Indiana men’s basketball head coach Mike Woodson addressed the media following the Hoosiers’ 77-65 win over North Carolina on Wednesday night.
Here’s what he had to say:
Q: On Trayce Jackson-Davis’ play against Armando Bacot
Woodson: “Well, it wasn’t just Trayce. I thought Trayce had a hell of a game. But this was a total team effort across the board. From a defensive standpoint, we were truly, truly solid from the beginning till the end. A lot of things didn’t go our way from a foul standpoint, but that’s what it is. Man, we played through the fouls that were called and was able to bring the game home.”
Q: On the frontcourt’s play on offense
Woodson: “We got some pretty good inside players. Malik missed a lot of bunnies around the hole that he normally makes. Trayce was solid again around the bucket. We got Race, who can post it as well. I feel good about our inside-out game with any team. But it’s been our perimeter play that’s put us in this position as well. Our bench has come in and given us... I thought Galloway tonight was phenomenal, man, the way he played based on the fact that he hadn’t practiced in the last 10, 11 days. It was nice to have him back.”
Q: On momentum at the start of each half
Woodson: “Well, I got to give a lot of credit to my coaching staff who helped with the game plan, the scout. I mean, Kenya and his supporting cast was phenomenal in terms of putting the game plan together. I thought our players fell right in line in terms of how we wanted to guard. Make no mistake about it, they got great players over on that side of the ball, man. But I thought tonight our defense is what held in for us. Was able to help us secure the win.”
Q: On if this is a “statement” win for Indiana.
Woodson: “It’s not a statement, man. It’s our schedule. We had to play North Carolina, which is a great institution, man, that’s had great success with their program for many years. It was a great matchup tonight. We were able to come out on top. I don’t think it’s a statement. We got to now start preparing for Rutgers, get ready for the Big Ten because the Big Ten is a grind, as you know. Rutgers is next up.”
Q: On Indiana’s fanbase
Woodson: “ Again, I think it’s great for our fans. I want to thank the fans who slept overnight outside in the cold and rain just to be here today. Boy, that means a great deal to our players and this program. Our fan base is phenomenal. To have two franchise, if you want to call it, storied colleges, institutions, that have been great in basketball for many years clash like this. Hell, I didn’t get a chance to play in Carolina. I was in the bed having back surgery the one year we played them, my senior year. Then we were able to beat them in ‘81 for the title. It’s always been a battle with this team. They beat us, as a matter of fact, in 1980 here. To return the favor, beat a team that’s well-coached, means a great deal to our program.”
Q: On Xavier Johnson
Woodson: “Well, we needed him on the floor. Thank God he didn’t pick up the fouls (laughter). He’s been great for us, man. He’s another guy that we all are benefiting from his hard work that he’s put in. He’s just a different dude this year, man. That’s kind of nice to see. His play on the court is an indication of that ‘cause he’s playing both sides of the ball. We’re asking him to pick up defensively, put heat on the ball, then score the ball as well. It was kind of his night tonight. We needed every bit of it.”