DAYTON, Ohio -- Jordan Geronimo brought a Core Power protein drink to the postgame press conference after Indiana’s 66-58 win over Wyoming in the First Four.
He placed the bottle on the table, next to the microphone and it was quickly snatched up by an NCAA employee as the product isn’t a March Madness sponsor. Geronimo smiled wide and laughed to himself.
Clearly, Jordan Geronimo hasn’t gotten to talk to the media postgame much this season. But, after being one of Indiana’s main contributors in the program's first NCAA tournament win in six years, he deserved every second of it.
“I found another player tonight off the bench, and that was Geronimo who gave us some major major minutes tonight,” Mike Woodson said in his opening statement.
Geronimo smiled again, ear to ear. He looked like the Grinch. He was guilty.
— NCAA March Madness (@MarchMadnessMBB) March 16, 2022
With 6:38 left in the second half of the Big Ten Tournament quarterfinal against Illinois, Geronimo hurt his leg. It didn’t look good.
He took a bad step and fell to the floor along the baseline. He didn’t get up and needed the help of his teammates to hobble to the bench.
Whenever a non-contact injury happens in basketball you always hold your breath. Luckily for Geronimo and Indiana, that leg injury only sidelined him for one game.
On Tuesday, in his first game back from injury, Geronimo was one of the best players on the floor. From flying high for three put-back dunks to knocking down a critical corner 3-pointer, he did it all.
Over the course of the season, we’ve seen Geronimo soar high for rebounds and step out on the perimeter to shoot from deep. Last year, we saw Geronimo flash his athleticism in sparring playtime, this year he’s more consistent. He brings energy every game and every practice, day in and day out.
“One thing I tried to keep up was consistency,” Geronimo said postgame. “If it was free throws that day or getting shots up…whatever it is, just trying to be consistent, it goes a long way.”
There’s one play a game where Geronimo makes your jaw drop. On Tuesday, jaws were dropped for the whole game. Whether it was the nifty back-to-the-basket footwork, ridiculous put-back dunks or perimeter play and confidence, he was all over the court.
“He’s a freak…some of the things he does is just out of this world,” Trayce Jackson-Davis said.
Jackson-Davis also mentioned Geronimo’s goofy nature and his lightheartedness.
In the win over Wyoming, Geronimo finished with a career-high 15 points in 19 minutes and tacked on seven rebounds, three of which were offensive.
“Without him, we probably would have lost that game,” Jackson-Davis said.
Geronimo has potential. We’ve all seen it now. He’s only 20 years old and has three years remaining of eligibility. It’s safe to say that Geronimo isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.
It wasn’t pretty for Indiana but in March, a win is a win.
From the naked eye you wouldn’t think that a team that shoots 15 percent from 3 and 60 percent from the free-throw line would win an NCAA Tournament game relatively handily. However, the Hoosiers did it and this time they were led by an unsung hero -- Jordan Geronimo.
Going forward for Indiana, the Hoosiers will need Geronimo to establish himself as a consistent force if the Hoosiers want to make a run this March.
Indiana survived and advanced, they now have a quick turnaround as they face No. 5 St. Mary’s on Thursday night.