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Player Q&A: Malik Reneau and Kaleb Banks react to Indiana basketball’s win over Kennesaw State



Indiana basketball, Malik Reneau, Kaleb Banks

Indiana basketball players Malik Reneau and Kaleb Banks spoke to reporters following Indiana’s 100-87 win against Kennesaw State on Friday at Assembly Hall.

The players spoke about bench spark, Reneau’s play as of late, two they won the game, and much more.

Below is the full video Q&A and transcript.

Q. Malik, I know it’s a big night for you personally, but you guys also had 20 assists on 36 made baskets. Just talk about the ball movement and how that really helped you and the rest of the guys?

MALIK RENEAU: Coming into this game we had a little while to look at them, watch film on them and all that stuff. We knew we were going to be able to get open shots, open roads, all that stuff.

All we had to do was execute, get it to both sides of the floor. They’ll eventually give up on defense and we’ll be able to create wide-open shots. And we were doing that the whole game.

Q. You guys went down by four middle of the second half. Coach brings in Anthony Leal and the game starts to turn around at that point. What response did you guys conjure up at that point, and how did Anthony kind of impact that?

MALIK RENEAU: He definitely had a spark off the bench. He came in with so much energy, it just rejuvenated us, I’ll say, and got us back to what we needed to do on the court, and we got stops.

We started switching 1 through 5 and stuff like that. And then we stopped giving up the 3s towards the end of the game a lot. And then we started building the lead.

Q. Obviously Payton got his first start tonight, and (indiscernible) Anthony went 4-for-4 from the field, eight rebounds. What was he able to do for you out on the floor?

KALEB BANKS: He was great tonight. I’m very proud of him. He had a lot of game-changing plays, a nice put-back dunk. That was crazy for us. Some nice blocks. Really gave us some momentum. And the whole bench played well tonight, and he stepped up big for us tonight.

Q. Malik, you and Schifino came in at the same time. Obviously he’s not here; he’s playing in the NBA. As much as you’re rooting for him you obviously wish you could be where he’s at. But you’re just a year behind. How much influence, seeing the way he played last year, was a motivation for you, the way you’ve played this year?

MALIK RENEAU: It was a big motivation seeing him go after his first year. But I really got the motivation from Trayce and Race, seeing how they played in the whole Big Ten and seeing how they dominated. I just needed time to understand the game and go out there.

Now I’m playing nice and with my pace and being able to score on either block and finish with both hands, step out and create my shot from the 3 ball, shoot the 3 ball, too.

I just feel like the year I had just watching Trayce’s stuff, I seen a lot. And now my game is slowing down and I’m able to create plays for myself and for others.

Q. Malik, you had 11 free throw attempts and Caleb had seven, and you guys had multiple teammates who had a lot of attempts too. How much do you guys like to emphasize just using your size and using your physicality to get to the line?

MALIK RENEAU: I mean, once we realized that the team’s in the bonus — or we’re in the bonus, coach’s inside/out, that’s how we’re playing. We’re trying to draw fouls, try to get to the free-throw line and convert at the free-throw line.

Anytime we see a team that’s in the bonus, we’re going at it, we’re attacking and we’re trying to draw fouls or scoring — that’s either or.

KALEB BANKS: Like Malik said, we were in the bonus basically. We just like to use our size tonight. We realized we were the bigger team, so if we attack it will be a big problem for them to stop us.

Q. Kennesaw obviously attempted and made a lot of 3s tonight. What do you feel, like moving forward, needs to kind of improve in that area to keep those attempts lower, I guess?

MALIK RENEAU: I mean, they lead the country in 3-point attempts. So we’re just trying to alter a lot of shots that they’re shooting and just limit them to not a lot of 3 points, even though they made a lot of shots. They made 17 3s tonight, keeping them in the game a lot of times where we’re trying to pull away.

But they’re a fast-paced team. They try to get up and down the court, a lot of ball-screen action, a lot of up and down with them, cherry picking. We just had to stop their initial force.

And then we realized that we could switch 1 through 5, it was easier to get back to the shooters because we’re switching the 1 and the 5 man now. So there’s no need for the [inaudible] stuff.

So when we finally realized the 1 through 5 switching had worked, we started to pull away at the end and it gave us a little breathing room.

Q. In that vein, too, it felt like you guys maybe just briefly threw a little bit of zone at them. Maybe kind of disrupted their penetration game. I know that’s not necessarily something you’re going to do all the time, but it’s also not the first time this season maybe that’s disrupted an opponent, got them out of their offensive rhythm. Is that something you can tuck away and kind of have maybe to pull out when you need it here and there going forward?

MALIK RENEAU: I mean, we work on our zone a lot. We might not show it a lot of times, but in case of this situation, we’ll just show a zone real quick to get the other team off what they want the run coming out of the timeout or looks like that. So if we work on it, we’re going to put it out here and there sometimes.

Q. Kaleb, your thoughts on Malik, couple 30-point games here now recently. What are the things he does now to give him the opportunity to have games that are that productive?

KALEB BANKS: I’m very proud of Malik. I feel like his work is showing and he’s showing well. I can recognize that. And I’m sure Malik is finally reaping the benefits off his work. He can do a lot of things, rebound, pass, score. So tonight he really just showed us his scoring ability.

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Drew Rosenberg is staff writer for and hosts 'The Talkin' Bout the Hoosiers Podcast' covering Indiana University athletics. Drew is a senior, studying Sports Media and will graduate from the Indiana University Media School in the spring of 2024.