5 Interesting 5-Man Lineups for Mike Woodson to Consider from Current IUBB Team

Myles Rice, Indiana Men's Basketball
Myles Rice, Indiana Men's Basketball / Michael Reaves/GettyImages
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Oumar Ballo
Oumar Ballo, Indiana Men's Basketball / Ronald Martinez/GettyImages



PG | Gabe Cupps

SG | Trey Galloway

SF | Anthony Leal

PF | Bryson Tucker

C | Oumar Ballo

As the old saying goes, "offense sells tickets but defense wins championships". Sure, Mike Woodson could elect to play some of his more explosive, offensive-minded units for solid chunks of time. However, when the game is on the line and the pressure is on the rise, getting stops should always be the priority.

Gabe Cupps may not have produced many offensive statistics in his freshman season (2.6 PPG and 1.2 APG in 21.6 MPG across 33 games and 22 starts), but there is absolutely no denying that his point-of-attack defense was nearly elite for a true freshman. He is arguably this team's overall most solid and fundamentally sound defender, depending on how your feel about Trey Galloway and/or Bryson Tucker.

Galloway has filled an energizer bunny, glue-guy type of role for the Hoosiers over the course of the last 4 seasons. Assuming (praying) that his recent knee surgery does not hamper the 5th-year senior-to-be, Mike Woodson will continue to lean on him for high octane energy on the winning end of the floor. Fellow 5th-year fan favorite Anthony Leal may not possess the same athletic pop as Galloway, but he showed a ton of promise as a team defender in 2023-2024.

We have already touched on Tucker's defensive prowess, but in this unit he would not bare as heavy a burden on that end of the floor. Regardless, he has the tools to completely dominate a game on the defensive end, and if he can effectively and consistently use those tools to his advantage and give his team everything he has got every time he steps on the court, Bryson Tucker will have no shortage of minutes next season.

Standing 7'0" tall and weighing in at 260 pounds, Oumar Ballo is a gorilla disguised as a guy. His massive body takes up a ton of space in the paint while simultaneously striking fear in the hearts of opposing penetrators who encounter him on their runs to the rack. Across 4 seasons and 132 collegiate contests, Ballo has swatted an impressive 1.1 BPG, and he is fresh off of a 2023-2024 campaign in which he gathered a whopping 10.1 RPG (15th highest average in the NCAA).

Ballo will be the anchor of this defense, and having him on the backline will lighten the pressure on the perimeter defenders. Regardless, Indiana has numerous guys who are highly capable of getting down into a stance and getting a stop from the outside.


PG | Myles Rice

SG | Kanaan Carlyle

SF | Bryson Tucker

PF | Luke Goode

C | Oumar Ballo

It is not often that an NCAA team re-tools as quickly and effectively as Indiana has this offseason. Adding 5 new players who could plausibly boast a formidable 5-man STARTING unit on their own is something that may have never been done...

... until now.

Rice, Carlyle, Tucker, Goode and Ballo should all turn into terrific pieces for this program, and every single one of them would be starting/starring at countless other colleges. Thankfully for the candy stripe faithful, we have Woody. And Woody knows how to gain the trust of up-and-coming basketball players.

This is a lineup that we will almost certainly see on a number of occasions, and these newbies are not to be taken lightly.