News and notes from Mike Woodson’s radio show

  • 03/05/2024 6:10 am in

Mike Woodson joined Don Fischer for his weekly radio show, “Inside Indiana Basketball with Mike Woodson” Monday night to recap Indiana’s last two games, both of which were wins over Wisconsin and Maryland, snapping Indiana’s four-game losing streak.

Woodson also previewed the Hoosiers’ upcoming game against Minnesota.

• Woodson noted how everyone on the team has contributed in Indiana’s last two games. Woodson praised Trey Galloway (12 assists) and Kel’el Ware (27 points, 11 rebounds, five blocks) for the Hoosiers’ win against Wisconsin.

• On Xavier Johnson’s return: “He’s always been a big piece to the puzzle. Not having him for over half of the season was tough.”

• On Gabe Cupps taking on a bigger role as a point guard: “Gabe has handled his own. He’s been good for us …he’s learned on the job and it’s something I think he’ll benefit down the road from.”

• Woodson praised Xavier Johnson’s ability to bring toughness and quickness to Indiana, calling him the “head of the snake” that helped Indiana get into the NCAA Tournament two years ago.

• Woodson said he was very happy with how Johnson and Galloway played in Indiana’s comeback win over Maryland. “I thought they controlled the second half beautifully,” he said, saying they both changed the game in terms of their speed on the floor.

• On Indiana’s back-to-back wins after its four-game losing streak: “Any time you win, it helps a lot. When we went through the four-game losing streak, it was tough. It was tough on everybody …but you just can’t lie down, you have to keep working. I’ve always said that.”

• On Indiana’s comeback against Maryland: “We stunk the first half, we really did. We regrouped in the second half, our defense picked up, and we started making shots and made our free throws and were rebounding the basketball, so a lot of good things happened for our ball club in the second half. The result was a win.”

• Woodson said just about everything has come into play in Indiana’s last two games; the team was taking and making good shots, rebounding the ball well and making free throws.

• Woodson said the overall theme of the team is winning the rebounding game and “being friendly” on offense in terms of passing the ball around.

• On Trey Galloway: “He has done very well here of late in terms of orchestrating our offense and getting the ball where it has to go, and still having to play defense. He normally has to guard the toughest perimeter guy on opposing teams …we need every bit of his minutes while he’s out there. I’m very pleased with Trey and how he’s played for us this season.”

• On Malik Reneau’s continued foul trouble: “We got him playing the four, and a lot of the perimeter players that are fours are maybe a little quicker, smaller. But I think that’s where his game needs to evolve in terms of helping us win basketball games.”

• Woodson added that Reneau needs to move his feet instead of reaching in to try and catch up when he’s guarding opponents.

• On Indiana’s offensive game against Maryland: “We always preach about advancing the ball. If someone’s ahead of you, let it go.”

• Woodson said Indiana didn’t focus a lot on getting the ball in the post against Maryland because the Hoosiers were finding success in the pick-and-roll game and Kel’el Ware and Mackenzie Mgabko were getting good looks outside of the post.

• Woodson said Indiana’s fast-tempo play against Maryland was how the team “envisions” itself to be, but he’s also not afraid to use Ware and Reneau in the post.

• “I still think the college game is played inside-out. You got threes, you take ’em. You can get early transition buckets, you take those as well. You get fouled and you make your free throws, I’ll take that as well,” Woodson said.

• Woodson credited Indiana’s offensive success against Maryland to Indiana’s strong defense, which came alive when the game was tied at 64 in the second half. “You could tell we were going to win the game,” Woodson said.

• On Mackenzie Mgbako: “His last two games, if you look at his stat line, were incredible. For a freshman, where we started with this young man and where he is today, I’m happy as hell. He’s improving right in front of us.”

• On Mgbako’s physicality and ability to draw and-one plays: “You’ve got to have somebody on your team that can break someone down and go get it.”

• On Indiana’s upcoming game against Minnesota: “They’re well coached, they’ve got (Elijah) Hawkins who is kind of the head of the snake when it comes to running their team …we’re going to really have to guard the 3-point line and rebound with this team.”

• On where Indiana stands in the Big Ten and what the next few games could mean for the conference tournament: “I’m just looking at Minnesota. I can’t predict the future. We’re preparing for Minnesota. That’s just how I am as a coach. We go down there and win the game, everything takes care of itself.”

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