. We’ve fallen short in that area.”

• In terms of leadership, Hunter mentioned that Indiana has missed Xavier Johnson’s on-court leadership with his injuries. However, Hunter also said leadership, in general, has fallen a bit short this season. He said Malik Reneau has been stepping up and becoming more vocal.

• On Anthony Leal: “He’s a guy that you root for because you see all the effort and energy he puts on the floor,” Hunter said. “When the opportunity presents itself he needs to shoot…we need him out there because he understands what coach Woodson wants on the defensive end…he’s always about the front of the jersey.”

• Trey Galloway has established himself as a focal point of Indiana’s offense. Hunter says the shooting splits are likely down because of that. Instead of being catch-and-shoot, Galloway is forced to create off the dribble and opponents have a game plan for him.

• More on Galloway: “He actually has become our playmaker with Xavier out… he has to be the guard for us on the perimeter and make opportunities for himself and others,” Hunter said. “He’s one of our best players on our team… it’s a new role for him.”

• Hunter said the Purdue game became tough when Kel’el Ware went out with two fouls because they couldn’t single-cover Zach Edey. “We did not run good offense to begin the second half and that kinda put us in a hole.”

• On CJ Gunn’s career-high 13 points at Purdue: “Hopefully for CJ, that can give him confidence.” He said that they “need that” from him.

• While Hunter acknowledged the bench has been underwhelming this year, he mentioned the key to finding consistency is in one of Woodson’s philosophies: making whether you play one minute, five minutes or 10 minutes your best minutes.

• Hunter acknowledged that Purdue swept the Hoosiers this winter but also added that Indiana had won three of the last four matchups entering this season. “I guarantee you we will be back,” Hunter said.

• According to Hunter, Indiana spent today working on some offensive things and will use the next three days to focus on team-oriented work and how they can improve. After the off day on Thursday, Indiana will switch focus to preparing for Northwestern.

• On Northwestern: “They’re a physical team, their bigs are definitely physical…A team, like Purdue, in that that don’t beat themselves,” Hunter said. Hunter expects Northwestern starting guard Ty Berry to be back and emphasizes defending the 3-point line in transition.

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