BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — It’s good to be back.
Even without two key contributors, including their preseason AP All-American, No. 13 Indiana cruised to a 78-42 victory over Marian in the first exhibition game of the 2022-23 season.
Both Trayce Jackson-Davis and Tamar Bates missed the contest, sitting in suits on the sideline as their teams warmed up for the game. The two were inactive for precautionary reasons. Malik Reneau started in Jackson-Davis’ spot in his first career game as a Hoosier.
The Marian Knights finished the 2021-22 season 26-6 with an early exit in the NAIA Tournament. Meanwhile, the Hoosiers slogged their way into a First Four spot, finishing 21-14 on the season, after beating Wyoming and losing to St. Mary’s in the NCAA Tournament.
Senior and captain Race Thompson scored the first bucket of the season, followed by Reneau, who put back his first shot attempt.
Reneau set the tone immediately. Using a variety of post moves and banking on his impressive athleticism, Reneau imposed himself on both ends of the floor.
IU’s defense as a whole came out on point, forcing a charge, shot clock violation, and turnover in the first two minutes. The offense built off this energy, giving the Hoosiers a 10-0 lead five minutes into the contest.
Indiana started cold from the three-point line shooting 0-for-3, while they scored 17-of-21 points in the paint. However, Thompson began to heat up later in the first half, swishing three shots from the perimeter. On the other hand, fellow veteran and team leader Xavier Johnson struggled to get hot, starting 1-for-9 on field goal attempts.
The two starting true freshmen, Reneau and Hood-Schifino, showed incredible promise. “RENEAU FOR TWO” quickly became the slogan of the arena as they went 10-for-13 in the first half, scoring 20 of IU’s 42 points. In addition, they energized Assembly Hall with their play.
IU rotated a healthy amount in the first, showing Logan Duncomb, Trey Galloway, Jordan Geronimo, and CJ Gunn some floor time. Though the Hoosiers committed some sloppy errors, they cleaned it up and finished the half by doubling the Knights 42-21.
The start of the second half saw more of the Reneau and Hood-Schifino chemistry developing. Reneau finished the game with 14 points and 10 rebounds and Hood-Schifino had 11 points with three rebounds and four assists.
Halfway through the second, IU led 60-30 and gave their starters a break.
Duncomb started to find his rhythm with a pair of twos and five rebounds. Duncomb, who had six points all season last year, finished with a double-double, scoring 11 points and snagging 11 rebounds.
Galloway stepped up as ball carrier and orchestrated the offense for a couple of minutes, hitting a three to spark a roar from the crowd. Gunn drained 2-of-3 from deep as well. Indiana finished 8-of-19 (42.1%) from three-point range in the game.
Geronimo made himself a presence on the court playing with a competitive edge. The last two Hoosier scholarship players to see action were Kaleb Banks and Anthony Leal. When Woodson sent Leal to check in with 5:39 to go, it spurred a warm round of applause from the crowd.
IU only allowed 25.9% shooting from the field against Marian, and the Knights struggled even more from three, where they shot 8-for-34 (23.5%). Kopp stood out, especially out on the arc, where he limited shooting space and disrupted the flow of the Marian offense.
Indiana will play another exhibition on Thursday night at 7 PM ET against St. Francis. The game will air on BTN+. IU’s first regular season game is Monday, Nov. 7, vs. Morehead St, also on BTN+.
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