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Nebraska v Indiana

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BLOOMINGTON, Ind.--The Indiana Hoosier men’s basketball team has lost eight of their last 10 games. With four games remaining in the regular season, Hoosier Head Men’s Basketball coach Mike Woodson knows his team has to learn from its mistakes and play as hard as possible.

“You gotta put the time in the floor in practice and hopefully it will carry over to the real game. You gotta practice. You gotta work through it,” said Woodson to the media in a Zoom call on Monday.

Things don’t get any easier for Indiana (14-13 overall, 6-10 in the Big Ten). They face the Wisconsin Badgers (18-9 overall, 10-6 in the Big Ten) on Tuesday night. Indiana lost to Wisconsin 91-79 on January 19.

“I’m only concerned about Wisconsin. We gotta take little steps based on where we are. Wisconsin is staring us in the face and they’ve had their struggles. So that’s all I’m truly thinking about. It’s one game at a time. They’re a good offensive team. They play inside out,” said Woodson.

Woodson says his team needs to play better on defense than they did in the first meeting against Wisconsin. Woodson was also asked if he had any regrets about this season.

“I would have loved to have had Xavier Johnson. But I have to remember that when things don’t go well, I point the finger at me. When things go well, I point the fingers at the players. That’s just kind of been my nature of how I’ve coached over the years. You know, I know how was it when I played, and I played for coaches that had success with me and I played for coaches that haven’t had success. You know, sometimes coaches don’t want to take the blame and want to put all on the players. I’m not that type of coach. Even though I don’t miss jump shots, wide open shots, and don’t miss free throws, I’m still a big part of it and I take a lot of responsibility,” said Woodson.

Johnson has only played in 14 games this season and started 11 because he’s had several injuries. Woodson said that Johnson worked out Sunday but didn’t do a lot of contact drills.

“I know he wants to play in the worst way. Time is running out on him and I feel for him in that regard. I’m just kinda going to follow his lead. I don’t like playing players when they don’t practice and have some kind of contact. I’ll evaluate and talk to him and see what we can do. Then we’ll take it from there,” said Woodson.

Indiana is 12th in the Big Ten standings. Wisconsin is tied for third. Tipoff is at 7 pm Tuesday night. Pregame coverage starts at 6 pm on 93.1 WIBC.

The Big Ten Conference announced that Indiana freshman forward Mackenzie Mgbako was named Big Ten Freshman of the Week.

Mgbako averaged 14.5 points, 4.5 rebounds, 2.0 assists, and 1.0 steal per game for the Hoosiers. The former McDonald’s All American was one of four major conference freshmen to post at least 14.0 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 2.0 assists in conference play last week. He scored a career-high 22 points to go along with seven rebounds and had one steal against Nebraska on Feb. 21. He tallied seven points, three assists, and one steal at Penn State on Feb. 24.

You can hear the full audio from Woodson’s media availability below.