Connect with us


Malik Reneau shines against UConn despite the tough offensive performance for Indiana Basketball



Indiana Basketball
Nov 19, 2023; New York, New York, USA; Indiana Hoosiers forward Malik Reneau (5) looks to pass as Connecticut Huskies forward Alex Karaban (11) defends during the second half at Madison Square Garden. © Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Indiana basketball suffered its first loss of the season against the defending national champion UConn Huskies 77-57.

In a game where the Hoosiers struggled to score, sophomore Malik Reneau provided a bright spot at that end of the floor. Reneau led the Hoosiers in scoring with 18 points in 27 minutes of action.

Malik Reneau used his size and strength to get to his spots around the rim against UConn forward Alex Karaban. He shot 7-of-9 from the field and made all four of his free throw attempts.

Malik Reneau kept Indiana basketball in the game, especially in the first half. Reneau made six of his seven attempts in the half, while the rest of the team went four of twenty in the first half.

“I think that’s promising, he played great against a great team,” Woodson said about Reneau’s performance. “He should build on that, he did a lot of great things.”

Reneau scored 15 of his 18 points in the first half, causing UConn coach Dan Hurley to adjust his defensive scheme at the break. In the second half, UConn sent double teams when Reneau caught the ball in the post against Karaban.

Indiana started to rotate the ball out of the post when the double came, but could not knock down the jump shots they were creating. The Hoosiers shot just 3-of-13 from three in the game and could not get anything going offensively in the half.

While it was a promising performance from Malik Reneau, foul trouble ended his game early. Reneau fouled out with over 7 minutes left in the game.

“Again keeping him out of foul trouble. That hurts when you don’t have him on the floor,” Woodson said about Reneau’s foul trouble. I thought he played well enough to keep us in the game, but foul troubles plagued him too.”

Indiana basketball was -15 with Reneau on the bench today.

“That’s hard, leaving your team out there 10 minutes to go, it’s just hard to deal with that,” Reneau said about being in foul trouble. “Understanding that my team is not there without me, and I know they need me on the court, so dealing with dumb fouls or dumb situations like that, I gotta stop.”

Indiana’s offense collapsed when Reneau went to the bench and UConn was able to pull away as a result.

While Reneau played well, he believes there is room for him to improve outside of foul trouble. He identified decision making, especially when passing out of the post, as an area to improve.

“My foul situation has been critical since freshman year, so I gotta deal with that,” Reneau said about where he could improve. “At the end of the day, I just got to understand that teams are going to double me now and I got to make the right read out of the double team.”

Trending: ‘We got out toughed and I don’t like that’: Indiana basketball shows glaring holes with lack of toughness, effort in loss to UConn

Reneau tied for the team high in turnovers with three and only finished with one assist. With UConn sending a double team, there were opportunities for Reneau to create good looks for his teammates.

At the beginning of the second half, with Indiana down nine, Reneau caught the ball in the post and the UConn double team came. Reneau saw the double but forced a pass across the court to a guard on the opposite wing, which was short of the mark and stolen by UConn guard Tristen Newton.

Playmaking out of the post is the next step in the development of Malik Reneau. In a larger role this year, he has shown he can consistently score for Indiana basketball.

His scoring is going to cause teams to double him, which will give him opportunities to find open teammates for shots. This was one area where Trayce Jackson-Davis excelled a season ago.

Jackson-Davis did not come to Indiana as the great passer that he left as. Indiana basketball coach Mike Woodson’s ability to help develop that trait in Jackson-Davis and will have a similar opportunity to do the same with Reneau.

Reneau has improved a ton since he first stepped on campus in Bloomington over a year ago. On Sunday, in the first test of the season, he showed that he has the potential to be the next great big man to play for Indiana basketball.

“We didn’t do a good enough job on Malik,” Hurley said. “Malik is a hell of a player. He’s going to be a killer.”

SEE ALSO: HoosierIllustrated Postgame Wrap-Up: Kyler and Drew discuss Indiana basketball’s loss against UConn

Make sure to follow Hoosier Illustratedpart of the Full Ride Network, 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.

Drew Rosenberg is staff writer for and hosts 'The Talkin' Bout the Hoosiers Podcast' covering Indiana University athletics. Drew graduated from Indiana University's Sports Media program in 2024.