The next month might be the most important of the Mike Woodson era.
On Monday we wrote the 2022-23 season should be viewed as a success, but with a major overhaul looming, any progress gained over the last two years could fly out the window in a flash if Woodson and his staff are unable to reconstruct the roster and keep the train rolling.
Below we take a quick look at where things stand with all 13 scholarship players from the 2022-23 team as we enter the “free agency” phase of the college basketball calendar.
Let’s start with the players who we know for sure won’t be back next year.
As NSYNC once said, “You may hate me but it ain’t no lie”…..
Baby bye bye bye
- Miller Kopp – The Northwestern transfer wasn’t a high usage offensive player, but in his fifth and final season of eligibility he had his best career campaign from both two (56.1%) and three-point (44.4%) range. Kopp will likely have a wide range of career options both in and out of basketball.
- Trayce Jackson-Davis – Technically speaking Jackson-Davis has a year of eligibility remaining, but that ship has sailed. The Naismith Award finalist and consensus first team All-American likely played his way into the NBA Draft with a dominant second half of his senior season. In any case, TJD can play basketball somewhere as long as he wants to. Jackson-Davis finished his IU career third all-time in points (2,258) and first all-time in rebounds (1,143) and blocks (270).
- Race Thompson – Six and done. Thompson arrived in the first year of the Archie Miller era, and he’s out of eligibility after year two of the Mike Woodson regime. He finished his career three points short of 1,000, and added 718 rebounds (18th all-time at Indiana). Thompson can likely have a long overseas career if he so chooses.
If these two don’t return, Indiana will have lost it’s entire season-opening starting five.
- Xavier Johnson – The main decision isn’t up to Johnson, but instead the NCAA. Johnson is seeking a waiver to get a medical redshirt to play a sixth season of college basketball. If he has graduated however, Johnson could at least technically re-enter the portal if the waiver is approved. Johnson would be a lock to be a starter for IU next season as things stand right now.
- Jalen Hood-Schifino – The price of that win at Purdue might have been Hood-Schifino locking himself in as an NBA first round draft choice, perhaps even a lottery pick. The Big Ten’s Freshman of the Year was inconsistent, but the league drafts on potential and Hood-Schifino has all of the attributes to enjoy a long and prosperous NBA career.
Technically speaking, in the portal era everyone is in decision mode following a season. And of course sometimes it is the staff making decisions. With hundreds of players already in the portal, and opportunities being taken daily, look for stay-or-go announcements to start coming as soon as this week.
- Anthony Leal – Although this list is in jersey numerical order, Leal is seemingly the least likely to transfer this year despite playing the fewest minutes of the scholarship players. He’s in the IU business school, he’s started a local real estate business, and he loves the program. Leal has two years of eligibility remaining.
- Malik Reneau – The opportunity is wide open at IU with Thompson and Jackson-Davis leaving. He came in not necessarily expecting to start, and his freshman season was mostly consistent with the outlook going in. Reneau averaged 14.9 minutes, 6.1 points and 3.7 rebounds while playing in all 35 games. He’ll have a great opportunity to start in 2023-24.
- Kaleb Banks – Banks’ freshman season went largely as expected for a 4-star freshman in a crowded rotation. He showed flashes of ability, seems to be happy at IU, and could clearly develop his way into a meaningful spot in the main rotation next year. The opportunity is wide open.
- C.J. Gunn – Gunn was another true freshman who got some opportunities, but in the end this turned out to be the developmental season most expected going in. He averaged 7.5 minutes per game and scored two points per contest. If he can find his three-point shot in year two, Gunn can clearly help modernize IU basketball with length, athleticism, perimeter shooting and defense.
- Jordan Geronimo – Geronimo was unable to build on a promising finish to the 2021-22 season. He had early opportunities in the main rotation, but the Newark, N.J. product was inconsistent, dealt with some injuries, and in the end he played less minutes per game than he did a year ago. Like everyone else, with the known departures, there’s an opportunity to develop and play more if he returns. Geronimo has two years left.
- Trey Galloway – The injury to Johnson gave Galloway a major opportunity this year. He ended up starting 25 games and played 27.7 minutes per contest. He significantly improved his three-point shooting and only committed .8 turnovers per game, but his efficiency inside-the-arc did decline. Galloway seems like a lock to stay, although his role could depend on the new players IU brings in. Galloway also has two years left.
- Logan Duncomb – The sophomore center is also a contender for a medical redshirt after season ending sinus surgery. Still just 19 years old until next month, he certainly seems to deserve the chance to have three full years of eligibility in front of him. His teammates spoke highly of him coming into the season, and Duncomb would have a clear opportunity to play a bigger role at IU if he chooses to return.
- Tamar Bates – While he had flashes, this season had to be incredibly frustrating for Bates. He had nine games in which he scored nine or more points including four with 17 or more, and ten games in which he was shut out. In the end he shot 39.2 percent overall including a respectable 37.4 percent from three. At IU or wherever he plays next year, Bates has to find the consistency that has evaded him to this point, especially when playing on the road.
With three players definitely gone and two recruits (Gabe Cupps – PG, Jakai Newton – SG) coming in, technically speaking, IU has just one open scholarship for next season. But obviously each time the departure number grows beyond three, the open scholarship count increases.
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