BLOOMINGTON, IN - JANUARY 26, 2022 - forward Race Thompson #25 of the Indiana Hoosiers during the game between the Penn State Nittany Lions and the Indiana Hoosiers at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall in Bloomington, IN. Photo By Gracie Farrall/Indiana Athletics

Two to be recognized by IU basketball on Senior Night

(This story was updated after an IU release indicated the two players to be recognized on Senior Night.)

Indiana lists six players as a senior or redshirt senior on its 2021-22 roster.

But in a twist only possible after the oddity that has been the last two years, all of the six are eligible to return for an additional year of college basketball next season if they so choose.

So as Senior Night approaches Wednesday against Rutgers, does IU truly have any seniors in the traditional sense?  Not really.

But head coach Mike Woodson says two players will be recognized following the 7 p.m. Eastern contest in Bloomington.

“We’ve got a couple seniors that will celebrate on Wednesday,” Woodson said Monday evening on his radio show.

The first-year head coach didn’t specify on his radio show who those players will be, but IU provided the details on Tuesday morning.

Race Thompson and Parker Stewart will be recognized on Wednesday and address the crowd after the game.  In its release, IU said “no decisions will be made by a player or staff regarding the extra year of eligibility a player has until after a season is completed.”

Woodson echoed that point, and said Thompson and Stewart stepping up to the mic should not be interpreted to mean those players have finished their Indiana careers.

“The two guys that are going to give their speech on Wednesday, they’ve got some things that they’ve got to figure out in terms of their future and what they want to do,” Woodson said.  “And it’s my job to kind of steer them in the right direction and help them if I can as their coach.”

With everyone eligible to return next season and three recruits on the way, Indiana is currently over-signed for the 2022-23 season by three players.

At least three of the 13 scholarship players currently on the team, seniors or otherwise, will need to move on.  In the transfer portal era, those conversations and decisions don’t necessarily wait until the season is over, although Woodson said in a Tuesday media availability he hasn’t had any such conversations to this point.

And especially in IU’s case, with a still relatively new coaching staff and too many players for the available spots, the decision process is a two-way street.

“I gotta base it on what these guys are gonna want to do,” Woodson said.  “And from a coaching standpoint, my staff and I, we’ve gotta sit down and figure out what we want to do.  It goes kind of both ways.”

So Senior Night will be unlike any other 2022-23.

The players who speak may return, and multiple players who don’t could leave.

In much more traditional times, Woodson was in this spot 42 years ago.

“I remember those days as well,” he said.  “Sad times when you spend four years playing at a university, and the people and the relationships that you form while you are here, and now all of the sudden you have to go out into the real world.

“It’s a good time, but it’s a sad time for most players when you’re a senior and you’ve got to move on.”

For whoever moves on from this year’s team, Woodson plans to follow tradition in another way.

“It’s our job to do that (to help the players find career opportunities),” Woodson said.  “Coach Knight did it for us.  These are young men still trying to figure out their lives and what they want to do.”

MORE ON THOMPSON, STEWART AND THE MANAGERS TO BE RECOGNIZED

Race Thompson

Will graduate in May with a degree in Liberal Studies with a concentration in sociology and health studies.

Skipped senior year in high school to enroll early at IU and recover from an injury

Two-year team captain

Plymouth, Minnesota

Son of Stephanie and Darrell Thompson

Parker Stewart

Transfer from UT Martin and Pittsburgh

Holds a bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies and an MBA from UT Martin

Union City, Tennessee

Son of Cheryl and the late Anthony Stewart

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Managers

Adam Howard

Sport Marketing and Management

Indianapolis, Indiana

Son of Todd and Patti Howard

 

Josh Baskin

Sport Marketing and Management

Chicago

Sport Marketing and Management

Son of Marc and Dawn Baskin

 

Jason Gandhi

Sport Marketing and Management

Westfield, Indiana

Son of Manish and Tricia Gandhi

 

Nick Virden

Sport Marketing and Management

Evansville, Indiana

Son of Trina Virden

 

Parker Robinson

Business Marketing

Wheaton, Illinois

Son of Denelle Robinson


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