Trey Galloway wasn’t a starter for the first few games of Indiana’s 2022-23 season, but by the end of it he was an absolutely vital presence in the backcourt.
Mike Woodson tried out a few different things in the wake of Xavier Johnson’s eventual season-ending injury, with the end result being Galloway’s elevation to a starting spot. His energy on both ends of the court has been praised by Woodson since the latter’s arrival at Indiana in 2021.
Becoming the team’s secondary ball-handler without a solid third option wasn’t in the plan for Galloway, but he rose to the occasion. His high-motor play and off-court leadership earned Galloway a role as one of Indiana’s two team captains this upcoming season, which Woodson doesn’t take lightly.
“I’m hard on captains,” Woodson said at the program’s media day. “I’ve always been that way. Bob Knight was hard on me as a captain when I was here. You’re not given that title just to be given it. You’ve got to earn it, and you’ve got to be held accountable in terms of not only putting yourself in position to help us win, but getting guys to play at a high level around you. That’s important.”
In that role, he’ll look to be a vocal leader for the younger members of the roster (of which there are many) as the team jells. They’ll need to do so quickly with a vaunted non-conference schedule.
“I’ve been in this position for a while now and I’ve been here four years, so I know what I’m talking about, and I think it’s going to really be important for me to be vocal and help those younger guys,” Galloway said at media day.
He’s a vital part of the roster heading into 2023-24, on and off the court.
On the court
What stands out about Galloway is the incredibly high motor he plays with. He brings extreme effort on both ends of the floor that can cover for some of his deficiencies as a player.
He took a substantial leap in almost every meaningful statistical category from his second to third year:
A lot of guys make their big development jump between their freshman and sophomore seasons.— Assembly Call (⚪, ) (@AssemblyCall) February 26, 2023
And then there's Trey Galloway. pic.twitter.com/RL8d2UuQYG
It’d be unfair to expect a similar leap, but having that level of play from the jump instead of developing as the season goes on will prove helpful for Indiana.
Galloway’s athleticism has helped his development as a ball-handler, especially over the course of the past year. He’s not an NBA-level athlete, but has the burst and effort to dribble past defenders.
Now, Galloway probably isn’t the first guy you’d want running the offense for Indiana, but he’s proven he can do it at a good enough level to keep the Hoosiers afloat on that end.
He’s doesn’t have a ton of fear on offense, he’s been more than willing to go toe-to-toe with the Big Ten’s best bigs, guys like Kofi Cockburn and Zach Edey, while driving to the rim.
Galloway has the vertical leap to get above the rim, as seen in his highlight-reel play against North Carolina and his near-dunk over Zach Edey at Mackey.
His weakness lies in shooting beyond the arc. Mind you, he improved dramatically with limited attempts as a junior, but he’ll need to be more aggressive was a shooter in year four.
There’s no more go-to, Miller Kopp-type guy on the roster and you can’t assume one will emerge. Indiana will need to get better on the perimeter as a unit, and Galloway is integral to that effort.
Galloway’s effort is especially critical on defense, where he’s often assigned to the No. 1 or 2 option at guard. With Xavier Johnson healthy and likely taking over as the primary on-ball defender, Galloway can focus on the secondary option.
It was Galloway that had Purdue’s freshman backcourt in absolute fits during both of the Hoosiers’ matchups with the Boilermakers last season, which had proven to be the model used against the Big Ten champs by Indiana, Maryland and Northwestern in victories.
With three years in college behind him, Galloway’s basketball IQ is impressive and he has the awareness to make key plays at critical moments. His steal in Ann Arbor sealed Indiana’s victory in February:
In the moment this felt like the play of the game. Miller Kopp gets switched on to Hunter Dickinson, busts his ass to front him and Trey Galloway predicts the pass. Huge. #iubb pic.twitter.com/oKyzPVEifW— Martha (@TheMopLady) February 12, 2023
With Michigan looking for two and potentially a foul should Dickinson make this play, Galloway bet on the pass and won.
With Woodson prioritizing defense at Indiana, Galloway’s performance on that end was likely chief among the reasons to start him. Now it’s why he’s captain.
Guard play isn’t exactly deep in the Big Ten this year, so it’ll be interesting to see Galloway’s assignments and performance with Johnson back in the fold alongside him.