Three Questions to Monitor Ahead of IU Men’s Basketball Media Day

Senior Indian Trayce Jackson-Davis. (Photo: Andy Lyons / Staff, USA TODAY Sports)

Indiana has a good problem on its hands in the frontcourt: five players with significant talent, limited minutes to play.

For the most successful college basketball teams year over year, having a wealth of depth often breeds success, but it also requires tough decisions to be made regarding playing time and roles. For Mike Woodson, this is the exact situation he will need to resolve as the season rapidly approaches.

Needless to say, the preseason All-American forward Trayce Jackson-Davis and All-Big Ten Honorable Mention Thompson breed are already tagged as IU’s starting attack duo. While the option to pursue pro basketball opportunities puts a giant question mark next to Jackson-Davis and Thompson at the start of the offseason, the final comeback of IU’s big stars, who last season averaged a combined 29.4 points and 15.6 rebounds per game, dramatically increased Indiana’s ceiling and capabilities ahead of this season.

But this is where an intriguing dilemma begins to unfold for Indiana. Last season, Jackson-Davis and Thompson played the first and second most minutes on the team, respectively, as they started all 35 games alongside each other, and that shouldn’t change this season barring injuries or unforeseen circumstances. So where does that leave the other three UI attackers junior Jordan Geronimosecond year Logan Duncomb and freshman Malik Reneau? The answer, at least now, is unclear at best.

In Geronimo, the Hoosiers have one of the most athletic and explosive forwards in the Big Ten, and last season he started turning those raw tools into meaningful production like an off-the-bench spark plug. His 4.4 points, 3.6 rebounds and 19.6% play rate per game represented an improvement over his rookie season. But with the return of Jackson-Davis and Thompson, will Geronimo realistically experience a noticeable increase from his 12.6 minutes per game in 2021? While much of his offseason training has focused on being able to play more on the perimeter this season, his best fit is likely still as a reserve player on the front lines, spelling out Jackson-Davis or Thompson when they need a break. .

Then there’s Duncomb, a four-star former recruit who played sparingly as a rookie, and Reneau, a five-star rookie that IU’s coaching staff and players praised during the offseason. With both players, their level of talent and ability to contribute is obvious, but as the less experienced members of IU’s frontcourt, game time can be even harder to come by. Of course, earning a seat on the bench is certainly not out of the question, but with Jackson-Davis, Thompson and Geronimo all deserving sizable roles, the road to consistent minutes for Duncomb and Reneau could be a longer wait than anticipated. .

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