Big Ten Offseason Evaluation: Indiana Hoosiers (2024)

After NCAA Tournament appearances in his first two seasons, coach Mike Woodson’s Hoosiers had a disappointing 19-14 campaign in year three.

But Woodson retained three key starters and added six newcomers, moves that have the Hoosiers tabbed as a consensus top-25 team entering the 2024-25 season.

Here’s a full breakdown of Indiana’s offseason, plus its outlook for next year.

Who they lost

  • Transfers: CJ Gunn (3.9 ppg, DePaul), Kaleb Banks (2.6 ppg, Tulane), Payton Sparks (2.1 ppg, Ball State)
  • NBA/graduation: Kel’el Ware (15.9 ppg), Xavier Johnson (7.6 ppg), Anthony Walker (5.1 ppg)

Who they gained

  • Transfers: Myles Rice (14.8 ppg, Washington State), Oumar Ballo (14.2 ppg, Arizona), Kanaan Carlyle (11.5 ppg, Stanford), Langdon Hatton (10.5 ppg, Bellarmine), Luke Goode (5.7 ppg, Illinois)
  • Freshmen: Bryson Tucker (No. 20, per 247Sports Composite)

Returning

  • Malik Reneau (15.4 ppg), Mackenzie Mgbako (12.2 ppg), Trey Galloway (10.6 ppg), Gabe Cupps (2.6 ppg), Anthony Leal (2.4 ppg), Jakai Newton (redshirt)

Reasons for optimism

Indiana’s transfer portal haul is ranked top three nationally by On3 and 247Sports, and the class fills a variety of needs. Most importantly, Indiana’s guard play – it’s biggest shortcoming last season – should be much-improved with the addition of Pac-12 Freshman of the Year point guard Myles Rice and combo guard Kanaan Carlyle. Indiana also landed Arizona 7-footer Oumar Ballo, the top-ranked transfer in the nation, per On3. While he won’t step out and shoot threes or handle the ball like past Indiana centers Kel’el Ware and Trayce Jackson-Davis, he’s dominant around the rim on both ends of the floor. Five-star freshman Bryson Tucker may not immediately step into a starting role, but he’s one of many reasons Indiana should be deeper than last season.

Most of the discussion around Indiana this offseason has revolved around its incoming transfers, but Woodson also did well to retain three starters: Malik Reneau, Mackenzie Mgbako and Trey Galloway. Adding Rice and Carlyle should take some pressure off Galloway, who’s shooting numbers dropped last season despite improving as a playmaker and defending hard. Mgbako is the reigning co-Big Ten freshman of the year and has NBA potential on the wing. Reneau had a breakout sophom*ore season and enters the year as one of the conference’s top power forwards.

Biggest concerns

Did Indiana fully address its 3-point shooting woes from last season? It should definitely be better than its 32.4% in 2023-24 – ranking 12th in the Big Ten and 273rd nationally out of 363 teams – but how much is uncertain. Indiana landed 6-foot-7 Illinois transfer Luke Goode, a 38.8% 3-point shooter on 219 career attempts across three seasons. But shooting numbers from Rice and Carlyle – 27.5% and 32%, respectively – leave a bit to be desired. Their free throw numbers, both above 77%, suggest 3-point shooting improvement is possible in their sophom*ore seasons.

Aside from transfers, Indiana will hope Mackenzie Mgbako’s 32.7% 3-point shooting as a freshman goes up a tick and that Galloway is closer to the 46.2% he shot as a junior, compared to just 26% last season. Cupps (35.9%) and Leal (47.4%) were capable last season, but their roles could be diminished with Rice and Carlyle transferring in.

Woodson will also have to figure out Indiana’s offensive spacing with Reneau and Ballo in the starting lineup. Ballo does all of his scoring near the rim. Reneau can step out to the perimeter at times, but his strong suit also is scoring in the paint. There’s potential for the lane to get clogged with Reneau and Ballo on the court together, but Woodson has also mentioned playing Mgbako and Goode at the four in certain situations. It’s a luxury to have Reneau and Ballo, yet the right lineup combinations remains a puzzle for Woodson to solve with so many newcomers.

The bottom line

Indiana looks like a top-25 roster and an NCAA Tournament team right now, at minimum. It has a far more talented group than last season, especially at the guard position. And though it lost Kel’el Ware to the NBA, Ballo will be one of the top centers in college basketball next season. If the 3-point shooting improves and Woodson figures out the right mix with his new roster, this team will contend for a Big Ten title and a second-weekend appearance in the tournament.

Big Ten Offseason Evaluation: Illinois Fighting Illini

Big Ten Offseason Evaluation: Indiana Hoosiers (2024)
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