Bloomington, Indiana – Indiana head coach Mike Woodson is groomed and groomed for such a time, using his college career and NBA career to bring him into his second season as head coach of Indiana State.
“The NBA has been great for me, but after coming home to coach college basketball here in Indiana, I was able to really be around the players and be really … able to coach,” Woodson said. “I am able to set up and teach all the things I love to do on the basketball court.”
Last season, Woodson led the Hoosiers to their first NCAA Championship since 2016 in his first year at the helm after finishing the team with an overall record of 21-14.
The Indiana native can relate to his team on many levels, since he also wore cream and scarlet and saw his dream of playing and coaching in the NBA come true.
Woodson was recruited by legendary coach Bob Knight in 1976. As a sophomore, Woodson and the other Hoosiers applied to Sweet 16 but were stopped in their tracks by Villanova.
The following season, Woodson was the leading scorer in Indiana’s Premier League title win over Purdue. In his senior year, the Hoosiers returned to the NCAA Championship after the Big Ten regular season (13-5), but Purdue avenged the Hoosiers’ win on the Sweet 16 Tour.
The big leagues were called up, and Woodson was drafted as the 12th overall pick by the New York Knicks in the 1980 NBA Draft. He played there for two seasons before hopping the league between five other teams including the New Jersey Nets, Kansas City/Sacramento Kings Los Angeles Clippers, Houston Rockets and Cleveland Cavaliers.
Perhaps the best moment in Woodson’s career came when he started coaching. He started as an assistant coach for the Milwaukee Bucks, Cavaliers, Philadelphia 76ers and finally the Detroit Pistons, winning the 2004 NBA Championship with head coach Larry Brown.
Woodson saw a head coaching opportunity with the Atlanta Hawks the following season where he stayed for six years. After brief stints with several other teams, Woodson accepted his first collegiate coaching job with Indiana before last season, and things are different.
“The one thing I’ve learned, being in the NBA all those years and training, there’s really not enough time to prepare and teach and really be a part of a player’s life because you have three, four games coming to you a week in the NBA,” Woodson said. “There is not enough time in the day.”
He said that part was frustrating for him. However, he had an amazing NBA career and translated his years of knowledge to the college level.
For example, Woodson was famous for making the most of his players defensively in the NBA. Both he and coach Brown have reduced the Pistons’ opponents to less than 42 percent of shooting in a single season.
Last season in Indiana, these tactics shaped the Hoosiers into a defensive-minded team that ranked third (almost second) in the Big Ten allowing their opponents to average 66.2 points per game.
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“He treats us like adults,” Cobb said. “He treats us like professionals, but he also treats us when we make mistakes. He’s very specific about what he wants. He makes it easy for us as players to understand what he wants us to do and get it because he’s very clear about it.”
Woodson clarity is always there. He is there to win the top ten titles and a national championship. a period. Woodson said if the challenge to win the NCAA banner for the first time since 1987 scares the team, they shouldn’t be there.
He said, “I’m not afraid of that.” “You shouldn’t be afraid of that. We have to do it together as a unit. And again, I know the expectations are high. I understand that. It’s a good thing. But we have to go out and do it on the ground and show that we can win the Big Ten and the National title.” “.
Last season was generally bright for the ball club, as Woodson often refers to it, but there were certainly bleak spots. Indiana’s losing record was in the 9-11 conference, plagued by offense at No. 10 of the conference’s 14 teams.
Woodson likes to use the phrase “I need to get my team over the hump” when referring to not ending a job. He takes full responsibility for the negative aspects and said he puts a lot of pressure on himself.
“Look at the Iowa game, where it was four and a half minutes, and we’re nine minutes ahead and we can’t finish that game,” he said. “For me, that’s hard to swallow as a coach.”
Woodson also learns that college football is very different from the NBA having played in both tournaments. In college, there are plenty of snapshots, triple shots, and teams at the top that will chase you down defensively.
“I think we have to be able to do all of these things so that we can compete at a high level and beat the big teams,” Woodson said. “I mean, that’s what it’s going to take this season because that’s pretty much the way the college game is played.”
Another benefit of having a former NBA coach for the Hoosiers is that he knows all about the drafting process. Indiana will host the first NBA Pro يوم Day On the program’s date on October 7th, 30 NBA teams will be invited to watch the Hoosiers practice in a style-combining exercise.
“I think when you have high expectations and you have a few players who might have a crack at playing at the next level, it’s okay to invite the NBA world into your life,” Woodson said.
“Hell, it might make them play harder and better.”
Woodson said he has a lot of friends at the big level, and he’s excited for them to watch his athlete in action.
Once Pro Day concludes, four Woodson rookies, his Top 10 recruiting class, and two notable bench players with chances for break seasons will have their eyes set on a big season.
Come November 7, Woodson will continue to climb the group training ladder with the Hoosiers. He has already ascended to every other level.
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