For IU basketball a busy summer of recruiting and training begins now – The Daily Hoosier
Mike Woodson’s inexperience as a college coach was the second question he was asked about during his introductory press conference in late March. His lack of recruiting experience was the third issue.
Woodson, 63, did not win the press conference that day with an impressive glimpse of how a man who had spent most of his last 40 years in the NBA was going to do well in the college game. And to be sure, Woodson has yet to win a game in Indiana.
But what he did during his relatively brief stay in Bloomington was very reassuring.
Woodson has a proven track record as a competent and efficient recruiter. From the ranks of high school, he brought in 5-star Tamar Bates in a recruit that only lasted a few weeks, and he convinced signer Logan Duncomb and hired CJ Gunn to stay in Indiana. In this brave new transfer portal world, Woodson has had more wins than losses, successfully landing Xavier Johnson, Michael Durr and Miller Kopp while losing Armaan Franklin and experiencing what can be described as a split with Joey Brunk and Jerome Hunter.
And of course, Woodson managed to re-recruit several members of the 2020-21 roster, including Trayce Jackson-Davis, who appeared to have one foot out of the gate, and Khristian Lander, Race Thompson and Jordan Geronimo, who all entered. in the portal transfer before returning.
Now comes the next recruiting phase for Woodson, and things will escalate considerably.
Starting this week, a parade of high school players will arrive on campus for what will be a busy month of official and unofficial visits. Of note, the top 100 targets in the 2022 class Kaleb Banks (June 10), Kyle Filipowski (June 15), Justin Taylor (June 15) and Jalen Hood-Schifino (June 28) are all expected to be in Bloomington. Confirmed visitors of the 2023 class include Jeremy Fears (June 9) and Cyr Malonga (June 10), with more visits in the works.
Much of Woodson’s early success as a recruiter stems from the value placed on his NBA experience. One phrase we hear over and over again goes along the lines of “he knows what it takes to make it happen.” For this reason, Woodson will play a major role in these visits, perhaps more than you would expect from most head coaches.
In addition to in-person visits, college coaches can now hit the road, with several days designated as live in-person evaluation periods over the next two months. June consists mostly of high school team activities as the AAU takes a hiatus, then July will feature major shoe circuit events that coaches will be allowed to attend, including the Nike EYBL Peach Jam and the Adidas Gauntlet.
While all of this is going on, Woodson will also have his first chance to start coaching his new team.
June 10 marks the start of summer practice where the Indiana coaching staff will be on the field with the players, and it’s another activity that Woodson expects to be heavily involved in. While it’s not uncommon in the business to leave much of the summer schedule to assistants and support staff, Woodson will be active.
“It’s not a managerial job, it’s not a graduate assistant job, it’s up to me and my coaching team to develop myself, I’ve always felt that, I have it. always done like that, “Woodson told reporters recently. “I like being on the basketball court and working with the players. It’s just what I do. Someone did it for me, and I have done really well as a basketball player. These guys are going to get a lot of a hand from Coach Woodson individually and a team executive. “
With a pair of summer exhibition games ahead on August 13 and 15 in the Bahamas against Serbian pro team BC Mega, Woodson will be under pressure to tidy up his house before putting his team down in front. fans for the first time. . And it’s a challenge he looks forward to.
“I’m delighted to get the whole group together and have a system in place at both ends of the pitch and then we’ll have individual practices for each player and then you will see who is growing and how fast they are growing. “said Woodson.”This is what training and basketball is to me, it always has been. “
The quick trip to the Bahamas is a nifty maneuver in the program. While Indiana only plays two games there, their participation in an international trip allows them to organize 10 more practices. This sets itself up perfectly for a coach trying to overhaul a program while also bringing several new players on board.
It will also give Woodson more time to keep his word to Jackson-Davis, whom he has convinced to come back with him for a year so he can help the great All-American man develop the still-missing and needed skills he needs. knows the NBA needs.
“When you look at the Jackson-Davis kid, I convinced him that he has to improve, you know, with his right hand and that he can finish more willingly around the rim and that he has to develop a shot. . When he takes and pops, he has to feel good to do that shot, ”said Woodson.
Similar thoughts were developed for the 13 stock players as staff watched a movie over the past two months to come up with development plans for each of them.
“These are all individual things that we have to do with the players, but at the end of the day it becomes a team when everyone clicks on all the cylinders and we do the things that are necessary to win on both sides of the game. sol ”, Woodson.
Woodson’s tenure as head coach will work in much the same way. So far he’s won on all individual games, but winning or losing on the scoreboard is what Woodson will ultimately be judged on.
The life of a college basketball coach is very different from that of an NBA assistant. Woodson knows that, of course, and he said the Indiana job was the only one he left the Knicks for.
He’s about to taste the grind he signed up for for the first time.
And Woodson is ready to jump in with both feet.
“It’s a lot of work that needs to be done, man, and I just can’t wait to get to June 10 where we can actually start training,” he said.
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