So as I sat here thinking what I wanted to talk about first heading into this upcoming season, after a long hiatus with the birth of my daughter and simultaneous pipe bursting in my house leading to a personal home renovation project for yours truly, I figured I wanted to start out my covering of this upcoming 2022-2023 Indiana Hoosiers season by just sending out positive energy Mike Woodson’s way. New season. Blank slate. It’s a great feeling of optimism that I find myself swaddled in.
I just wanted to take a moment to be unapologetically appreciative of Mike Woodson’s young tenure at Indiana University. Everyone is so quick to jump down the throats of our coaches and athletes at the first sign of error, I think they deserve their roses in time of ease and success. If they are forced to wear so many blows when they don’t perform to their supporters’ standards, then they deserve recognition when they do meet those standards. And barring anyone having absolutely unrealistic expectations, Mike Woodson has delivered on each and every expectation. In many cases, surpassing those expectations. Even with a fan base as rabid, knowledgeable, and demanding as the Indiana Hoosiers fans can be, Mike Woodson has delivered.
Right out the gate, Mike Woodson showed the Indiana faithful he was a man who could talk to these young men in a meaningful manner that could pay off greatly in recruiting. The new transfer portal has made it so first year coaches at power 5 schools, have to initially recruit their own players, before they can ever really hit the recruiting trail. He was able to convince so many to stay and be a part of the start of something great. Convincing so many to come back under a new regime, when their previous coach led them to disappointment, is no small feat, even if it is a once hallowed program such as the Indiana Hoosiers. Mike Woodson was able to get sell these guys on the idea of laying the foundation for Indiana’s resurgence. l recruiting. He had to recruit his own guys in this, the most active and unpredictable transfer portal ever.
This strong start out the gate has paid off in the form of our recruiting class who just arrived on campus this semester. He has assembled a top 10 recruiting class. This is step one to building a championship caliber program. This rise on the recruiting trail has been so much quicker than I had thought it would be. Yes, Indiana is a nationally recognizable brand, but even as one of their most unrepentant supporters I have to admit the name doesn’t mean what it used to. I thought it would take a few solid seasons before Mike Woodson would be able to slide into the ears of players like Malik Reneau and convince them to join the cause. That being said, that may have largely been Jalen Hood-Schifino whispering in his ear. But even then, creating a self indulgent recruiting network, where your guys are going out and getting even bigger guys for you, that’s what championship caliber programs bring to the table, and now Indiana is starting to flex substantial muscle in that lane. It truly is amazing what Mike Woodson has been able to do with the time he has been given. As far as navigating the uncharted waters that is recruiting in the NIL era, Mike Woodson has shown is proving he is the man for the job.
Indiana was rudderless, a team without direction under the command of Archie Miller. Mike Woodson got us back to meaningful March basketball in his first year at Indiana. March with basketball with real stakes on the line is simply the best. And Mike Woodson gave that back to a long starved Indiana fanbase.
Really, I just wanted to write about Indiana Basketball and be unrelentingly positive. I’ve loved this program through some truly terrible times. It’s those times that make seeing this progress from our program so meaningful and hopeful. I’m chomping at the bit to see what this season has in store for all of us Hoosier Faithful. I’m sure our expectations and excitement will begin to snowball to unrealistic standards come October, and I’ll be right there for it. This is why we love sports. Running the scenarios for potential success over and over each offseason is a lot more fun when we are trending in the right direction. For this I thank Mike Woodson!
Many out there have questioned some of Mike Woodson’s administrative decisions, especially the Dane Fife firing. To this I say, we must trust Mike Woodson’s decisions. He has given us no reason not to yet. I can only speak for myself when I say he has my full support. So long as we keep trending upward and can begin competing at the highest level day in and day out, Mike Woodson’s word is law. He deserves that until he presents a reason not to.
Indiana is moving in the right direction, Mike Woodson deserves all the credit in the world. It is the young men playing out there, but it was Mike Woodson who got those men to stay and commit to creating a program identity and a program of accountability. Both of which, were absent from the program under Archie. I’m excited to see what the established Mike Woodson can do in his first incumbent offseason. Excited to see what degrees of growth and development each of these guys can come back with. I’m looking to see Mike get big things from Jordan Geronimo in regards to that development. While he can’t do it all for them, Mike Woodson can install training regiments and the appropriate support staff to greatly aid this squad in their growth.
All in all, not a whole lot to be said in this post. Just sending out the good vibes to Coach Woodson and his coaching team. They have brought joy back into the cold heart of this long starved Indiana fan. Thank you Mike Woodson. It is so amazing to see things fall into place under the administration of a past Hoosier great, who truly wants to see not only my favorite team, but his as well, succeed. It is a good feeling when you know that your coach is loyal to your school just as much as you are as a fan. Can’t be said for all coaches out there.
Here’s to getting after it the rest of this offseason! Best of luck to Mike Woodson and the boys!
And anyone out there who has been reading my stuff through last season. I want to say I’m happy to be back at it and you can expect more posts from me every other day here at flyoverwire.com.
You can expect Hoosier Football content on here as well. For any of you out there who are hopelessly devoted to those guys as well.
The dog days are over. We are back at it for Football and Basketball.
LUX ET VERITAS