Woodson talks IU tradition at hoops Media Day

Published: Sep. 27, 2021 at 11:16 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - When the IU men’s basketball team opens its regular season on November 9, it will mark the official start of the Mike Woodson era in Bloomington. The new Indiana head coach and his Hoosiers will host Eastern Michigan in that first game and Woodson hopes it’ll be the start of a turnaround for IU hoops.

Indiana, which missed the NCAA tourney last season, owns five championship banners in the rafters of its home arena and Woodson wants his players to learn and understand about the Hoosiers’ past achievements.

“Every time we step out on the floor, before we break huddle, I tell team look at those Big Ten titles, look at the national titles. There’s history here, man, " said Woodson at IU’s Media Day on Monday. " We’re not here just to play, man. To me there’s always been a lot at stake here even when I played here. Yes, that’s Coach Knight hanging in the rafters, that’s all they need to know. I got to push ‘em in that direction to make sure that they understand we’re playing to win a Big Ten and a national title, nothing else, man,” the new head coach added.

Woodson believes the team’s summer exhibition games in the Bahamas will help his squad as the new season begins.

“I thought the trip was pretty successful. I really didn’t care if we won, but it was nice that we won. I just wanted to make sure that these guys, the two months that we’d put work in on the floor, they attained something that we were doing that was positive. I thought the carryover to The Bahamas was great on both ends of the floor. Then just to see our guys for four, five days bond and hang out and mingle and kind of get to know each other, that was kind of nice to see, as well.”

Woodson said his Hoosiers are slated to scrimmage a couple of college teams prior to the start of the regular season.

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