BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — HoosiersNow.com is launching its second podcast in early November, with Indiana basketball standouts Rob Phinisee and Xavier Johnson joining the site for a live 30-minute podcast on Indiana basketball all season.
The "Point Guard Podcast'' will start on Monday, Nov. 8 at 7 p.m. ET, the night before Indiana's first game against Eastern Michigan.
There will be 15 episodes throughout the season, and will be available online to watch live on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. This is our second Sports Illustrated Indiana podcast.
The first one, the Mike & Micah Podcast featuring Indiana football standouts Michael Penix Jr., and Micah McFadden, has been very popular all fall. It's hosted live from Yogi's Bar & Grill in Bloomington.
A host location for the "Point Guard Podcast'' and other sponsors will be announced soon. Fans will be able to come watch the show live and get pictures and autographs.
Player-hosted podcasts are new this year after the NCAA approved Name, Image and Likeness legislation on July 1 to allow student-athletes to earn money for various enterprises. The Mike & Micah Podcast was the first of its kind at Indiana, a five-figure deal for the players. Several of their teammates have been entertaining guests on the show as well, and they get paid for their appearances.
Phinisee and Johnson have signed the same five-figure deal with HoosiersNow.com for the 15 shows.
"I'm thrilled to have Rob and Xavier join our team for this podcast,'' said HoosiersNow.com publisher Tom Brew, who will host the podcast. "With Mike Woodson back home and running the Indiana basketball program now, there's an enormous amount of excitement over this season, the most I've seen in years. So it's going to be great to be able to talk about it with these two and some of their other teammates in longer unfiltered interviews.
"I wanted a veteran and one of the new guys on the roster to be the regulars on the podcast, and Rob and Xavier are a perfect fit. They're both great talkers and smart, knowledgable players. It's going to be great to be able to go behind closed doors and talk about what should be a very fun season.''
Phinisee is starting his fourth year with the Hoosiers. The Lafayette, Ind., native has played 86 games for the Hoosiers, starting 69. He's averaged 7.1 points and 3.1 assists during his career.
Johnson transferred to Indiana from Pitt in the offseason, and is one of six new players on the Indiana roster. He's a great addition, a speedy point guard who has had three outstanding season in the ACC at Pitt, where he scored 1,152 points and has 415 career assists.
He averaged 4.7 assists per game, which ranks sixth all-time at Pitt. He became the first Pitt player to surpass 750 career points and 300 career assists as a sophomore. He scored in double figures in 66 of 84 career games, and recorded 15 games with 20 or more points scoring, including two 30-point efforts.
Both players are excited to be out and about among the fans again after playing all of last year in empty buildings because of the COVID-19 pandemic. They both miss that fan interaction — and appreciation.
"I'm really excited to do this podcast and I'm looking forward to getting out and being able to interact with the fans again,'' Phinisee said. "I'm just really looking forward to the season and having Hoosier Nation come out and support us.''
Johnson has heard about the electricity inside a sold-out Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall. He's thrilled to be a part of it, and he's looking forward to sharing his experiences every week.
"I can't wait to meet Hoosier Nation, and I can't wait to play in front of them,'' Johnson said. "I'm happy to be here, and happy to be part of the family.''
Phinisee and Johnson have become fast friends, and they've been on the court together a lot all summer. They've been practicing hard against each other, too, so they are looking forward to the season starting in two weeks.
"We're ready for some games. We've been competing hard in practice and we've been going at it. We're looking to playing Eastern Michigan on Nov. 9. I'm excited and I can't wait to see all the fans back in Assembly Hall.''
Johnson is ready to see some new faces, too
"I can't wait to play against somebody else, I'm tired of playing against Rob and everybody else in practice and beating up on each other.''
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