Indiana men’s basketball will play against Michigan State at 3:30 p.m. ET on Saturday in East Lansing. Head coach Mike Woodson spoke with the media on Friday ahead of the game, here’s what he said:
On losing back-to-back games:
Woodson said Indiana is taking this season one game at a time, not looking too far ahead and focusing on directly what’s in front of it. But he emphasized that the Big Ten is deep this year, and that he believes Indiana is capable of winning any given game.
“The Big Ten has kind of shown that this season, that anybody can beat anybody,” Woodson said.
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On Indiana’s 3-point shooting:
Woodson said it isn’t a matter of volume or scheme, Indiana just needs to start making the 3-pointers it’s been shooting.
“We had some good looks the other night against Northwestern,” Woodson said. “I thought Anthony had some good looks, Miller had some good looks, we just didn’t knock them down. We’ve got to make them.”
On delegating game planning to his assistants:
Woodson, a former NBA head coach, said that he used to break the much longer NBA season down into chunks for assistants to scout. He does the same at Indiana, with Kenya Hunter, Dane Fife and Yasir Rosemond all taking 10 games apiece to fill out the 30-game schedule.
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Unsurprisingly, scouting duties for Michigan State fell to Fife, a former longtime assistant under Spartans’ head coach Tom Izzo.
“We will rely on some of the things he tells us,” Woodson said. “But again, we all watch film and come to a conclusion on how we want to play on both ends of the floor, and we’re still trying to work on finishing the game plan as we speak.”
On Michigan State’s backcourt:
Woodson had high praise for Michigan State’s guards, including freshman Max Christie. Christie isn’t a typical freshman, Woodson said, he has range, shooting ability and just knows how to play.
But Woodson also emphasized that Indiana has played talented guards before this season, and the Hoosiers’ offense is more of a concern for him at the moment rather than the defense.
“Offensively we’ve had our struggles in terms of making the long ball and just completing offensive plays over the course of a 40-minute game,” Woodson said. “We’ve had good halves, bad halves, we’ve put two good halves together. It’s kind of been a roller coaster ride in that regard.”
On Michigan State’s bigs:
Woodson said Indiana just needs to stay sharp when dealing with Michigan State’s forwards to keep them from getting too comfortable when shooting 3-pointers.
“When that ball is thrown back, we’ve got to make sure that we’re getting back to shooters,” Woodson said. “And our schemes when we’re switching and things of that nature, you’re going to have to switch up and make sure we’re not giving these guys their shots.”
On Trey Galloway:
With Trey Galloway’s play against Northwestern in mind, Woodson said he’s given some thought to inserting him into Indiana’s starting lineup.
“We’ll have to make that decision after today’s practice and see where we are,” Woodson. “But he’s definitely played well enough to be in the lineup.”
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