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Everything Indiana basketball said previewing Kent State



Trayce Jackson-Davis, Miller Kopp and Race Thompson discuss Kent State. (

Indiana head coach Mike Woodson and players Trayce Jackson-Davis, Race Thompson and Miller Kopp previewed IU’s matchup against Kent State.

Tip is set for 9:55 pm ET on Friday night.

Below is the full transcript.

Q. Sort of win one, lose one, win one, lose one for the last month or so. I know that’s the nature of the Big Ten schedule and such. Now that you’re here in the NCAA Tournament where it’s one-and-done, what changes in regard to the laser focus and such when you get out on the floor where every possession is going to matter even more now?

TRAYCE JACKSON-DAVIS: I think the biggest thing for us is just preparation. We’ve had a lot of time to prepare, and you’ve just got to take it one game at a time. Obviously it’s a win or go home, so we’ve just got to play as hard as we can each and every game.

It starts with Kent State, and that’s all we’re worried about right now.

Q. Trayce, for you, how do you balance that? Do you think at all about wherever — the reality that wherever this journey ends in the next three weeks, this is the end for you? All you’ve talked about wanting to grow into being a leader, a captain, all the things you’ve accomplished at Indiana, ultimately there’s a time limit on them no matter what. Do you think about it at all? Do you process that? Or do you sort of lock that away?

TRAYCE JACKSON-DAVIS: I really don’t think about it that much honestly. I always just think about being there for my teammates, just taking it all in, and just taking it one game at a time.

Right now we have to focus on Kent State, and if we lose, yes, it is our last game. So that’s all we’ve got to focus on. We can’t focus on anything else past that. They’re a great team, and we’re ready to get to work.

Q. Jay Bilas has picked Kent State to beat you guys. A lot of people doing the brackets have picked against you. Are you guys aware of that, and what’s your response to it?

RACE THOMPSON: It doesn’t really matter. We’ve still got to go out there and play the game. People make brackets for fun, so it’s all fun. But we’re going out there to win the game. That’s the goal at the end of the day.

It doesn’t matter whether people pick us or not. We think we can win any game.

MILLER KOPP: I agree. Like Race said, everybody makes a bracket and picks whatever team they think is going to win, whatever it is. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter. All that goes out the window when the ball goes up to start the game.

So for us, it’s about handling what we can control and going from there.

Q. What challenges will Kent State present for you guys?

MILLER KOPP: Kent State is obviously a really good team. They’re obviously in the tournament for a reason. They’ve got some guards that are really good off the bounce and can dribble and score, and our threat, kind of three levels.

Defensively they’re good as well. They junk it up. They run around. They trap. A lot of it seems a little chaotic at times, but it looks like they have a sense of how they’re rotating and stuff.

They’re a good overall team, but at the end of the day, it’s about our principles, and if we stick to our principles, we think we’re going to be in a good spot.

Q. Miller, guard oriented teams that shoot a lot of threes and try to do a lot of kick-outs and such have bothered you guys at times this year. But you’ve seen enough of that now to know. Has the preparation of what all you’ve been through to prepare for this game, is there a lot that you can build on from what you’ve already experienced this year?

MILLER KOPP: I think one of our best attributes as a team and staff is learning from our losses, taking them as lessons, and applying them all to now, I think is the biggest thing.

We’ve played and put ourselves in a position right now to be in this spot, and so we’re going to take every lesson, every loss, and use it now and hopefully use it as a culminated type deal to where that other stuff doesn’t hurt us like it did before.

Q. Trayce, you’ve seen every trick defense there is. What do you expect Kent State to do? Do you expect to be doubled, or do you expect them to mix it up, zone? What do you expect?

TRAYCE JACKSON-DAVIS: I expect it all honestly. I think that just depends on where I catch the ball at. They do heavy digs a lot. They might double from the weak side, but I feel like my passing has gotten so good that they really just can’t come out and just double me and send a guy up because I see it coming, I already know where the ball’s going to go.

So I just think that they’ll mix it up, try to do different things, and hopefully they’ll try to find something that works for them. I’m going to do the same thing. I’m going to try to be aggressive and attack whenever I can. So that’s basically what I think.

Q. Race, looking at Sincere Carry for them, what does he bring to the game? How does it translate on the court? And how important is it to make sure you don’t let that guy go off?

RACE THOMPSON: I think he’s a very good player. Their team goes as he goes a little bit. We know that. We know he’s an aggressive guard and he can get down and score from all three levels, like Miller said earlier.

I think that one of our best attributes is playing team defense, and if we can get our team defense clicking, I think we’ll be in a good spot.

Q. All three of you guys played in that First Four game last year in March and then had to fly across the country to play in that next game. How different has this experience been just in the last couple of days? Do you feel more confident than you did last year?

TRAYCE JACKSON-DAVIS: Absolutely. I think last year was just kind of just a cluster. It was like very, very rushed, as in a sense we were in the Big Ten Tournament and then we just had to get on the road, drive to Dayton, play a game the next day, then fly out that night at 4:00 a.m., get there at 9:00 a.m., do what we’re doing right now, then play a game.

It was just kind of everything was so on top of each other. We didn’t even get a chance to enjoy what being in this tournament and what it’s truly about. So I think just getting here four days early, having preparation, having rest, I think it’s huge for us and our team. I think it will help us for this game.

MILLER KOPP: Obviously we’re in a different spot physically and mentally. We’ve had some time off from the Big Ten Tournament. It hasn’t been such a quick turnaround. Mentally also, there wasn’t the question marks of if we would get in at all, so that’s kind of given us a boost of energy in terms of our preparation too. So it’s definitely a better spot to be in.

Q. For any of you three guys, for a team that doesn’t press a lot, Kent State forces a lot of turnovers, and they’re really good offensively when they do. What makes them tough in terms of just getting up into the ball and forcing those kinds of mistakes?

MILLER KOPP: They’re just super active. They fly around. They usually switch one through four. So in the half-court, I think that’s when they’re at their best defensively when all five guys are kind of connected and moving on a string and flying around.

So they create a lot of turnovers because they come and attack the ball and are kind of unrelenting in terms of how they trap and rotate and defend.

Q. For any of you guys, I wonder what it’s like to play in a program where standards are very high, maybe they haven’t been met in the relatively recent past, you’re bringing that back. Do you embrace trying to be the guys who bring Indiana back to greatness? Is there a special pressure that comes with that? What has that been like?

TRAYCE JACKSON-DAVIS: I wouldn’t necessarily think of it as a pressure, but I do take great pride in what I’ve accomplished here and what I’ve been able to do and just the growth of this program in the last four years from where I started as a freshman to where I am now.

I think I can speak for the two next to me as well. It’s been a long time coming and a long time to get to this moment, but just being here, making the tournament for the second straight time, second time in four or five years, we’ve accomplished a lot. But our story’s not finished yet, so we’ve just got to take it game by game, and it starts with Kent State.

Like we said, they’re a great team, and it’s going to be a battle Friday.

RACE THOMPSON: I would say just pretty much the same thing. We take pride in it. I wouldn’t say there’s pressure. I mean, we love playing basketball, and it’s what we love to do. So we go out there, we just try to give it all we’ve got. This year’s been on our side. So I think we just take great pride in it.

THE MODERATOR: Thanks again for joining us. We have Head Coach Mike Woodson here.

Q. Mike, you’ve referenced those early meetings with Trayce a lot in the last few months. Just how much it meant to you and how much that bond sort of grew in those first days when Trayce first committed to coming back after you got the job. Do you think about that more recognizing that wherever this journey ends ultimately, the finish line is in sight, whether it’s here, next weekend, the weekend after that?

MIKE WOODSON: All I can say to you, it’s been everything to our program. Had he left, to me it would have been just like starting all over again, being a first time coach. For him to make the commitment to come back, it really set the stage for where we are today because he didn’t have to do that. He could have left and went and did his own thing.

But it put us in a better position from a program standpoint, and he and I have been able to develop this relationship and help each other. Yes, it hasn’t been pretty all the time, but that’s a part of coaching.

I would be stupid to sit here and say that I don’t want the best for my players because I don’t think there’s a coach in the world that doesn’t want the best for his players. I only coach one way, and it’s hard for me to change. I push players to play at a high level. That’s important to me.

In doing that, you learn how to be a better basketball player. I have a track record for that. So I thought last season was a great season for him, and this season he’s kind of knocked it out of the park because we’ve rode him all the way to this point.

Q. Kent State ranks among the Top 20, Top 25 teams in the country in forcing turnovers. What’s the secret to you guys not letting them get going on that way and creating easy offense off their defense?

MIKE WOODSON: Well, every night that we play, even when we step on the practice floor, I’m always stressing take care of the basketball. The key to winning and beating any team, you have to defend and rebound the ball, and you can’t turn it over. If you do those three things, you’re going to put yourself in position to win. I don’t care who you play.

Kent State is a great team. They’re well coached. They’ve had a great season up until this point, just like we have. I don’t want to go home, and I’m sure his coach is saying the same thing, he doesn’t want to go home. I want to extend this season as long as we can for Trayce Jackson-Davis and the surrounding pieces because I think that they deserve that.

So in order to get that done, we’ve got to commit for 40 minutes when we step out on that floor tomorrow night and see what happens.

Q. Mike, all those years in the NBA, basically Friday night is another Game 7. The one-and-done aspect of this tournament, what changes for you this week in regards to preparation or what you might do during those 40 minutes knowing that it’s basically another Game 7?

MIKE WOODSON: It’s like do or die. You can’t get around it. And it’s the little things. I put on the board every game, “simple plays win basketball games”, and they do. You can’t over complicate things. You can’t change who you are.

We’ve won a lot of games with our defense this year, and when we’ve added some good offense with our defense, we’ve really, really been good. So tomorrow night, it’s not going to change. We’re playing a damn good basketball team, and we’ve got to come ready and committed, you know what I mean? Because you win, you go on, you lose, you go home, and have to deal with it over the summer and think about all the things you probably should have done to extend your season.

I’m not ready to go home, and I hope the players feel the same way.

Q. You understood the challenges of this job when you took it, but what are the challenges of building a program at a place where the expectations are so high and they really haven’t been met lately. How do you go about sort of incremental growth when everybody is sort of dying for a championship?

MIKE WOODSON: Again, this is not my first go-around. I built a couple of teams — the Hawks, the Knicks — and it’s no different here. Yes, expectations are high, and I knew that coming in. Hell, I played here. They should be high, and it’s okay.

I’m not a coach that’s ever run from a challenge. Yeah, there are always naysayers around you, but if I listen to that, man, I can’t do my job.

Indiana is a big time program. It’s been that way for years. I’m just trying to get them back on top, man. That’s all I care about. It’s not about Mike Woodson. It’s about the players that I coach and this program. That’s what means more to me than anything.

I don’t know how long I’m going to do this, but while I’m doing it, I’ve got to try to put my best foot forward to make sure that we can get back on top.

Q. We’re talking about Kent State’s defense a lot, but look at Sincere Carry, the kid can score. What is it about his game that translates so much, and how important is it to make sure you know where he is at all times on the court?

MIKE WOODSON: Again, it’s Carry, it’s Jacobs, it’s Thomas. They’ve got weapons all over the court. We’ve just got to be solid in what we do. Carry is kind of the guy that drives this team, and he does a lot of good things offensively in terms of getting the ball where it’s got to go, and he can score the basketball.

I don’t think you go into this game saying, hey, you’re just going to stop Carry — I mean, they’ve got some pieces that everybody’s got to be aware of, key match-ups all over the floor that we’ve got to commit for 40 minutes to defend. And then we’ve got to make them play us.

Q. Trayce has given you Player of the Year performance all year long, and Jalen Hood-Schifino has been very good. How important is it for you to get a third or fourth piece offensively that sort of gets up to the next level?

MIKE WOODSON: It’s very important. I think, as we continue this journey tomorrow, and Bates and Miller Kopp and Gallo and Geronimo, the guys that play, Malik, they’ve got to give us more. This tournament over the years has been driven by teams that three and four scorers, two or three guys that can make the long ball consistently.

We’ve been good at times in those areas because when Tamar Bates and Gallo and Geronimo and Malik are playing well and scoring the ball, it’s a deadly combination with our defense, and we’ve been damn good when we’ve been doing that.

So that’s how we’ve got to think going into this tournament. Everybody’s got to do their part. That’s how you advance. Only time will tell.

Q. To expound on Ralph’s question from before, how challenging has NIL made your job over the last two years? Did you ever envision it creating such a sea change throughout college basketball?

MIKE WOODSON: Again, we didn’t have this when I was in school. So for me, me being new at this, there’s a lot of moving pieces that I’m still trying to figure out as a coach.

But the NIL is what it is. It’s very challenging. I don’t deal with the NIL. We have outside people that run our NIL. And I like to think we’re sitting at the top when it comes to the NIL. Based on our support from our Indiana base, which is pretty damn good.

So by me saying we’re sitting at the top, it puts a lot of athletes in a good position when making a decision to come to Indiana University to play basketball or football or whatever sport it may be.

But that’s not what’s driving me. These players understand how I feel about the NIL. You’re going to come play for Mike Woodson, you’re going to have to come to school and get an education and play basketball, and NIL takes care of itself.

Follow Hoosier Illustrated on Twitter @Indiana_FRN to stay up to date on all of the news, updates and coverage of University of Indiana athletics. 


Indiana Basketball: Xavier Johnson, Trey Galloway named captains for 2023-24 season



Indiana basketball captains Trey Galloway and Xavier Johnson
Mike Woodson named Trey Galloway and Xavier Johnson captains for the Indiana basketball program ahead of the 2023-24 season.

Indiana basketball is entering a new era in its program but Mike Woodson is looking to lean on two veterans to help lead the team on the court.

On Wednesday during Indiana basketball media day, Woodson officially named sixth-year senior Xavier Johnson and fourth-year junior Trey Galloway the two captains for the 2023-24 season. Between the two of them, they have combined for 206 career games played at the college level. Both players are entering their third season under Woodson.

“Well, they’ve earned it,” Woodson said this week. ” … I named both of those two guys captains … I’m hard on captains. I’ve always been that way. Bob Knight was hard on me as a captain when I was here. You’re not given that title just to be given it. You’ve got to earn it, and you’ve got to be held accountable in terms of not only putting yourself in position to help us win, but getting guys to play at a high level around you. That’s important.”

Xavier Johnson has played in 45 games (45 starts) for Indiana. He’s averaged 11.6 points per game and 5.0 assists across two seasons. He’s shot 38 percent from three in 2.7 attempts per game for his IU career.

But, last season he broke his foot on Dec. 17 and missed the remainder of the year. That comes after a terrific end of the season in 2021-22 when he averaged 16.7 points per game and 6.9 assists to just 2.8 turnovers a game in the last nine games of the year. That helped lift IU to a NCAA berth.

“Unfortunately X didn’t get a chance to show what he did the first year last season because of his injury, and make no mistake about it, I say it, you guys probably couldn’t see it and didn’t write about it enough, but losing Xavier Johnson last year was huge for our team. I mean, it hurt us. We were able to regroup and recover from it, and a lot of that had to do with Jalen and the supporting cast. We just didn’t feel sorry. We got after it in practice and was able to maintain,” Woodson said. “X is back this year, and again, like I said, he’s done it a little bit longer than most of the young men that we’ve got on our team, so I expect more. He’s wearing that captain title on his head, so you’ve got to give me more, you’ve got to do more to help us win basketball games, and he will.”

Galloway, who has missed time each season to some extend with an injury, had his best season at Indiana last year. He averaged 6.7 points, 3.0 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game in 32 games. He ranked second in the Big Ten in three-point percentage at 46.2 percent.

This season, he’s expected to take a step up as a leader while maintaining his consistent play.

“My dad was a coach in high school, so I kind of learned a lot from him as a leadership standpoint because I was with him so much,” Galloway said. “But I think just kind of trusting my instincts and trusting myself because I’ve been in this position for a while now and I’ve been here four years, so I know what I’m talking about, and I think it’s going to really be important for me to be vocal and help those younger guys.”

Related: ‘Old Man’ Xavier Johnson’s return could be big for Indiana Basketball

The same goes for Johnson, who is clearly the most experienced player on the Indiana basketball roster.

“They (the coaching staff) get on me a lot about talking. I’m not the loudest guy, but I like to set everything by example. I like to lead by example,” Johnson said. “One thing I am one of the most experienced guys on the team this year, so they’re expecting me to lead by example and by my voice, honestly.”

Indiana basketball begins its official preseason practice on September 26. The unofficial start to the season comes on October 20 at Hoosier Hysteria.

The regular season begins on November 7 when the Hoosiers host Florida Gulf Coast.

SEE ALSO: ‘I want to win now’: Mike Woodson is done accepting mediocracy. He’s ready to take Indiana basketball to new heights.

Make sure to follow Hoosier Illustrated on Twitter @Indiana_FRN, Facebook and YouTube to stay up to date on all of the news, updates and coverage of Indiana University athletics. You can also listen to the Talking’ Bout the Hoosiers podcast on Spotify.

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‘Old Man’ Xavier Johnson’s return could be big for Indiana Basketball



Xavier Johnson, Indiana basketball
Xavier Johnson talks to the media during the Indiana University basketball media day at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall on Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2023. © Bobby Goddin/Herald-Times / USA TODAY NETWORK

Xavier Johnson is not supposed to be here. He came into the 2022-23 year with the expectation that it would be his last at the college level.

Johnson joined Indiana in Mike Woodson’s first year and played a huge role in earning the Hoosiers their first NCAA tournament appearance since 2016.

“Well, I thought two years ago, make no mistake about it, we got in the tournament because of Xavier Johnson and his play coming down the home stretch,” Woodson said during his press conference Wednesday. “Last year was a setback year for him. We didn’t come into last season thinking that we would lose our starting point guard, and that was a blow for us in the stretch where we struggled to win games.”

Johnson came into the season with high expectations, but broke his foot against Kansas on December 17 and missed the final 24 games of the season.

“The toughest part was seeing my team,” Johnson said about his injury. “We went on a losing streak last year and I couldn’t really help them out, to get on the floor to really help them out, so I had to talk to them and just be the motivational speaker on the sidelines.”

Johnson was approved for a medical hardship waiver this summer allowing him to play one more season for Indiana. He is now in a new spot as he heads into the season coming off the first significant injury of his career.

“My whole career I’ve never been injured. This is my first time battling a major injury to my body,” Johnson said during Wednesday’s media day. “One thing the coaches have been preaching to me is about staying in the training room. Training room got to be my best friend.”

Entering his sixth-year, Woodson has seen how hungry Johnson is and knows how important he his to the success of the program. Johnson was named to The Almanac preseason All-Big Ten Second Team and expectations are high for his final season.

READ: Indiana Basketball: Xavier Johnson named preseason All-Big Ten Second Team by The Almanac

“I think he’s hungry. I’m sure it was the first time he’s ever been hurt where he’s missed practically the whole season, so he’s got to be hungry,” Woodson said about Johnson. “This is his last go-around. He can’t come — hell, how many years is this, six years for him? Hell, he’s an old man. Hell, he can’t come back for seven, so he’s got to give us all he can give us this year to make it right. But I do think he’s hungry, absolutely I do.”

With Trayce Jackson-Davis gone, ‘Old man’ Xavier Johnson has been thrust into a leadership role for the upcoming season. He was named a captain of the team and, with that, he had to work on some things to help him grow as a leader.

“They get on me a lot about talking. I’m not the loudest guy, but I like to set everything by example,” Johnson said Wednesday. “I like to lead by example. One thing I am one of the most experienced guys on the team this year, so they’re expecting me to lead by example and by my voice, honestly.”

With so much roster turnover, Johnson will have to play a key role in integrating the new talent, which will directly affect the success of this team. One transfer Johnson talked about on Wednesday was Kel’el Ware, the 7-foot center from Oregon.

“He’s a very versatile big. He can shoot threes and he can pick-and-pop, pick-and-roll, so that’s big time in the pick-and-roll game with me,” Johnson said about Ware. “Trayce couldn’t pop as much, but Trayce was leading throughout the rim. I don’t think nobody could stop him. But Coach Woodson is going to get him on the same track as far as pick-and-roll game.”

READ: ‘The word is out; they knocked you’: Mike Woodson, Kel’el Ware to use ‘lazy’ reputation as fuel

Johnson’s chemistry with Ware will be an X-factor for Indiana basketball. His connection with Jackson-Davis in the pick-and-roll offense was extremely important for Indiana and if the Hoosiers are going to have an effective pick-and-roll offense, Johnson and Ware will likely be at the center of it.

Indiana lost most of the team’s leading scorers from a year ago including the top two scorers Jackson-Davis and Jalen Hood-Schifino the NBA. Johnson seems confident that he and the guys around him have what it takes to replace the lost scoring.

“Before I came here, I was a scorer for my team. We didn’t win a lot, we didn’t have the same talent as well. I think I can still score the ball at a high clip,” Johnson said when I asked about his ability to score. “I got my teammates as well. I think Malik [Reneau] can score the ball at a high clip, I think Trey [Galloway] can. I think it’ll be different nights where we see a different person go crazy.”

While expectations for Johnson are high, it won’t be easy for him. Mike Woodson has emphasized he is harder on his captains than anyone else on the team, something  his former coach was known for.

“We’ve got to get better and practice on both ends of the floor. He’s got to play a role in that. I’m hard on captains. I’ve always been that way,” Woodson said about his captain. “Bob Knight was hard on me as a captain when I was here. You’re not given that title just to be given it. You’ve got to earn it, and you’ve got to be held accountable in terms of not only putting yourself in position to help us win, but getting guys to play at a high level around you. That’s important.”

Woodson will be relying on Johnson’s experience and leadership to help this team find its way after the departure of Jackson-Davis. With an extremely difficult schedule ahead, Xavier Johnson and the Hoosiers will have to figure it out fast.

“This year, X has played more basketball games in college than anybody on our ballclub,” Woodson said. “So I expect him to lead, be a point guard and be a leader on and off the floor and put us in position to win basketball games. That’s what it’s all about.”

SEE ALSO: Indiana Basketball Notebook: Key quotes, notes and more from media day

Make sure to follow Hoosier Illustrated on Twitter @Indiana_FRN, Facebook and YouTube to stay up to date on all of the news, updates and coverage of Indiana University athletics. You can also listen to the Talking’ Bout the Hoosiers podcast on Spotify.

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‘The word is out; they knocked you’: Mike Woodson, Kel’el Ware to use ‘lazy’ reputation as fuel



Kel'el Ware, Indiana basketball
Kel'el Ware came to Indiana with the reputation as being 'lazy'. Now, he and Mike Woodson are using that as fuel this season. (Bobby Goddin/Herald-Times-USA TODAY NETWORK)

One thing that has come out of the Mike Woodson era at Indiana basketball? He isn’t going to sugarcoat anything. Whether it’s his performance, from his players or any of the media, he’s going to make sure everyone knows what he’s thinking.

He made it clear after Indiana lost to Miami in the Round of 32 last season that the personnel needed to get better. Once the transfer portal opened up — officially — he hit a potential home run with former five-star center Kel’el Ware. Ware, a transfer from Oregon, came into his freshman season as a projected lottery pick in the 2023 NBA Draft. That didn’t pan out for numerous reasons, but, one in particular.

His motor.

Whether it was from the Oregon staff or not, the reputation that Ware entered the portal with was one of ‘laziness’. By the time he committed to Indiana, everyone knew it. Including Mike Woodson.

“Well, when I recruited that young man I told him, you cannot go back and get what happened the year before. You can’t,” Woodson said at Indiana basketball media day on Wednesday. “The word is out; they knocked you and said, hey, you’re lazy, you don’t work hard, and if you make a commitment to me, that’s got to change.”

But, what Woodson has shown in his short time at Indiana, he’ll emphasize your weaknesses and turn them into strengths. That was exactly how he portrayed it to Ware.

“I’m not always the easiest coach to play for, but I’m in your corner and I’m fair and I want what’s best for you and my ballclub,” Woodson said. “He made the commitment to me, and I’m going to push him to play at a higher level to help us win basketball games.”

Kel’el Ware averaged just 6.6 points, 4.1 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game a year ago. But, that’s not to say Ware didn’t have very good performances. In fact, he did. Ware had 18 points on 6-of-8 from the floor and nine rebounds against eventual National Champion UConn in November. He also had 17 points and nine rebounds against Michigan State the following game.

In a five-game stretch against UConn, Michigan State, Villanova, Washington State and UCLA, Ware averaged 12.6 points and 6.0 rebounds per game while shooting 61.8 percent on 2s and 50 percent from the field overall.

“He’s a very versatile big,” Indiana basketball point guard Xavier Johnson said. “He can shoot threes and he can pick-and-pop, pick-and-roll, so that’s big time in the pick-and-roll game with me. Trayce couldn’t pop as much, but Trayce was leading throughout the rim. I don’t think nobody could stop him. But Coach Woodson is going to get him on the same track as far as pick-and-roll game.”

So, as Ware settles into his role throughout his first season with the Indiana basketball program, one thing is for certain. He’s out to not only prove the doubters wrong … he’s out to prove himself right.

“Just to prove everyone was wrong. Show everyone I have a motor and keep it going on the court,” Ware said on Wednesday. “People say I’m lazy, just wanna show them I’m not lazy.

“Their (Indiana basketball) win now mentality is coming on to me now. I’m getting used to everything and enjoying it … I can give more.”

SEE ALSO: While motor is in question, skill is not. How Mike Woodson can unlock potential of Kel’el Ware for Indiana basketball

Make sure to follow Hoosier Illustrated on Twitter @Indiana_FRN, Facebook and YouTube to stay up to date on all of the news, updates and coverage of Indiana University athletics. You can also listen to the Talking’ Bout the Hoosiers podcast on Spotify.

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