Head coach Mike Woodson, Trayce Jackson-Davis, Rob Phinisee, and Race Thompson all answered questions prior to their international trip to the Bahamas where they will play in two exhibition games against BC Mega.
Woodson, who spoke first, made it clear that the focus for the last month and a half has been on the defensive side of the ball.
“We’ll be tested. I’m anxious to see where we are from a defensive standpoint,” Woodson said about their upcoming exhibition games. “We’ve still got a long way to go. The positive behind the month and a half is they’re starting to pick up things I’m throwing at them.”
Woodson had positive things to say about nearly the entire roster. Commenting on the improvement of both Jackson-Davis and Phinisee, claiming the senior point guard has, “stood a bit out in terms of being more relaxed and comfortable.”
The former IU star turned head coach had many things to say about the incoming transfers and freshman who have yet to play a game for the Cream and Crimson and did not hold back as to what he wants to see from them.
“He’s (Xavier Johnson) a point guard which is what I believe is one of the most important roles on a team,” Woodson said. “I’ve probably been on his ass more than anybody on the team.”
When speaking on freshman Tamar Bates, Woodson said, “Young Tamar Bates is a typical freshman. The good thing is he’s put on about 12 pounds since joining. He’s a cocky kid who’s not scared, and I like that.”
Race Thompson, Phinisee, and Jackson-Davis all took the stand next.
Thompson spoke on what a trip to the Bahamas will do for this Indiana team by saying, “A trip like this is good for the team chemistry. “For me, coach Woodson has put his trust in me and I’m excited to play for him and showcase what we’ve worked on.”
As mentioned before, Woodson noted the improvement of Phinisee in both his ability to be more relaxed and his play on the court.
When asked about how he feels he has improved, Phinisee said, “I feel like a lot of people counted me out and forgot how good I was.”
Once asked how he can help this IU team Phinisee said, “I am able to do more in the offense and create for others”. He noted that he has also worked on his ability to finishes above and through contact at the rim.
Jackson-Davis spoke on the impact that Mike Woodson has had on the team in his short tenure has head coach.
“From the moment he got here, he brought the family aspect,” said Jackson-Davis. “He’s a family guy, a player’s coach, and you can go to him for anything. He loves all of us.
To close the media session out, TJD also spoke on the importance of the upcoming international trip to the Bahamas. “Going to the Bahamas…getting away with my teammates is going to be awesome,” TJD said. “It will be good to go against someone other than your teammates and I am just excited to go