INDIANAPOLIS – Slightly greater than per week after Indiana basketball media day, this system made one other look at Massive Ten Basketball Media Days on Friday at Gainbridge Fieldhouse.
The 2-day occasion featured press conferences and one-on-one classes with all 14 head coaches and choose gamers from each the boys’s and ladies’s program at each Massive Ten faculty.
Indiana head coach Mike Woodson was accompanied by Trayce Jackson Davis, Rob Phinisee and Race Thompson in Indianapolis.
With the staff’s first scrimmage slated for Oct. 17 in opposition to Cincinnati, there was quite a bit to speak about forward of the season. Throughout Woodson’s time behind the microphone, he supplied perception into the staff’s chemistry, touched on the significance of Indiana basketball’s historical past and even commented on this system below Archie Miller. Listed here are among the highlights.
Trayce Jackson-Davis wants assist on the ground
It’s clear returning All-American Trayce Jackson-Davis is slated to be the Hoosiers’ centerpiece on each ends of the ground, however Woodson mentioned he doesn’t need the entire accountability to fall on him.
“We simply can’t depend upon Trayce to hold the load,” he mentioned. “I’m making an attempt to instill in all of those gamers that they’ve an opportunity to play and make a distinction on our ballclub.”
When Woodson got here into this program simply over six months in the past, he took a have a look at the staff and its movie and located some noticeable holes he needed to fill. That’s why he introduced in Xavier Johnson, Miller Kopp, Tamar Bates and Michael Durr.
However it’s not simply on these 4 new gamers. It’s additionally on those he inherited. He mentioned all people’s obtained to step up and play a task. Woodson expects everybody in a uniform to be able to play.
“We don’t have a staff the place now we have three or 4 superstars,” Woodson mentioned. “We’ve obtained one dominant participant in Trayce, we’ve obtained a bunch of supporting solid. That supporting solid has all obtained to be able to play.”
The stress isn’t simply on the remainder of the staff to step up, although. When Jackson-Davis dedicated to staying at Indiana final spring, Woodson didn’t present him what he did effectively from a basketball standpoint, however as a substitute every part he couldn’t do.
From that time, Jackson-Davis has come to the gymnasium early and stayed late. He’s put within the work.
“I can’t assist however suppose that’s going to assist him in the long term in addition to us as a staff,” Woodson mentioned.
Getting Rob Phinisee to shoot the ball
Woodson described Rob Phinisee as “a deal with” and mentioned he’s been a brilliant spot over the past three months by way of main this system.
However he wasn’t shy to say the largest downside he had with the purpose guard — getting him to shoot extra.
“I’m telling him it’s okay to shoot the basketball,” Woodson mentioned. “I don’t know if he’s had coaches inform him up to now, however I’m telling him it’s okay to do this.”
Woodson mentioned he’s simply reluctant to shoot, so he’s labored with him on that. However it’s not a pure transition.
“I’ve obtained to mainly cuss him out to shoot the ball,” Woodson mentioned.
Outdoors of studying to take extra photographs, Woodson has been happy with Phinisee’s development. He mentioned he’s going to want him and his management as they transfer into the season.
Significance of bringing in Indiana basketball alums
Isiah Thomas’ look at this yr’s Hoosier Hysteria wasn’t only a cool second for followers, but it surely was an essential lesson for the staff. Though Woodson and Thomas solely performed collectively for one yr, Woodson mentioned it was good for his gamers to see their interactions and one thing of that magnitude.
It doesn’t cease there. Woodson shared that Jared Jeffries, Scott Could and John Laskowski paid a go to to the staff on Thursday.
“These younger gamers have to see that as a result of these banners are hanging there for a purpose,” Woodson mentioned. “A whole lot of the gamers that put these banners up within the rafters had a hell of a profession at Indiana College and went on to play some NBA basketball as effectively. So, for our younger group, it’s good that they arrive round.”
Woodson desires his gamers to grasp the significance of Indiana basketball and what it means to the state. That’s why he’s proven them a lot about its historical past.
“IU basketball won’t ever go away,” he mentioned. “And for these younger guys to grasp, there’s a purpose why there’s 22 Massive Ten titles after which 5 nationwide titles. They’ve obtained to grasp that that is wealthy in custom by way of basketball. In case you have a look at it in every other means, you’re lacking the boat.”
Mike Woodson’s journey again to Indiana
This wasn’t the primary time Woodson talked to Indiana concerning the head teaching job.
When the job opened up in 2017 earlier than this system went with Archie Miller, additionally they talked to Woodson. However he mentioned he didn’t like the way in which the method was going. Indiana needed to speak to him and he mentioned he walked away from it again then.
That each one modified the second time round. He mentioned it was a really skilled and honest course of.
“I feel once you coach at any degree, you wish to be needed,” Woodson mentioned. “They made it clear that they did need me and I needed to come back again.”
He felt good about it popping out of his job interview and felt good about what he might supply Indiana. Then, the job was his.
“It was a no brainer for me as a result of I’d by no means settle for every other job. I’d by no means pursue every other faculty,” Woodson mentioned.
He mentioned it damage and was irritating to observe Indiana basketball from afar these previous couple of years, however he didn’t assign any blame.
“I’m by no means going to dangerous mouth any coach, it’s not my nature. Teaching is tough, it truly is. Archie did what he thought was finest for the staff, it simply didn’t work out,” Woodson mentioned.
He mentioned he desires to see this system do higher, however so does anybody who has performed for Indiana or gone to school there. They wish to see Indiana do effectively. And now it’s Woodson’s job.
“Now I’m in that seat,” Woodson. “We’ve obtained to verify we are able to make a serious transfer and get this staff again on high. That’s the one purpose I got here again.”
(Photograph credit score: IU Athletics)
Filed to: 2021 Massive Ten media day, Mike Woodson, Robert Phinisee, Trayce Jackson-Davis