Indiana looks like Indiana again.
On Thursday night, the Hoosiers blasted Bethune-Cookman 101-49 to improve to 2-0 on the season. While neither victory has come over a powerhouse, it's clear Mike Woodson has a roster capable of competing for a Big Ten title this season. A squad loaded with experienced seniors and several uber-talented freshman has the Hoosiers dreaming of a deep NCAA tournament run.
Indiana is once again led by senior forward Trayce Jackson-Davis. A consensus preseason All-American, Jackson-Davis could become the first Indiana player to top 2,000 points and 1,000 rebounds in a career. His surprising return to Bloomington — along with that of fellow senior forward Race Thompson — started the hype train running for the Hoosiers.
Point guard Xavier Johnson had a great run towards the end of the 2021-22 season and he returns as a potential All-Big Ten pick. Wing shooter Miller Kopp, smooth guard Tamar Bates and bench energy guys Trey Galloway and Jordan Geronimo round out the returning rotation players. While that's a lot of effective talent, they are not the reason fans are giddy about Indiana's chances this season.
Indiana's freshman class is among the finest in the country. Led by guard Jalen Hood-Schifino and forward Malik Reneau, the four-man group has loads of talent, upside and basketball IQ. Hood-Schifino is a 6-foot-5 playmaker NBA scouts are already drooling over. He's a steady ball-handler, an excellent passer and possesses a smooth pull-up game. His size and quickness help him on defense and he can already finish through contact at the rim. He won't be playing college basketball long, so enjoy him while you can.