Indiana saw two of its starters contend with injuries during a win over Harvard on Sunday in Indianapolis.
One is still carrying a questionable tag the day before IU’s Big Ten opener against Maryland.
Sophomore forward Malik Reneau left the Harvard game briefly with what appeared to be a lower back issue. He returned to the floor, however, and did not appear to be significantly limited.
Head coach Mike Woodson said in a Zoom availability on Thursday Reneau is ready to play against the Terrapins (7 p.m. ET, BTN).
Reneau has become one of IU’s most reliable scorers as a sophomore. His points per game average has jumped from 6.1 a year ago to 15.3 this season, while shooting 61 percent from the field.
“The difference is he put the time in this summer,” Woodson said of Reneau on Thursday. “His body has changed. It’s not the same body he came in as a freshman. We thought we trimmed him down. He trimmed down even more and put the work in this summer, and it’s paying off.
“That’s what young players have to do. They have work in the summer to get ready for the upcoming season and put time in on the floor. That’s the only way you’re going to get better, and he’s done that.”
Things aren’t as clear when it comes to veteran point guard Xavier Johnson, who left the Harvard game in the first half and emerged from the locker room with ice on his left ankle area.
Woodson says Johnson is still being evaluated and he isn’t sure yet if the sixth-year guard will be ready to play vs. Maryland.
“We’re still evaluating X to see where he is,” Woodson said. “If he can’t play, it’s the next man up. That’s how it’s always been here. Injuries are part of the game. You know, nothing you can do about it. If he can’t play, then I expect somebody else to step up and play.”
Johnson’s health will be a critical factor to monitor on Friday, as the Hoosiers face one of nation’s best point guards.
Maryland’s Jahmir Young was second team All-Big Ten a year ago, and he’s averaging 15.9 points, 4.3 assists and 2.0 steals this season, leading the team in all three categories.
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