BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Indiana coach Mike Woodson appeared on the weekly radio show “Inside Indiana Basketball” on Monday night with play-by-play announcer Don Fischer.
The most pressing matter of the night was the health status of senior point guard Xavier Johnson, who suffered a foot injury in the first half of Saturday’s loss at Kansas. Johnson came out of the halftime locker room wearing a walking boot and crutches, and he was limited to nine minutes of action.
On Monday, Woodson gave an update on Johnson.
“Well right now we’re still evaluating him,” Woodson said. “He’s kind of day-to-day to just kind of see where he is right now. I think we’ll know more probably – he won’t play tomorrow [against Elon] – so we’ll know more probably Wednesday to see exactly where we are with him.”
Johnson has started all 11 games for Indiana at point guard, and he is second on the team with 9.9 points per game. He leads Indiana with 4.9 assists per game, in addition to 3.3 rebounds and 1.2 steals. Johnson is shooting 41.5 percent overall, 37.0 percent on 3-point shots and 79.5 percent from the free throw line in 25.2 minutes per game.
“We’ll wait on X if he ever gets the chance to come back based on where he is right now, and we’ll know more Wednesday,” Woodson said. “We’ll take him back, but right now we’ve got to move forward with what we’ve got and give other guys an opportunity to play.”
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Johnson transferred from Pittsburgh to Indiana before last season, and this is his fifth and final year of eligibility.
“He’s frustrated because I’ve been there in those shoes, man, as a senior when you go down. This is kind of like his last go around,” Woodson said. “I mean, he can’t be redshirted, he can’t come back because of a covid year. He’s put his time in, and so he’s very frustrated. But it’s my job, it’s his family’s job to keep his head, keep him upbeat, man that’s what it’s all about because eventually in time everything heals and he’ll be back on the basketball floor playing. But right now the uncertainty in terms of where he is is the problem.”
With Johnson out for at least one game based on Woodson’s comments, junior guard Trey Galloway could step back into a starting role for Indiana. Galloway started three games when freshman guard Jalen Hood-Schifino was out with a back injury, and Galloway scored a career-high 20 points against Nebraska. Hood-Schifino returned on Saturday against Kansas and scored 11 points with six rebounds, five turnovers, four assists and three steals. Johnson’s injury could also allow more playing time for guards Tamar Bates, CJ Gunn and Anthony Leal.
“I’ve always thought next man up, man,” Woodson said. “That’s why I tell players all the time, you’ve got to always stay ready because you don’t know the unknown. He’s out, next man has got to step up and play. I just got to figure out a different rotation. That’s all we can do, and keep grinding in practice to get better.”
Indiana hosts the Elon Phoenix on Tuesday night and Kennesaw State on Friday at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall before an extended break. Indiana resumes play on Jan. 5 at Iowa, signaling Big Ten play the rest of the way. Through 11 games, the Hoosiers are 8-3 with notable wins over Xavier, North Carolina and Nebraska and losses to Rutgers, No. 5 Arizona and No. 4 Kansas.
“Nothing changes,” Woodson said. “I still feel good about our team and where we’re going.
- INDIANA DROPS IN AP POLL: Indiana didn’t come ready to play at Kansas on Saturday in an 84-62 loss, so the Hoosiers fell to No. 18 in this week’s Associated Press Top-25 poll. Here is the complete poll with four Big Ten teams. CLICK HERE
- TOM BREW COLUMN: Indiana wanted to test themselves against the best in December, but double-digit losses to Arizona and Kansas have proven that they are Final Four-caliber teams, and Indiana isn’t. The goal is to learn from it and get better. If that happens, then maybe we’ll think differently about this team down the road. CLICK HERE
- GAME STORY: Indiana wanted to beef up its schedule to see where it stands against Final Four-caliber teams, but the Hoosiers got thumped for the second straight Saturday, losing at Kansas 84-62 in an ugly game with 23 turnovers and several defensive lapses. CLICK HERE
- WHAT MIKE WOODSON SAID: Indiana got blown out by a top-10 team for the second weekend in a row, and Hoosiers coach Mike Woodson wasn’t happy about it. He was especially upset about their 23 turnovers and effort. Here’s the video of his postgame press conference, and the full transcript as well. CLICK HERE
- WHAT JACKSON-DAVIS SAID: Trayce Jackson-Davis finished with 13 points on 4-for-8 shooting, nine blocked shots, six rebounds and three turnovers in Indiana’s 84-62 loss at Kansas on Saturday. Here’s what Jackson-Davis said after the game. CLICK HERE
- KANSAS DEFENSE ‘BEST IT’S BEEN’: Kansas turned 23 Indiana turnovers into 28 points and held the Hoosiers to 37.7 percent shooting. Coach Bill Self said the Jayhawks’ defense was the best it’s been this season, leading to an 84-62 win over No. 14 Indiana on Saturday at Allen Fieldhouse. CLICK HERE
- INDIANA SCHEDULE: Here is Indiana’s complete 2022-23 men’s basketball schedule, with dates, opponents, game times and TV information, plus links to all the stories from games played so far. CLICK HERE
- JACKSON-DAVIS MOVES UP TO NO. 8: Trayce Jackson-Davis had 13 points against Kansas and moved up to No. 8 on Indiana’s all-time scoring list on Saturday, passing Hoosier legends Kent Benson and Damon Bailey. Here’s where he stands on the list of scorers. Alan Henderson up next. CLICK HERE