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Coach Q&A: Mike Woodson reacts to the Indiana basketball 83-66 win over North Alabama



Indiana basketball

Indiana basketball head coach Mike Woodson spoke to reporters following IU’s 83-66 win vs North Alabama on Thursday at Assembly Hall.

Woodson discussed Indiana’s three porting shooting, the ball movement, and more.

Below is the full video Q&A and transcript.

Q. A lot of things that went well. What were your thoughts on the three-point shooting, the different guys who made them for you?

MIKE WOODSON: It’s good to see the ball go in the hole. When you take ’em, you’re supposed to make ’em. I thought tonight we did a good job in getting the ball moved around. We had 25 assists. That means the ball was moving a little bit and guys made some shots.

Q. You talk about the ball movement. What allowed the guards to really be able to facilitate a shooting night like this?

MIKE WOODSON: Well, again, we’ve had good looks all year. The ball has moved some all year. Just got to stick the ball in the hole when you have the shots. I thought tonight guys were comfortable, they shot it. When they had the shoot they took it and they made it.

But we had bodies moving. We set some screens. That helps, too. You got some good looks.

Q. Are you seeing anything different from Trey? Been playing with an edge.

MIKE WOODSON: Well, I mean, again, when Gabe got the two fouls, Trey is basically our only ball handler big-time on the floor. I thought he did a great job in getting us into our sets and getting the ball where it needed to go. CJ, helped out a little bit, as well.

Then we were able to get Gabe back in after we rested him a little bit. I went with him before the half even with the two fouls and told him to be smart about not picking up his third.

Q. How much of a weapon can that three-point shot be for Malik and how much can you maybe feel when it goes down that he finds a little bit of extra rhythm or a little bit of extra comfort offensively?

MIKE WOODSON: Well, it helps. I mean, he hadn’t taken a whole lot of them this year. The fact that he shot ’em all tonight in rhythm, that helps. That’s with anybody that’s shooting the three ball.

I mean, if you sit there, we’ve had this year quite a few where we set on the three-point line wide open, we just didn’t knock ’em down. I thought tonight everybody who made ’em were in rhythm and felt pretty good. Was kind of nice to see the ball go through the hole.

Q. Mike, because of the way the game played out, you were able to get some extended minutes for Kaleb, CJ, and Payton. How do you feel they took advantage of it? What do they need to work on?

MIKE WOODSON: Well, again, they haven’t played a whole lot of minutes. You can see some of the fatigue set in, even with Payton, the minutes that he played.

With that group, I got to do extra work ’cause they’re not getting big-time minutes. So when they’re called upon, I expect them to play and produce.

We got to do extra work with that group, which we have been doing. But we got to continue that because you never know. Somebody goes down, you’re going to have to depend on them for a stretch of minutes that can help you win a basketball game, so…

We’ll keep working with those guys. I was pleased with their play tonight. They did some good things for us. Hopefully we can just grow from that and after the break come back ready and get ready for Kennesaw.

Q. On Tuesday night you had to come back late in the second half. Tonight different story. Is there something to be said for getting a win that felt comfortable throughout the night?

MIKE WOODSON: Yeah, I mean, a win’s a win to me because I’m always gauging based on how we play. We didn’t play particularly well in our last ballgame, the first half. The second half, when we went on our run, we started playing Indiana basketball.

Tonight I thought we came out ready. We consistently played well throughout the course of the game. The results was a win.

Merry Christmas to everyone. Enjoy your holidays.

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Kyler Staley is a Basketball Recruiting Analyst for Hoosier Illustrated, a comprehensive site covering news, updates and recruiting for Indiana University athletics. Kyler has been in the basketball recruiting industry since 2019 and is a credentialed media member. He has covered Indiana since 2021 while continuing to also work for Prep Hoops Indiana. He has previously worked for Rivals.