We hate to be the bearer of bad news, especially after the heartbreaking loss over juggernaut Kansas last night. However, we must also face the fact that Mike Woodson's team is currently battling through some tough early season injuries. Getting banged up is part of the game of basketball, and it is clear that the grit and grind of the game has been impacting the health of the Hoosiers.
Xavier Johnson has obviously been the most prominent name associated with the availability report, but there have been an assortment of names making their way to the list. In addition to Johnson, the team had three other key contributors in questionable status leading up to the clash with Kansas. Those three guys were Kel'el Ware, Malik Reneau, and CJ Gunn. This was Ware's second consecutive game showing up on the report, but he was able to pull through and take the floor. Reneau's name has been on the injury report for a few weeks, with him dealing with an ongoing back ailment. He was also able to suit up against the Jayhawks. The two combined for 28 points, 18 rebounds and 6 assists in the game. They may not have had their best performances of the young season, but they showed indispensable resilience and toughness. Gunn was also able to give it a go versus Kansas, although he only played 5 minutes. Anthony Walker had also previously been listed on the injury report leading up to the team's matchup with Auburn, although his name was not present prior to the Kansas game.
Priority number one in the health department should be the healing of Xavier Johnson. Getting the floor general back as quickly as possible will certainly help, as the team could use his leadership to flip the script on their current two game skid. The second priority will be ensuring that these other wounded soldiers above get back to 100%. The next priority will be determining if four star freshman Jakai Newton will be able to play at all in 2023-2024. The final ongoing priority will be keeping everyone healthy from that point.