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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.

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Alec Lasley is the owner of Hoosier Illustrated, a comprehensive site covering news, updates and recruiting for Indiana University athletics. Alec has covered Indiana for six years and is a credentialed media member. He has previously worked for both Rivals and 247Sports.