I’m going to start this post with the following disclaimer:
I am an Indiana fanboy first and foremost. I write on this site as a hobby to waste my time in between Indiana games. I am not an expert in basketball. I retired from this great game in the 8th grade, knowing full well my game didn’t translate to high school.
So now that that’s out of the way. HOLY COW!!!! How great did Malik Reneau look in that exhibition game against Marian University? I was expecting a lot from the young forward when I heard how much of a nightmare he’s been to guard in practice. I was over the moon when word was coming out of the Indiana camp that his fundamental post work was off the charts. I just had no idea how good.
Malik’s first outing as an Indiana Hoosier should have the Hoosier faithful foaming at the mouth. The fundamental nature of this young man’s game can not be correctly understood through the written word alone. It is a sight to behold.
I get that it’s a sample game of 1 against Marian University, but while I went into the season thinking that Malik Reneau would be an essential piece of next year’s Hoosier core, based on the game that I watched Saturday and can easily be built upon, I don’t think that Malik is long for Bloomington. The Big Ten conference schedule is a gauntlet, especially for these big dogs, but I fully expect Malik to begin a campaign towards becoming a significant NBA pick.
Malik’s been expected to be one of the Big Ten’s most dominant off the bench big men. Following that admittedly small sample size, I don’t think there’s any way he doesn’t just become one of the most dominant big men in the conference period! If Race keeps cashing in the 3 I could very well see Race moving to the 3 in the starting lineup to make way for Reneau, although I think having Malik run with the twos largely helps the team as a whole.
In the opener Malik had a game leading 7 FGs made on 10 attempts. Having a final stat line of 14 pts, 11 rebounds, and a team leading +28 +\-.
His left handed game was too smooth in the post. The left handed game looks awesome to watch, you’ll know what I’m talking about when you see it. It just looks different to watch hopefully that translates into it being more difficult to defend.
The freshman on everyone’s mind heading into the opening exhibition was of course Jalen Hood-Schifino (who had an impressive 11pts, 4 asts, and also a team leading +28). But after having let that win marinate a bit, I sit here now so much more excited to see what the next Malik Reneau outing has in store for the Indiana fans. Jalen’s living up to the billing we were all so excited to see hit the ground running in Bloomington. While Indiana fully expected Malik Reneau to contribute and get significant minutes this year, I’m beginning to think we had no idea just the impact he may have on the season by the end of it.
Malik wasn’t playing like a Freshman All-American in this game, he was playing like an ALL-AMERICAN. The hype behind this Indiana Hoosiers program is as great as its ever been in a while, when the Hoosier faithful realize what we may have with Malik, the hype in Bloomington will reach a boiling point. We thought that Indiana was good, that was before we saw that our backup big man has the capabilities to be as dominant as anyone on the court. If Indiana’s front court is this dominant carrying into play against the more talented sides down the line, foul trouble will not be a problem for Indiana’s post play. Depth in that regard is incredibly valuable and an asset that most championship caliber sides have.
So grateful that this young man turned down Florida to join Jalen here at Indiana University. Our young core is setting themselves up to be true Indiana legends. Just wanted to take a moment and point out that however lauded this kid was prior to arriving in Indiana it wasn’t enough. I fully know I may be getting ahead of myself when I say Malik Reneau will be one of the most dominant bigs in the conference right out of the gate. I’m not taking that opinion back until I see this kid do anything but deliver.
Thank you for taking the time to read these short thoughts of mine. Have yourself a great Halloween Hoosier nation!
LUX ET VERITAS!!!