Indiana’s four-player freshman class is looking to make an immediate impact, and their past pedigree indicates that could happen sooner rather than later.
With five stars Jalen Hood Schifino and Malik Reneau join the four stars Banks of Kaleb and CJ Gunn on campus this summer, work has already begun. But for a class ranked No. 10 in the country, according to 247Sports, expectations will certainly be raised from the get-go.
Now that Indiana has been in its summer training schedule for over a month, the freshmen have plenty of time to acclimate to the schedule, their new teammates and Bloomington as a whole.
With that, we’ve compiled several quotes from IU players and coaches throughout this offseason about each of the incoming freshmen, their skills, and what fans could expect from them this season.
(Note: Kaleb Banks, CJ Gunn, Race Thompson and Trayce Jackson-Davis quotes are from press conferences in recent months. Kenya Hunter, Yasir Rosemond and Mike Woodson quotes are from Episodes of the Hoosier Hysterics podcast.)
On Jalen Hood-Schifino:
Banks of Kaleb – “Jalen, he’s a good leader, a good facilitator. He’s also a good leader, he’s already showing good leadership.”
CJ Gunn – “Fino, he’s a great facilitator, he knows how to use his body very well to affect the defense in so many ways.”
Kenya hunter – “His level of maturity for a high school student is above and beyond. I’ve already spoken to a few people who said he was way beyond his age, in terms of his level of maturity. And the way he works, when you’re hardworking, I think that translates to continuing to progress in your game.”
Kenya hunter – “I don’t want to put pressure on the guys, but I think Schifino – now the coach wants him to score more because he’s more of a passmaker first – the beauty of it all, you can put it on and X, play together or not. But the beauty is that both guys have the vision to see different things happen on the floor. So in transition, that’s the first thing that’s going to be different now.
mike woodson – “When I first saw Jalen, being a 6-foot-5 point guard, it really intrigued me because he’s a great guard. And the fact that he could pass and he was kind of pass first, mark second player, that intrigued me too, knowing that he could always score if he wanted to score in basketball, but he was always looking to trap people.”
mike woodson – “It was just something about him that I liked. You know, I coached a kid named Jason Kidd, in New York, and he’s probably the smartest player I’ve ever coached. … There were similarities to Jalen when I looked at him.”
Trayce Jackson Davis – “… Jalen is coming, they’re going to make huge contributions, I’m sure. They are very mature for their grades.”
On Malik Reneau:
Banks of Kaleb – “Malik, he’s just overall very good at attacking the basket, involving his teammates and stuff like that.”
CJ Gunn – “Malik, he’s just a straight killer when it comes to post and mid-range, and he’s got a clip from the three-point line as well.”
Jalen Hood Schifino – “Malik is a very good person and a great player, he works very hard. He was my teammate in high school, obviously, so I know his game very well. Like I said, he works very hard, and being here in Indiana, I know the coaches are going to prove him right and he’s going to be locked in. And I know he’s going to have a great year.
Thompson Race – “Malik is a strong body, already looks like he’s ready to play in the Big Ten. Talented big man, can handle the ball, shoot the ball and has a lot of movement. He really impressed me… He hit like a little shimmy, one foot fadeaway that was pretty nasty and kinda turned my head a little bit hit like a euro step yesterday on two people who were really nice So I was really impressed with him.
Thompson race – “I hadn’t seen a lot of movies of him in high school. When he came here, he was bigger and stronger than I expected. And it just seems like he’s ready to play in the Big Ten. In the weight room he’s strong, on the court he’s strong, he’s athletic, he’s gifted. So he’s definitely going to be an exciting piece for us, and I think he can help a lot.
Kenya hunter – “What Malik is is a competitive spirit about him, he plays hard. His versatility of being able to not only play inside but also on the perimeter, that’s the intriguing part of his game, he has so much room to continue But the talent is where he can make plays that quite frankly some of our guys couldn’t make And so I just think once he’s able to acclimatize to the way we do things here, I think his progression should be pretty good.”
Kenya hunter – “You saw last year a couple of times – Race Thompson or Geronimo get the ball back and get off the ground. It’s going to make us a faster team…these guys are able to do that, even Malik in to some degree where these guys can get it, it’s hard to match the transition with that now that guards are running on the floor and getting the forward pass to finish on the edge or being able to attack, go down. , guys can get open threes that way.”
mike woodson – “I looked at Malik and talked to him casually, I knew he was going to Florida and he was already engaged, and when it cracked, I was at his doorstep with Kenya and Ya and the others coaches. He’s a guy that we’ve been watching all his season and we were like, man, listen up, if he’s going to disengage in Florida, maybe we need to give ourselves a chance to put our foot down in the door and see if we can close the deal.
Trayce Jackson Davis – “With Malik, he’s a great player, I watched his film a bit. The big thing with him too is that he’s a winner, so it’s great. Montverde, he’s a powerful team. He and Jalen are coming in, they’re going to make huge contributions, I’m sure. They’re very mature for their ratings.
On the banks of Kaleb:
CJ Gunn – “Kaleb, I think he’s more like a great guard. He can shoot and create his shot whenever he wants.”
Thompson race – “Kaleb is a great player. Again, I didn’t really see him play in high school, I didn’t really know what to expect when he got here. But he’s very talented, a great winger who can defend, can really shoot the ball, score the ball at all three levels I think he’ll be a really fun player to watch and really fun to play with because he can shoot and he can make plays for his teammates… He’s really impressed me a lot, how comfortable he is, how confident he is, his ability to make plays, so I think he’ll be a lot of fun to watch.
Jalen Hood Schifino – “Kaleb is a great player. They still have work to do, like all of us, but they’re going to be good. I think they’re going to be good for us this year, and they have to keep working.”
Kenya Hunter – “Kaleb Banks and CJ, they’re talented guys. I just think they find their way and understand how we work, I think those two guys are going to bring value to our team as well.”
mike woodson – “Everyone thinks Kaleb was just a low post (guy), that’s not a low post. He can post, but he plays on the floor with the basketball – the guy is about 6 tall – 8 and long.”
Yasser Rosemond – “Kaleb’s mother is probably tougher on him than anyone who is going to be tough on him, so he comes from a good pedigree.”
On CJ Gunn:
Kaleb Banks – “CJ, he’s a good player, he’s a really good shooter, and I know I can count on him to knock down a shot.”
Jalen Hood Schifino – “CJ is a great player… They still have work to do, like all of us, but they’re going to be good. I think they’re going to be good for us this year, and just have to keep working.”
Mike Woodson- “I like CJ because I think CJ is more of a winger…I would like to play more openly offensively, but again, when you give a team the latitude to play more openly, there are always rules. like taking care of the basketball and getting good shots.”
Kenya hunter -“KaBanks and CJ, they are talented guys. I just think they find their way and understand how we work, I think those two guys are going to bring value to our team as well.”
Yasser Rosemond – “CJ is an Indiana kid, so he understands what it’s like to be in Indiana and an Indiana kid. They fit Woody’s culture, what Woody’s trying to build here.”