You’re probably gonna hear a lot more of “Reneau for two!” over the Assembly Hall public address system this winter.
Malik Reneau, now entering his sophomore year, was a surprise add for the Hoosiers last offseason. He decommitted from Florida following a coaching change and followed his Montverde Academy teammate Jalen Hood-Schifino to Bloomington.
His commitment was what established the beginnings of a “pipeline” between Montverde, one of if not the top high school destination for the best men’s basketball prospects, and Indiana. It’s now extended to Liam McNeeley.
But Reneau was and is a prize in and of himself. His only real issue last year was constant, consistent foul trouble on the defensive end of the court. That’s something he has to clean up in order to see good minutes in a crowded frontcourt.
On the court
Reneau is capable of being a high-level scorer in the post with some additional polish to his game. He was used on 23.3% of Indiana’s possessions when on the court as a freshman and has noted that the Hoosiers won’t post up as much as they did with Jackson-Davis.
Again, his biggest issue was foul trouble. If he can cut down on that he’ll be a reliable presence in the frontcourt.
Battling through contact in the post, Reneau made 56% of his attempts around the rim as a freshman. A combination of good footwork and his large frame allow him to muscle past other bigs to get buckets.
He doesn’t have to depend on passing to get the ball down low, he’s capable of driving to the post and scoring on his own.
Where he can truly be valuable is getting boards on the offensive end. He was arguably Indiana’s best rebounder on offense not named Trayce Jackson-Davis (10.1 OR%) in 2022-23, with an OR% of 9.4.
However, his turnover rate of 23.2 was second on the team. That can largely be attributed to freshman mistakes like bad passes, travels and the like. It should be noted that at least one NBA scout noted his passing as a strength at the Hoosiers’ Pro Day.
Reneau can get down the floor and into scoring position in transition, which’ll be something to watch for with Xavier Johnson’s return in mind. He’s not quite a lob threat, jump out of the gym kind of guy but Indiana has Kel’el Ware for that kind of action.
Finally, don’t expect him to become a knockdown shooter, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he has similar 3-point shooting numbers as Race Thompson, at least as far as attempts go.
At the program’s media day, Ware noted that Reneau has a good jumpshot, in addition to his own, allowing each to help the other out at the four and five on the floor.
Again, the foul trouble.
Something like that was to be expected what with him being a freshman but it’d be issue No. 1 heading into the offseason. Otherwise he’s likely capable of holding his own against what the Big Ten has to offer.
He plays with some confidence, Zach Edey looming down low isn’t gonna scare Reneau.
Reneau’s blocking percentage was somewhat interesting as a freshman, his 1.9% trailed behind those of Race Thompson (4.2%) and Jordan Geronimo (7.5%). That may need to rise to match the sheer athleticism of Ware. On the boards, his defensive rebounding rate of 18.8% was second on the team.
Reneau has a few issues to clean up heading into year two, but with the vast majority being the usual freshman miscues, he should be able to shake them off and log a productive sophomore season with the Hoosiers.