Is Indiana basketball back?

With a new coach and a talented young roster, things look good for the Hoosiers


Hayden Pennington

Students, alumni and Indiana University basketball fans pack Assembly Hall for every game. The excitement for Indiana basketball is flowing throughout the entire state.

Hayden Pennington, Reporter

With new head basketball coach Mike Woodson at the helm, the Indiana Hoosiers are coming back into the national spotlight. 

For Hoosiers, basketball is more than just a simple game that is played for leisure and entertainment—it is a way of life. At the pinnacle of basketball in the state of Indiana, is the coveted Indiana University basketball program. Hundreds of thousands of Hoosiers tune into the games and thousands pack the stands on game days. 

This great fan base has experienced many highs and lows with the basketball program in the last decade. Many await the Hoosiers’ to return to a national powerhouse, in which they have five NCAA Championships in total. After several coaching changes in recent history, Indiana seems to have found a keeper in former player and longtime NBA assistant Mike Woodson. He has shot Indiana up in the rankings for the first time in many years and has earned many staple wins in just his first year. He led the Hoosiers to a much-needed berth into the NCAA tournament last year, to end a long hiatus from the tournament for a hungry fanbase that loves to see a winning product on the court. 

Many were skeptical about the hire at first because Woodson had no head coaching experience at the collegiate level. It is safe to say that he has cleared up any doubts about his ability, as he has put Indiana basketball back on the map and taken down other blue-blood schools such as North Carolina. Woodson also helped land two five-star recruits last year from Montverde Academy in Florida in the likes of high school teammates Jalen Hood-Schifino and Malik Reneau, as well as scoring two more 4 stars in the 2022 recruiting class. This helped assemble one of the best-recruiting classes in the country last year and inspired many Hoosiers to be excited about the program again. And, it has helped to fill the seats at every home game in the infamous Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall. Indiana returned everyone who occupied the majority of minutes from last season except for senior guard Rob Phinese, who transferred to the University of Cincinnati for his last year of play. Most importantly, Indiana returned pre-season All-American Trayce Jackson-Davis. His return meant Hoosiers nationwide could remain optimistic about this upcoming season with such a young lineup.

As the season unfolds, millions will be tuned into the Hoosiers to see if they can officially stamp their spot back in the national spotlight. I believe they have landed an excellent coach with Woodson, and I believe he has all of the tools necessary to take Indiana back to consistently playing at an elite level of basketball. The Hoosier state will have all of its attention turned toward the growing momentum of the basketball program in Bloomington. The question that remains to be answered is one in the back of every die-hard Hoosiers fan’s mind, can this Indiana team bring home banner number six for a hungry fanbase and the greatest basketball state in the country?