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Xavier Johnson looks for passing lanes in the zone against Merrimack. (Eden Snower/HN)
Xavier Johnson looks for passing lanes in the zone against Merrimack. (Eden Snower/HN)

Taking stock of Indiana's overhauled roster: How will new arrivals fit with returning veterans?

Five-star freshman Mackenzie Mgbako headlines Indiana's cast of newcomers

It has been a transformative offseason for the Indiana Hoosiers since they were bounced in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Eight Hoosiers have departed from the roster — including two who have gone to the pros. With just about three months until Hoosier Hysteria on Oct. 20, let’s take a look at this revitalized roster and see who is with the cream and crimson and who has gone elsewhere.


First off, let’s look at the familiar faces we saw last season who have stayed in Bloomington. 

Xavier Johnson’s medical hardship waiver was approved by the NCAA which has allowed him to come back to Indiana for his sixth year of eligibility. Johnson will undoubtedly be one of the most important pieces to the Hoosiers’ roster this coming season as his leadership and experience could propel Indiana far. Johnson started in 11 games this past season and averaged under 10 points before he suffered a season-ending foot injury against Kansas in December.

“Being a sixth-year guy, I’m going to have to be big bro [to the freshman],” Johnson said at Huber Winery in May. “I’m accepting having to be big bro and getting them through their freshman year of college because I know how hard it is.”

Trey Galloway during the game between the Nebraska Huskies and the Indiana Hoosiers at Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln, NE. (Missy Minear/Indiana Athletics)

Trey Galloway returns for his senior year as an ever-growing player on the hardwood. Galloway had a very impressive year last season, making a career-best 30 3-point field goals while shooting 46.2% from downtown. Moving forward to next season, Galloway said during an availability in July, he is willing to do whatever it takes to win which includes doing all the little things he’s been known for.

Malik Reneau will be another big piece returning to try and build off his freshman campaign. Reneau will see a much larger role this coming season with the departures of Trayce Jackson-Davis and Race Thompson. With that being the case, Reneau will look to expand his game. During an availability in July he said that wants to show more of his game by being an all-around threat.

Malik Reneau celebrates during Indiana's win over Maryland in the Big Ten tournament semifinal on March 10. (HN photo/Cam Schultz)

Other players returning to Indiana’s roster: Anthony Leal, Kaleb Banks, CJ Gunn and Shaan Burke. Leal is entering his senior year with another year of eligibility left after this season. Both Banks and Gunn were a part of the Hoosiers’ impressive freshman class. Banks saw a jump in minutes from January to February but don’t sleep on Gunn as he could be looked on as a scorer off the bench if he can become more comfortable and consistent on the floor.

“I felt like my offense wasn’t necessarily clicking how I wanted it to. But as long as you’re confident, I feel like, and you put the effort into the gym and the countless days, I feel like that side is just gonna handle itself,” Gunn said during a July availability. “But that's defensive, that’s all effort and energy. And I feel like I’ve always brought that, every time I stepped out on the court. And I will continue to bring that and take my two-way game to the next level as well.”

Incoming freshmen and transfers

While Indiana returns a lot of talent from last season’s roster, the Hoosiers reloaded in the offseason through the transfer portal and snagged high-value freshman recruits. Five freshmen will be walking the streets of Bloomington for the first time along with three transfers, making this season’s recruiting class the 11th highest-rated in the nation according to 247Sports. These new faces can be big difference-makers for Indiana’s goals this coming season.

One of the most significant commits of the offseason came on May 12 when consensus five-star forward Mackenzie Mgbako announced his commitment to Indiana over Kansas. Mgbako brings his size, versatility, athleticism, and pure basketball talent to the Hoosier state from New Jersey. The 6-foot-8 McDonald’s All-American is the 10th-ranked prospect according to 247Sports and is the second-highest rated recruit in Indiana history behind Romeo Langford.

“Mackenzie is a dynamic player and an outstanding young man from a great family,” Woodson said. “He has the chance to have an immediate impact on our program. He’s a tremendous offensive player who gives us athleticism, length and the ability to be an inside-out threat.”

Indiana’s other freshman recruits include Gabe Cupps, Jakai Newton, Ian Stephens and James Goodis. Cupps and Newton were the first members of the class, with Newton committing in October and Cupps in November. Newton, the combo guard from Georgia, missed the majority of his senior season due to a knee injury but was still nominated to play at the McDonald’s All-American game. Cupps gained a large following after he challenged NBA superstar LeBron James to a 3-point contest back in 2019. The sharpshooter from Ohio brings just what Indiana needs most to the table — the ability to shoot at a high clip.

With the introduction of NIL, the transfer portal in college basketball is forever changing but Indiana was able to reel in a couple of high-quality transfers amidst the chaos.

Oregon’s Kel'el Ware transferred into the Midwest and joined the Hoosiers in early April as one of the nation’s highest-rated transfers. The five-star played with the Ducks this past season and performed well off the bench, averaging six points through 35 games. Standing 7 feet tall, Ware will more than likely be expected to be the starting center for the Hoosiers and the current replacement for Trayce Jackson-Davis.

"Kel'el is an extremely gifted player who will bring a lot to our program,” Woodson said during a July availability. “He is a tremendous athlete whose skill level in all facets of the game will make us better. He's a rim protector with great size and length, he runs the floor so well, he can shoot and he's someone who competed and won at a high level in high school."

Indiana was also able to pick up Payton Sparks from Ball State and Anthony Walker from Miami (FL). Sparks played for the Cardinals for two years, amassing over 800 points and 500 rebounds. Walker will have a much different welcome from the returning Hoosiers, coming from the Hurricanes who ended both the men’s and women’s basketball seasons in two days. What Walker does bring to the table is size and the ability to score inside; he could be a key piece to the frontcourt for Indiana this season.

Fifteen players wrap up the roster for the Hoosiers. Fifteen faces, new and old, now don the candy stripe pants for the 2023-24 college basketball season. The goals for this group are endless, but many questions remain. What about the eight other players that have since departed Indiana? Let’s check in and see where they all ended up.


Trayce Jackson-Davis and Jalen Hood-Schifino entered their names into the 2023 NBA Draft after the conclusion of last season. Both have since been drafted into the NBA — Hood-Schifino by the Los Angeles Lakers and Jackson-Davis by the Golden State Warriors. 

Jalen Hood-Schifino takes in the scene during Indiana's win at Purdue on Feb. 25. (HN photo/Cam Schultz)

Hood-Schifino helped change the narrative around Indiana basketball by going one-and-done, signaling to recruits that Woodson has the ability to mold players into NBA athletes. The Montverde product was selected with the 17th pick by the Lakers in the 2023 NBA Draft, the first Hoosier drafted in the first round since Romeo Langford. Hood-Schifino may have only been a Hoosier for one year, but his presence will be felt for many years after his departure.

One of the most productive Indiana Hoosiers to wear the candy stripes, Trayce Jackson-Davis, was selected by the Washington Wizards with the 57th pick and then traded to the Warriors. The consensus All-American led the Hoosiers in points, rebounds, assists and blocks this past season while taking home the Karl Malone Award for the nation’s top power forward. Jackson-Davis will forever be remembered as an Indiana great; now in the Bay area, he will play alongside NBA greats such as Stephen Curry and a proven winning organization.

“It is scary how far Trayce Jackson-Davis has come. The things I have shown him, he's done,” Woodson said in a July availability. “The sky's the limit for him. He is ready for the NBA because he is so athletic and can do a lot of things. He can get up and down the floor and finish around the rim. Golden State got a hell of a player."

Race Thompson graduated from Indiana in May. The longtime Hoosier, who had been a part of the program for six years beginning in 2017, found a home in the NBA during Summer League. Thompson joined the New York Knicks roster before the Summer League began but was unable to play due to injury. He did, however, compete in an event in Portsmouth, Virginia to showcase his abilities in front of professional scouts along with 64 other college basketball seniors.

Miller Kopp also graduated in May but has yet to find his place in the pros. Indiana’s sharpshooter from the last two seasons has continued to work on his game around the Bloomington area, staying ready for his next opportunity.

Transferred out

Four Hoosiers entered their names into the transfer portal along with over 1,500 other players, and all four found new homes around the NCAA. 

Tamar Bates takes a shot during Indiana's win over Illinois on Jan. 19. (HN photo/Cam Schultz)

Tamar Bates and his daughter Leilani are heading to Missouri to join the Tigers in the SEC. Bates was the highest-rated prospect in Indiana’s 2021 recruiting class. The four-star out of IMG Academy was widely looked at as a breakout player for this past season. “Scoop” Bates will join a Tigers team that made it to the second round of the NCAA Tournament before falling to Cinderella Princeton. 

Jordan Geronimo will be staying in the Big Ten and taking his high-flying abilities to Maryland. One of the more interesting prospects in the past couple of seasons, Geronimo certainly lives up to his name. The Newark native was a key part of Indiana’s rotation the past two years, starting in six games this past season. He will join the Terrapins who led the Big Ten with a remarkable 16-1 home record.

Logan Duncomb will be moving closer to home to join the Xavier Musketeers. The Cincinnati native was talked about before the season began as a player who could receive decent playing time. Duncomb missed the majority of the season recovering from a sinus surgery.

Nathan Childress entered the portal with one year of eligibility remaining and is heading to Indiana Wesleyan University. Childress spent four seasons with the Hoosiers, playing in a total of 16 games throughout his career.

Coaching addition

Indiana added a huge addition to its coaching staff this offseason, stealing away Calbert Cheaney from the Indiana Pacers. Cheaney, who spent the last three years as an assistant coach for the Indiana Pacers, joins Woodson’s staff as Director of Player Development. The IU Hall of Famer was the Director of Operations for the Hoosiers from 2011-13 before leaving for the NBA. Cheaney is the Big Ten’s all-time leading scorer with 2,613 career points and helped the Hoosiers to a Final Four appearance in 1992.

2023-24 schedule

Less than 100 days separate Indiana fans from the first exhibition of the season on Oct. 29. The Hoosiers will host two exhibition games similar to last season — the first against UIndy and the second against Marian for the second consecutive season. The 2023-24 college basketball season officially kicks off for Indiana on Nov. 7 when the Hoosiers take on Florida Gulf Coast in Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall. 

2023-24 Schedule


11/7 Florida Gulf Coast

11/12 Army

11/16 Wright State

11/19 Empire Classic (New York City)

UConn, Texas, or Louisville

11/20 Empire Classic (New York City)

UConn, Texas, or Louisville

11/26 Harvard (Indianapolis)

12/9 Auburn (Atlanta)

12/16 Kansas

12/19 Morehead State

CJ Gunn takes a shot during Indiana's exhibition win against Marian. (HN photo/Eden Snower)

12/21 North Alabama

12/29 Kennesaw State

Big Ten (dates TBA)

at Illinois


Maryland / at Maryland

at Michigan

Michigan State

Minnesota / at Minnesota

Nebraska / at Nebraska


Ohio State / at Ohio State

Penn State / at Penn State

Purdue / at Purdue

at Rutgers

Wisconsin / at Wisconsin

Big Ten Tournament (Minneapolis, MN)

Full Roster 2023-24

Guards (by class)

Xavier Johnson

Trey Galloway

Anthony Leal

Shaan Burke

CJ Gunn

Indiana head coach Mike Woodson walks the sideline during Indiana's overtime win over Michigan on March 5. (HN photo/Daniel Rodriguez)

Gabe Cupps

Jakai Newton

James Goodis

Ian Stephens

Forwards (by class)

Anthony Walker

Payton Sparks

Malik Reneau

Kaleb Banks

Mackenzie Mgbako


Kel’el Ware

Head coach: Mike Woodson

Associate head coach: Kenya Hunter

Associate head coach: Yasir Rosemond

Assistant coach: Brian Walsh

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