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Postgame Reaction: Indiana discusses loss to Miami



Indiana Hoosiers head coach Mike Woodson watches his team play against the Miami (Fl) Hurricanes during the second half at MVP Arena. (David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports)

The Indiana basketball program saw its 2022-23 season come to a close on Sunday night, falling to Miami in the Round of 32, 85-69.

The Hoosiers end the season 23-12 overall.

Below is the full transcript from head coach Mike Woodson and players Trayce Jackson-Davis, Miller Kopp and Race Thompson.

MIKE WOODSON: You’ve got to give Miami a lot of credit. They played their butts off tonight. It was a well-coached game, and I thought they were the better team. They showed it first half and second half.

I thought when we got back in it, we didn’t do the things to put us in position once we got the lead to win this game. So you’ve got to give Miami a lot of credit. They played their butts off.

Q. What got you back in the game, what got you the lead early in the second half, and what got away from you as Miami got back into it?

TRAYCE JACKSON-DAVIS: What got us back in the game is we were playing hard on the defensive end of the floor and getting quick baskets, quick screen, quick points in the post, stuff of that nature. Our defense was leading the offense. Kind of got away from us. They hit a few tough shots. They hit some shots, got some rebounds on the offensive end of the floor that got them extra possessions.

When you get down eight to ten, you’ve got to press, and they’re a really good team going in transition. So that’s when the game started getting out of hand.

Q. Miller and Race, you guys kind of had to struggle through the first half, but then Miller hit that big three at the end, and Trey came out and hit one. When you got ahead 42-40, where were you at in your mind? Did you feel you were back where you needed to be and could take it from there?

MILLER KOPP: Yeah, we were super confident. We came out and made a run, punched first. That’s what we wanted to do coming out of halftime. So for us we were feeling really confident, putting Trayce in a good position to share the ball and attack.

We just didn’t keep that up.

Q. For Trayce and Race, Miami had 20 offensive rebounds. I mean, how difficult was it to try to get that contained? Why do you think it was difficult to get it contained?

TRAYCE JACKSON-DAVIS: They’re a great offensive rebounding team. They’ve got athletes. They would shoot shots. Everyone was crashing. They didn’t have guards getting back. Everyone was going to get the ball.

Omier played really well on the offensive glass to bring energy and wedging people under, myself included. They were playing relentless on the glass. So they punished us, and that’s what they did honestly.

Q. Trayce, you were getting noticeably emotional as the end of the game came to a close. When you think about your last four years as a Hoosier, what kind of comes to your mind? What do you think about?

TRAYCE JACKSON-DAVIS: I just think about just being part of the change really. Just two years ago, we were getting Booed in our home city, Indianapolis, off the court in the Big Ten Tournament.

Just being in this moment two years later, it’s really special. It’s really special to me to have the Indiana fans on your back and just cheering for you and giving them hope. It’s something that this program hasn’t had in a while. So I just thought it was really cool to be part of that and be part of that experience.

I know this guy right next to me is going to make sure that things stay in the right direction.

Q. The start of the second half was good. The start of the first half wasn’t. You fell behind 13-3. I think in a sideline interview Coach Woodson said you guys were complaining too much and it was a big time basketball game and you needed to play harder. Did you feel like you didn’t play hard enough early on?

TRAYCE JACKSON-DAVIS: Yeah, I just think that they got off to a quick start. We didn’t play well to start the game. Then going into the second half, I think that we kind of punched first. I think at the end of the first half we got — I think it was maybe a run of five, where we cut it to five. Then we punched first at the start of the second half and tried to carry that momentum off.

Then it kind of was back and forth, back and forth until they kind of sprung out again. There was definitely complaining, but we’re just competitors. We’re trying to compete. So it happens.

THE MODERATOR: Thank you to our student-athletes.

Q. What’s the hardest part of the suddenness of this ending for you?

MIKE WOODSON: This one is tough to swallow because I truly believe that this team had a legitimate shot. As a coach, I put so much pressure and heat on myself to get teams over the hump, so I’ve got to take some responsibility for this one tonight.

Even though we didn’t play nowhere near where I thought we should be playing, you’ve got to give Miami a lot of credit. They played extremely well tonight. When I look at the stat sheet and look at the paint points and the rebounding, that’s just not Indiana basketball. That’s where the game was won.

Yes, we were complaining a lot. You can’t do that in big-time college basketball games. They let you play. And you should want to be in that position to be let to play. We didn’t compete. They were the better team tonight.

Q. Coach, it’s a new age of college basketball, and obviously this loss really stings. But how long do you take before you start hitting the transfer portal, roster building, and those kinds of things?

MIKE WOODSON: I’ll sleep on this tonight and get up tomorrow and start a fresh day, start trying to figure out how we can get better for next season.

I’m not taking anything away from our season. I told the guys in the locker room how much I love them and respect them for playing for me this year. The kind of season we had was a promising season. We had a good year.

We made a step forward based on where we were a year ago, but it’s not good enough as far as I’m concerned. It’s not. We’ve got to get better from a personnel standpoint, and I’ve got to get better as a coach. I mean, it’s just that simple.

Q. Since you’ve been here action you’ve played through Trayce Jackson-Davis, and it’s obvious why you did that. I’m just curious looking forward, is it your intent to be more of a perimeter-focused team? What are your thoughts about kind of your preferred style going forward?

MIKE WOODSON: It depends on personnel. When I was in New York — Trayce Jackson-Davis is the first center that I’ve ever coached in my career where I had to utilize my center as a post-up player.

Trayce has gotten so much better being a post-up player. I mean, he’s a basketball player now. I’d like to think that my staff and I have had a lot to do with that. He has gotten so much better in so many different areas.

But it’s the first time in my coaching career that I’ve had to coach a young man starting out on the block and expanding his game. I don’t know where we’re going to be next season in terms of how our style of play will be. But we’ve got to get better. I do know that.

Q. I know you’ve talked about what it is that freshmen have to go through during the course of a season. Even 34 games in, Jalen really struggled early coming out of the gate tonight. How much of that was nerves and him just not getting comfortable early enough?

MIKE WOODSON: I don’t know if I’d call it nerves. We just didn’t play well. We did a lot of things tonight that from an offensive standpoint, we didn’t sacrifice the next pass. It was like individually I had to beat you. I got to do it myself instead of doing it as a team.

There were a number of times we could have made the next pass, and we didn’t do that. And then defensively, I told them at halftime we gave up 40 points, and we hadn’t done that a whole lot this season. Normally we’re sitting on top.

I told them, if we gave up 80 points, you would have a tough time beating this team, and we gave up 80-some points. Which wasn’t good.

Q. The UM team feels that sometimes they’re underrated, underappreciated. What do you think is the national perception of that team? What kind of respect do they have? Do you think they’re a little bit underrated?

MIKE WOODSON: Ma’am, I’ll tell you this: I never go into a game looking at a team that you might think or somebody might think is underrated. I respect all coaches and all teams. You go in with that attitude, you won’t be very successful in this sport.

That coach has done a helluva job with that team for many, many years, and that team tonight competed and played their asses off, and that’s why I’m sitting here going home and they’re moving forward. So I have nothing but respect for every team that we play. That team was pretty damn good tonight.

Q. Coach, Trayce Jackson-Davis’ final game tonight. What does he mean to you and this program?

MIKE WOODSON: Well, he’s meant a lot to this program. I don’t think we’re sitting here today if it wasn’t for Trayce Jackson-Davis. He could have left two days after I got the job, but he decided to stay on board. He worked his butt off. I pushed him on and off the court. A lot of nights and days, it wasn’t pretty for him, but he got better. He benefited from it, and our team benefited from it.

I wish him nothing but the best moving forward — him, Miller, and Race, who gave us all they could give us. It was fun times coaching those guys this season, but they’re going to move on, and I’ve got to figure out our next move as far as our program and moving this program forward.

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. 


‘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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Big Ten announces Indiana women’s basketball 2023-24 schedule



Teri Moren, Indiana women's basketball

The Big Ten officially announced the 2023-24 schedule for the Indiana women’s basketball program on Thursday afternoon.

Below is the full release from the program and the official schedule for the upcoming season.

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Indiana women’s basketball has announced the 2023-24 regular season schedule, including Big Ten matchups, on Thursday afternoon.

The season begins on Nov. 9 against Eastern Illinois at home inside Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall. IU’s non-conference schedule features a pair of potential Top 25 matchups when it faces Stanford in Palo Alto (Nov. 12) and against Tennessee in the Fort Myers tipoff on Thanksgiving night in a nationally televised game on FOX at 6 p.m. ET.

Murray State (Nov. 17) and Lipscomb (Nov. 19) also visit the Hall in non-conference action as the Hoosiers will also travel to a neutral site game in Portland, Maine against Maine at Cross Insurance Arena.

IU will kick off Big Ten play on Dec. 9th when it travels to Rutgers. It will wrap up non-conference play against Evansville and Bowling Green State University before jumping back into league play on New Year’s Eve at home against Illinois. They wrap up a four-game homestand on January 4th by hosting Michigan.

The next six matchups alternate between home and away as it visits Nebraska (Jan. 7), returns home for Penn State (Jan. 10) and heads to Iowa (Jan. 13). Minnesota comes to Bloomington (Jan. 17) while the Barn Burner Trophy is up for grabs at Purdue (Jan. 21) in the first of two meetings between in-state rivals.

They then play their first of two meetings against Northwestern (Jan. 28) and at Maryland (Jan. 31). February begins at Ohio State (Feb. 4) before a two-game homestand against Michigan State (Feb. 8) and Purdue (Feb. 11) are on the slate. The Hoosiers are back on the road for Valentine’s Day at Wisconsin and at Illinois (Feb. 19).

Wrapping up the regular season, Iowa and Indiana meet for the second time on Feb. 22 in Bloomington before a final regular season road game at Northwestern (Feb. 27). The regular season finale will be at home for Senior Day when the program hosts Maryland (Mar. 3).

The Big Ten Tournament will be held March 6-10, 2024 at Target Center in Minneapolis. Game times and TV designations will be determined later.

2023-24 Indiana Women’s Basketball Schedule

Date Opponent Location
Nov. 1 Northwood (exh.) Bloomington, Ind.
Nov. 9 EIU Bloomington, Ind.
Nov. 12 at Stanford Palo Alto, Calif.
Nov. 17 Murray State Bloomington, Ind.
Nov. 19 Lipscomb Bloomington, Ind.
Nov. 23 Tennessee^ Fort Myers, Fla.
Nov. 25 Princeton^ Fort Myers, Fla.
Nov. 30 Maine# Portland, Me.
Dec. 9 at Rutgers* Piscataway, N.J.
Dec. 18 Evansville Bloomington, Ind.
Dec. 22 BGSU Bloomington, Ind.
Dec. 31 Illinois* Bloomington, Ind.
Jan. 4 Michigan* Bloomington, Ind.
Jan. 7 at Nebraska* Lincoln, Neb.
Jan. 10 Penn State* Bloomington, Ind.
Jan. 13 at Iowa* Iowa City, Iowa
Jan. 17 Minnesota* Bloomington, Ind.
Jan. 21 at Purdue* West Lafayette, Ind.
Jan. 28 Northwestern* Bloomington, Ind.
Jan. 31 at Maryland* College Park, Md.
Feb. 4 at Ohio State* Columbus, Ohio
Feb. 8 Michigan State* Bloomington, Ind.
Feb. 11 Purdue* Bloomington, Ind.
Feb. 14 at Wisconsin* Madison, Wis.
Feb. 19 at Illinois* Champaign, Ill.
Feb. 22 Iowa* Bloomington, Ind.
Feb. 27 at Northwestern* Evanston, Ill.
Mar. 3 Maryland* Bloomington, Ind.

*^ – Fort Myers Tipoff
# – neutral site game at Cross Insurance Arena
* – Big Ten matchup

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



Xavier Johnson, Indiana basketball
Indiana basketball point guard Xavier Johnson was named preseason All-Big Ten Second Team by The Almanac on Wednesday. (Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports)

One of the top college basketball publications have released its preseason awards and honors for the Big Ten and Indiana basketball point guard Xavier Johnson was one of the recipients.

Johnson, a sixth-year point guard, was named to The Almanac preseason All-Big Ten Second Team.  Johnson played and started 11 games for Indiana last season before suffering a broken foot on Dec. 17 that kept him out the remainder of the season. He averaged 9.9 points and 4.9 assists per game last season.

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.

In 2021-22, Johnson averaged 12.1 points and 5.1 assists per game.

Johnson returned to Indiana last season after a terrific end to his 2021-22 season. Following a four game losing streak and the end of February, Johnson hit his stride in the last month of the year. In the last nine games, he averaged 16.7 points per game and 6.9 assists to just 2.8 turnovers a game. That helped lift IU to a NCAA berth.

“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,” Mike Woodson said at Indiana basketball media day on 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.”

Heading into this season, Johnson was named captain of the Indiana basketball program — a high honor, but one that comes with his effort and leadership throughout his IU tenure.

“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. “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.”

In five seasons between Pitt and Indiana, Johnson has played in 129 games (126 starts).

“This year, X has played more basketball games in college than anybody on our ballclub, 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,” Woodson added. “That’s what it’s all about.”

The 2023-24 season for the Indiana basketball program gets underway on Nov. 7 against 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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