The Indiana Hoosiers are going to need the entire team to be ready in tonight's mega matchup with Kansas. While Mike Woodson and his staff will need everyone at their best, that is easier said than done given the team's collective struggles to begin the season. The 7-2 record looks pretty good on paper, but it does not detail the growing pains which this roster has been experiencing early on. It has been a bit rougher around the edges than the optics may show.
It has not been all bad amidst these growing pains, however, as there have been a few guys who have more than pulled their weight through 9 games. These fellas still have a ton of room for improvement, just not as much as the other hoopers for the Hoosiers.
Ware has been nothing shy of a godsend for this program since securing his spot in the locker room. Currently the top rated Hoosier in terms of pro evaluations, the big man has already shown enough sauce to justify a bright future ahead at the professional ranks. His footwork in particular should have scouts drooling.
It is his responsibility to keep up the great work if he indeed plans to convert his NBA dreams to realities.
Ware's frontcourt friend has been equally as impressive (if not more) as his bouldering buddy. He needs to cut his turnovers down a tad (team-high 3 per game), but the poise and patience he shows in the post is immaculate. Combine those traits with his overpowering strength (and hopefully some progressive improvements as a shooter) and Malik Reneau has the makings of a monster.
The numbers do not tell the whole story, but Anthony Walker has been a spark plug for this team. An energizer bunny of sorts, his high octane style of play has been massive off the bench. Walker has not had any dominant scoring nights thus far, but his subtle numbers have been steadily superb in the team's last 5 games.
HONORABLE MENTION: MACKENZIE MGBAKO
Mgbako looked lost in his first few games in the NCAA, but he is starting to come around. He has scored in double figures in the team's last 4 games, and a big night against Kansas could make his mournful start to the season nothing more than a mirage in the rearview mirror.