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Indiana vs. Xavier: Mike Woodson midweek press conference highlights

Here’s what the Hoosiers’ head coach had to say about the Musketeers.

NCAA Basketball: Bethune-Cookman at Indiana Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Indiana men’s basketball head coach Mike Woodson addressed the media on Thursday ahead of the Hoosiers’ road matchup with Xavier on Friday.

Here’s what he had to say:

Q: On Trey Galloway’s shot

Woodson: “I mean, the only way you’re going to make them is you got to put time in in the gym. They’ve spent a lot of time this summer and it’s starting to pay off. Trey’s shot looks totally different than last year. His free throws look different. And he’s healthy. I mean, that guy was kind of beat up last season because of the fact that he plays so hard. He took some bumps, and it’s been a while to get him back on the floor. Now he’s back and playing pretty well for us.”

Q: On Trey Galloway’s game

Woodson: “Well, he was valuable last year. I can’t help but think he’s going to be valuable for us this year so early into the season. Listen, the guy plays hard. That’s a big part of it. I mean, it helps that he can make shots now. He’s confident enough to knock the three ball down. He just makes basketball plays and he plays hard, and playing hard for me trumps a lot things. That’s what I look at first and foremost, how is your motor. He’s got a high motor in terms of how he plays. When he’s doing all the things we have asked him to do on the floor, he will be out there getting minutes.”

Q: On Xavier’s big men

Woodson: “Well, again, we haven’t played too many bigs that — the last big that we played was Michigan’s big that can make shots out on the floor. Big Jack [Nunge] can make shots out on the floor. In transition, we can’t get so sucked into the point where he’s trailing and he just trails right into three point shots. He made a couple of those the other night in their game, so we just got to be alert to that. And the big fellow, Zach, I mean, he does a lot of things out on the floor, but he mainly does a lot of his damage around the bucket. So we just got our hands filled with two bigs that we got match with our bigs with the energy and see what happens.”

Q: On Indiana’s guards playing defense

Woodson: “Well, it’s very important. I mean, whenever you can put some heat on the ball as the ball is coming up the floor to kind of slow or disrupt their early offense, your opponents’ early offense, it helps. Xavier was pretty much the only guy that could do that last year. Now we’ve got Tamar Bates comfortable, Galloway comfortable, Jalen is comfortable now where we can extend our defense a little bit. But make no mistake about it, Xavier has some great guards. They got good guard play and Souley and Jones out front. Those guys are all pretty good basketball players and they play hard. I mean, the guy, Adams, No. 5 that comes off the bench, he might start. He started I think last year for them. They got solid players. It’s individual matchups all around the floor. Nobody has a night off is kind of how I look at it.”

Q: On the second unit’s frontcourt

Woodson: “Again, we don’t have any dropoffs. Again, guys, it’s early. It’s two games we’ve played. If you want to count the other two exhibition games. You know, I like our second unit. There is no doubt about that. If they continue to play at a high level, it just makes us that much better as a basketball team. I just didn’t have that last year. That is no knock against the guys that we had. They gave us all they could give us. That was good enough for us to get the 21 wins and get into tournament play. We got to be better than that this year. Our bench has to play a major role in what we do. If you follow me over the years as a coach in the NBA, my bench was all pretty good. I’ve always felt that the bench is just as important as the guys that start the game, because sometimes they not going to have it. If the bench is there consistently for you, it makes you a better ball club.”

Q: On playing in a road environment

Woodson: “Well, after our Bethune game the first thing I said before we broke huddle is, I’m thinking about the next game now. You know, the Bethune game was what it was. We had a chance to come back and break the film down and watch it. But the road is different. You know, I mean, if you learn to handle your business and play well on the road, then it becomes contagious. But you got to do all the necessary things to win on the road. It’s not easy winning on the road. You can’t turn it over. Where we had problems early last season, we were in every road game and led in a lot of road games, but our turnovers cost us early on. Key rebounds here and there, a missed defensive assignment here and there, those are the things that we have to clean up this year to be a great team on the road. I mean, because, again, when you go into these arenas, these guys, they feel good about themselves, too. They’re at home now. Now you got to make them uncomfortable. So I’m kind of anxious to see where we are going into tomorrow night’s game because we are going to have to be a good road team in order get where we need to go.”