The unofficial start to Indiana’s 2022-23 season began with a decisive 78-42 blowout win over Marian in the first of two exhibition games. The Hoosiers led 42-21 at halftime and never faced much resistance from the Knights, eventually playing all 11 available scholarship players.
Thompson Breed finish with 16 points, six rebounds, two assists and two blocks in 19 minutes of action. The heralded freshmen duo of Jalen Hood Schifino and Malik Reneau chipped in 11 and 14 points, respectively. Fellow frontcourt mate, sophomore center Logan Duncombtallied a 12-point double-double.
While the low-stakes game was more about Indiana finding its footing before the season officially tips off next week, the main storyline heading into Saturday afternoon was the absence of preseason All-American forward Trayce Jackson Davis and sophomore guard Tamar Bates. Both were dressed in suits for the game and were not available to play due lingering injuries.
However, the Hoosiers were more than capable of replacing Jackson-Davis and Bates, as Reneau was penciled into the starting lineup alongside Thompson, Xavier Johnson, Miller Kopp and former high school teammate Hood-Schifino. Reneau looked terrific in his first taste of college basketball, showing off an advanced post skillset, a mature frame that was able to battle for rebounds and positioning, ball-handling, and he even attempted a 3-pointer that caromed off the back iron. Reneau ended his day with a double-double in just 14 minutes of action.
Hood-Schifino also made his first (unofficially) college start, joining Johnson in IU’s top backcourt unit. The five-star freshman guard had moments of mistakes with the ball in his hands, including two turnovers, but otherwise proved why head coach Mike Woodson spoke so highly of him throughout the offseason. Hood-Schifino showcased a strong command of the offense, ability to change tempos, get into the lane and score around the rim, and also a smooth-looking jumper.
Perhaps the biggest surprise of the afternoon, though, came in Thompson’s all-around skillset. The sixth-year senior sank his first three 3-point attempts, giving him a game-high 13 points at halftime with six rebounds and two assists. Thompson looked comfortable and confident in all 19 minutes he played, and his development and maturity could pay major dividends this season, especially if he’s able to stretch the floor and consistently make perimeter shots.
Indiana’s underclassmen also stepped up in Jackson-Davis and Bates’ stead, including freshman guard CJ Gunn and Duncomb. Gunn, a long combo guard, saw extended run in the backcourt and drilled a pair of 3-pointers, coupled with taking the ball up court on several possessions. Duncomb showed off his offseason development, too, scoring 12 points on a variety of put-backs, floaters and high-energy plays around the rim.
The Hoosiers’ stout defense also picked up right where it left off last season, not allowing the visitors to score their first points until the 15:03 mark in the first half and keeping the defensive pressure on until the final buzzer. IU also hit the glass hard, beyondbounding Marian by a near-20 board margin.
Overall, it was a solid season debut for an Indiana team with sky-high expectations this season. Though Marian is only an NAIA school and the talent and size disparity was glaring at times, the Knights presented the Hoosiers with a formidable first challenge and IU responded with largely flying colors.
Up next, the Hoosiers close out their preseason slate Thursday night against Saint Francis, before officially opening their season next Monday against Morehead State.
Key plays and stretches:
1 hour: 15:35 — Indiana opens game on 10-0 scoring run (UI leads 10-0)
1H: 15:03 — Christian Harvey 3-pointer –> Marian first FG of game (UI leads 10-3)
1H: 12:59 — Race Thompson 3-pointer –> UI’s first 3-pointer of game (UI leads 19-5)
1H: 10:06 — Heady and Gohmann back-to-back 3-pointers (UI leads 21-11)
1H:5:27 — CJ Gunn 3-pointer (UI leads 31-13)
1H: 2:33–Thompson assist to Malik Reneau for dunk –> Reneau last 6 IU points (UI leads 37-19)
HALFTIME — Indiana leads 42-21
2H: 7:04 PM — Jalen Hood-Schifino turnaround mid-range jumper + and-one (UI leads 46-21)
2H: 15:58 — Xavier Johnson steal –> Miller Kopp 3-pointer (UI leads 52-25)
2H: 11:50 a.m. — Trey Galloway 3-pointer (UI leads 60-30)
2H: 8:50 — Jordan Geronimo 3-pointer (UI leads 63-32)
2H: 1:11 — CJ Gunn rebound + lob to Anthony Leal for layup (UI leads 76-42)