Indiana men’s basketball took care of business in its first of two exhibition games Saturday, pulling away quickly for a 78-42 win over Marian at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall.
The Hoosiers opened the game on a 10-0 run and never looked back. Senior Race Thompson and freshman Malik Reneau both hit double-figure scoring in the first half, including three 3-pointers by Thompson. Indiana led 42-21 at halftime, and the lead continued to steadily grow.
At IU’s media day in September, IU head coach Mike Woodson mentioned Thompson among a group of players who could help improve the team’s outside shooting this year. That potential was on full display Saturday. Thompson looked comfortable pulling up from outside, and he displayed a smooth shooting stroke.
Woodson was happy to see that from the senior.
“When I came in, I was told he couldn’t shoot threes; you didn’t want him shooting threes; you didn’t want him handling the basketball,” Woodson said. “And now, he’s a player. He’s a basketball player now. It’s kind of nice.”
Thompson finished with 13 points on a 4-of-6 line, including 3 for 4 from 3-point range, and he added six rebounds. As a team, Indiana went 8 for 19 from 3-point range.
Reneau and sophomore Logan Duncomb each recorded a double-double. Reneau led Indiana with 14 points at a 7-of-10 clip, and grabbed 11 rebounds. Duncomb shot 5 of 8 for 11 points with 11 rebounds. Freshman Jalen Hood-Schifino led IU with four assists.
Indiana players raved about Duncomb at media day, saying he’d gotten bigger and better. Though this was just an exhibition game, Duncomb was proud of his performance and the work he put in to get to this point.
He said he wasn’t happy with the small amount of minutes he played as a freshman, and that drove his work ethic during the offseason.
“I felt like I put in a lot more effort this year, over the summer, trying to get better to be able to go out there and play,” Duncomb said. “Mostly putting on leg weight in the offseason with coach Clif (Marshall, IU’s director of athletic performance). And getting in extra shots before or after practice — not a whole lot, but something just to work on my game.”
Senior Xavier Johnson struggled, scoring just four points while shooting 2 for 11. He dished three assists and grabbed four rebounds, but he appeared out of sorts on most of his shot attempts.
Senior Trayce Jackson-Davis and sophomore Tamar Bates both did not play for precautionary reasons. IU head coach Mike Woodson labeled both players questionable heading into the game.
Woodson said he learned the pair would be unavailable for the game upon arriving to practice on Friday, and he adjusted his plans accordingly.
“You just go to Plan B. It’s next guy up. I can’t wait on guys,” Woodson said. “I’ve got to build a team to win. We’ll get Trayce and Tamar back eventually, and then we’ll fit them in and do what we need to do.”
All available scholarship players saw the floor in the game. Reneau entered the starting lineup in place of Jackson-Davis, and he was joined by Thompson, Hood-Schifino, Johnson, and senior Miller Kopp.
The Hoosiers will round out the exhibition slate Thursday against Saint Francis. The game will tip off at 7 p.m. at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall and will air on BTN+.
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