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Players Q&A: Indiana Basketball Captains Xavier Johnson and Trey Galloway react to the passing of Bob Knight

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Indiana basketball captains Xavier Johnson and Trey Galloway spoke to reporters following the news of legendary Indiana basketball coach, Bob Knight’s passing Wednesday night.

Below is the full video Q&A from both players and transcript.

Q. In terms of your knowledge of Bob Knight, did Mike Woodson bring that to you guys? How has he brought that to you guys’ class?

XAVIER JOHNSON: I think he brings up a lot, honestly, because it’s how he was taught as a player, when he was a player. He gives us the coach-player relationship. He tells us a lot of times that relationships are the biggest things, and that was something he was taught from Coach Knight.

TREY GALLOWAY: I think just going off X, I think just the impact he had on Coach Woodson we can see every day, and he shows the love and gratitude he had for him, and it was really cool to kind of see the connection that they had and how it’s really formed him as a coach and as a person, so it’s been really cool to kind of see that and see how far Coach Woodson has come on this journey and he’s still going, so it’s pretty special to see that connection they had.

Q. On a human level, Coach Woodson is hurting right now. This was his guy. How do you guys as players kind of rally to him, kind of reverse of what the usual would be to try to ease his own pain?

TREY GALLOWAY: Yeah, I think just doing all the things, whatever we’re asked to do. I think just playing hard and being leaders that we are, that we need to be, and bringing the other guys along is going to help him.

Obviously it’s challenging right now because it’s such a big loss for everyone and everyone is affected by it. But I think just for us to go out there and play as hard as we can and know the reason we’re playing, for Indiana tradition, and he’s a big piece of that tradition.

Just obviously remembering him and playing hard for Coach Woodson and his loss.

XAVIER JOHNSON: I just think we need to wrap our arms around him, honestly, because I know how it feels to lose somebody that’s close to you. I know that Coach Knight was basically a father figure to Coach Woodson because he lost his actual dad when he was 14, so I know he’s taking this real hard.

Like I said before, we’ve just got to do what Trey said, as well, as a team. We’ve got to come at it as a unit and play hard for him, and we’ve got to know the reason why we’re playing.

Q. Trey, you’re Indiana born and bred. What impact did Coach Knight have on you individually and your entire family?

TREY GALLOWAY: Yeah, especially for my family. My dad is a coach, so he always talked about him, and my family is a big Indiana fan. Just knowing what he meant to this place and to my family and the tradition that he left and what he build is incredible. I think just remembering all the great times he had here and just the success he had is important to me, my family and obviously everyone that was involved in Indiana. But it was a special thing he had going on. It was great.

Q. Trey, you’re obviously from Indiana so your history and knowledge of it goes way back, and Xavier not being from here, what has been the differences of learning about what someone that cast such a large shadow has done for the state and for the fans of Indiana basketball and what it means to Indiana basketball fans?

XAVIER JOHNSON: You know, from being out of state, that was one of the first things I learned. Coach Knight was one of the best if not the best coach to ever do it. Coach Woodson, he preaches a lot about him.

I know one thing, that when he came to practice, our practices were probably one of the best practices we had honestly because when he came around he it was just like a peacemaker. Seeing a guy you know built this foundation is big.

TREY GALLOWAY: Going off that, whenever he came to practice, we knew it was business. It’s special being able to see him sitting over there and just seeing Coach Woodson, like his face light up whenever he walked in, it was special to see that.

I think just knowing what he had and how special it was is important for us to carry that on and play hard like we have been. I think just going out there and knowing what we’re playing for, like I said, and the impact he’s left on Indiana, it truly is special.

Q. Coach Woodson just said it was important to him to kind of have a relationship with his players after they leave the same way he did with Coach Knight. How does that hit you, to know that he’s going to be there for you as long as he’s around?

TREY GALLOWAY: It means the world. That’s one of the things we knew when he came in. That was a big part of him, and the way he treats his players is special because he’s been there, and he’s done that.

I think just knowing that he has our backs and we have his is a good bond that we need to have throughout the year because there’s a lot of ups and downs that you go through, but if you’re all there together and have each other’s backs, it makes it a lot easier to get through those tough times.

I think just knowing that he’s going to be there for us way past basketball, it’s cool to see that, as well.

XAVIER JOHNSON: You know, going off what Trey said there, too, as well, he cares for each and every one of his players. I saw it — not to talk about myself, but I saw it the most when I was down bad and I was hurt, because I’ve never been hurt, honestly, but I saw that the most.

He cares about his family, brings people in and takes care of them just like they’re his own.

SEE ALSO: With a unique perspective, former IU head coach Archie Miller reflects on Bob Knight: ‘Brilliant coach and also a brilliant person’

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

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