With Trayce and Tamar Out, Hoosier Youth Takes the Stage (IU-Marian short postgame thoughts).

Here we are Hoosier fans! The first “game” of our most promising season in a while. It was so awesome to be enjoying this first game on a Saturday afternoon where I know Indiana Football had zero chance to bum me out (bye week). NAIA power Marian University showed up in Bloomington today to give our Indiana Hoosiers their first live competition of the season.

While it was a bummer not to have Trayce Jackson Davis or Tamar Bates on the floor (both were looking mad dapper courtside though), I have to say we definitely did not need them in this one. On top of that, understanding that we could sit them out, it was fun to see Malik Reneau and Jalen Hood-Schifino both get to start following both starting for National Champion Montverde Academy last season.

The Hoosiers started off with a dominant 10-0 run. To start the game Malik Reneau immediately began showing off the fundamentals he was so highly touted for. He was able to have his way in the paint. He plays the game so comfortably. It was looking absolutely effortless for Malik. While he was getting his minutes, he was blowing me away with how smooth his game is. I have a feeling there will come a time where we could not imagine this team without him this season, which is awesome considering he was such a late addition. Love to see how dominant this young man could become in the months to follow.

I just love this one. So I’m putting it here.

Jalen displayed his athleticism for sure. He showed a few errors in ball handling, but hey!!! it’s his first game in Assembly Hall so I’ll give him a break. He’s a freak athlete who is going to do some very impressive things this season. He showed off his ability to get to the rim, straight up muscling through several finished to drop the ball in the rim. While I wasn’t as unexpectedly impressed by Jalen as I was Malik, Jalen still very much lived up to his billing. (But, I’m a hobbyist blogger who retired from basketball in the 8th grade, so what does he need to impress me for?)

Also… did the Hoosiers learn to shoot? The Indiana Hoosiers that took the court today were shooting far better than we had seen at any point over the course of last season. I get that not many schools moving forward may give us the looks that Marian was allowing the Hoosier shooters, but I was still very impressed by what I had saw. Race Thompson was on fire in that first half, splashing home 3 for 3 from beyond the arc. His development at Indiana has been incredible, and if he has added range to his game, this Indiana team could potentially be more dangerous than any of us had thought.

CJ Gunn began showing off his range in the second half and I will say, while not many have him marked in for substantial minutes, if he can consistently knock down shots, HE WILL PLAY. There’s no way around it, the shooters we do have, will need to shoot. If he begins to show that he is a consistently reliable outlet for the knockdown 3, he will begin to tally more and more minutes.

The Hoosiers rightfully handled their business against the lesser Marian University side. Our role players definitely got the majority of the latter minutes in this one. Which is to be expected. Logan Duncomb in particular took advantage of his opportunity to make an impression. The Hoosiers will not face teams of this size often this season, but it is just great to see our young players who will be heavily relied on, get their first minutes under their belts. While our veteran presence is highly regarded (and rightfully so!), our youth may be as exciting as it’s ever been in Bloomington. I can’t wait to see the type of Hoosiers some of these young weapons will become.

Like a long lost friend, Indiana Basketball is back in our lives. While there shouldn’t be all too much to critique following these exhibition games, it was just great to get to watch the Hoosiers get their pace. I can not wait to see what this team can accomplish this season. I sit here at the cusp of the most promising Hoosier season in a long while, and I just have to say… I’m so freaking excited.

Oh how I’ve missed you.

If you enjoy my thoughts on the game and didn’t spend the $55 to get this and the next game. Come back to flyoverwire.com for my thoughts following our matchup with my hometown University of Saint Francis Cougars. You can follow us on twitter to @Flyoverwire. Thank you Hoosier fans and have yourself a great day!

LUX ET VERITAS!

-Burke

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