BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Indiana gets the luxury of starting its first basketball season under Mike Woodson three months early, with a trip to the Bahamas that will include two games against Serbian club team BC Mega.
The club, one of the strongest in Europe, has had 12 players drafted in the NBA since 2014. The Hoosiers will play them twice, on Aug. 13 and Aug. 15, at the Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island in the Bahamas. Their most famous former player is Nikola Jokic, the center for the Denver Nuggets who is a leading candidate for the NBA's Most Valuable Player award this season.
“I am extremely excited to bring the Indiana Hoosiers to the Bahamas this summer,'' Woodson said. "This will be an excellent opportunity for our young men to grow as a team and begin to learn our new system. I have great respect for our opponent, BC Mega. This will be great preparation for the challenges of the upcoming season.''
The two games are nice, but the 10 extra practices to prepare for the trip will matter even more as Woodson installs a new system. The new 13-man roster will get a chance to working together earlier in a full-blown practice setting.
When Woodson met with the media in late May, before the trip was in place, he said his biggest uncertainty right now is how quickly his players pick up the new schemes. This will help dramatically.
The players are starting to arrive on campus and Woodson and his new staff can start working on the floor with players starting on Thursday. Indiana's social media teams released a video of freshmen Tamar Bates and Logan Duncomb checking in to their new apartments on Monday.
Here is the complete release from the university.
Mike Woodson was a star when he played for Indiana during the height of the Bob Knight era, a time when IU was the dominant power in college basketball. He left IU in 1980 for the NBA as a first-round draft pick, and spent the next 11 years as a standout player and then 25 more as an NBA assistant and head coach. Now, the 1980 Big Ten Player of the Year has returned to his alma mater as the program’s new basketball coach, and he has his sights set squarely on returning the program to national prominence.
Woodson will start putting his plan in motion when his team takes a six-day foreign tour to the Bahamas Aug. 10-16, 2021. The trip will feature two exhibition games against Eastern European club giant BC Mega of Belgrade, Serbia, Aug. 13 and 15 at the beautiful Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island, Bahamas. This will be IU’s first foreign tour since 2014 when it traveled to Canada.
“I am extremely excited to bring the Indiana Hoosiers to the Bahamas this summer. This will be an excellent opportunity for our young men to grow as a team and begin to learn our new system. I have great respect for our opponent, BC Mega. This will be great preparation for the challenges of the upcoming season,” said Woodson.
Following the scheduling of the exhibition games, a non-IU affiliated, independent tour has been arranged by Lea Miller, the CEO of Complete Sports Management, a Global Sports Marketing & Event Agency. The company has developed a national reputation as the architect of Battle 4 Atlantis, the elite eight-team, preseason men’s basketball tournament that takes place at the resort every Thanksgiving, as well as a prestigious collegiate women’s tournament and the Bahamas Bowl in football.
“We are extremely excited to work with Coach Mike Woodson’s Indiana Hoosiers in their first basketball outing under the new coach. This is not only an excellent opportunity for the student athletes on the court, but off the court as well,” Miller said.
The exhibition games will not be televised, but limited fan attendance will be permitted at the games. To be eligible for the opportunity to purchase game tickets, fans must be staying at the Atlantis Resort.
Reservations to Atlantis Paradise Island and tickets for both exhibition games are available now by visiting https://www.atlantisbahamas.com/iu-basketball-in-paradise
About the Hoosiers
The Hoosiers return three starters and six other lettermen and will welcome four transfers and two true freshmen to the squad. IU will open up the Mike Woodson Era on Nov. 9.
- Sophomore forward Trayce Jackson-Davis is a returning All-American who started all 27 games last season. He was the only high major player to average at least 19 points and 9 rebounds during the season. He was 4th in the Big Ten in scoring (19.1), 2nd in rebounding (9.0), 5th in field goal percentage (51.7) and blocked shots (1.4) and is third in minutes played (34.2). In league games only, he finished 3rd in scoring (18.4), 2nd in rebounding (9.2), 4th in field goal percentage (50.6) and minutes played blocked shots (1.4) and 3rd in minutes played (34.2).
- Junior forward Race Thompson was one of only 2 players to start all 27 games (Jackson-Davis). He was the 6th most improved scorer in the Big Ten (+5.4) averaging 9.1 points and 6.2 rebounds and led the team in steals with 28 and was second in blocked shots with 34. He shot 51.5% from the floor.
- Junior Rob Phinisee started 24 of 27 games and averaged 7.1 points, 2.3 boards and 2.9 assists.
- Freshman Trey Galloway played in 25 games, started in 7 and averaged 3.6 points and 1.9 rebounds. He led all freshmen with 492 minutes played.
- Freshman guard Anthony Leal appeared in 20 games and averaged 1.6 points and 1.4 rebounds.
- Freshman guard Khristian Lander saw action in 26 games off the bench and averaged 2.1 points and had 30 assists.
- Freshman forward Jordan Geronimo played in 21 games and averaged 2.2 points and 1.8 rebounds.
- Non-scholarship players Michael Shipp, Nate Childress and Sebastien Scott also are back.
- Junior guard Xavier Johnson played three seasons at Pitt and had 1,152 points, 311 rebounds, 415 assists and 124 steals in 84 career games, starting 81 of those games.
- Junior center Michael Durr played three years at South Florida and averaged 6.7 points, 6.5 rebounds and 1.0 blocked shots. He started 85 of the 87 games he played in for the Bulls.
- Junior forward Miller Kopp comes to IU after three years at Northwestern. He averaged 9.6 points, 2.9 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 0.6 steals per game and started 74 games overall for Northwestern, including the last 56 contests.
- Junior guard Parker Stewart came to IU in the spring of 2021 and averaged 19.2 points at UT Martin as a sophomore and 10.8 points as a freshman at Pitt. He has shot 36.6% for his career from long distance.
- Freshman guard Tamar Bates played at IMG Academy and was a five-star recruit. He was ranked as the No. 23 prospect in the nation by ESPN.com, 28th by 247Sports.com and 30th by Rivals.com.
- Freshman center Logan Duncomb will join the Hoosiers from Archbishop Moeller in Cincinnati. He is the #73 recruit nationally according to 247Sports and #72 according to Rivals.com and #87 by ESPN.com