IUBB is Going to Look A LOT Different Next Season

Malik Reneau and Gabe Cupps, Indiana Men's Basketball
Malik Reneau and Gabe Cupps, Indiana Men's Basketball / Steven Branscombe/GettyImages

Gabe Cupps, Jakai Newton, Trey Galloway, Anthony Leal, and Malik Reneau will all be back in Bloomington in 2024-2025. Beyond them, there is nothing but question marks tied to who else will rock the candy stripes next season.

We know that CJ Gunn, Payton Sparks, and Kaleb Banks will not be returning to IU for their junior season. We also know that the insanely gifted *braces for sudden heartache* Liam McNeeley will not be kicking off his collegiate career in B-Town (barring a miraculous second change of heart).

As of this moment, it is difficult to predict the assortment of transfers/freshman which will surround the current 5-man nucleus. Prized recruits Derik Queen and Joson Sanon have pledged their commitments elsewhere, meaning there are probably no polarizing freshman coming to town like recent years (Jalen Hood-Schifino, Mackenzie Mgbako). While there are no clear signs of a saving grace arriving via the freshman class, Mike Woodson has been extremely active on the transfer market early on in the offseason.

While the success of the team's with the most transfer turnover this season is not particularly encouraging, the aforementioned unit of returnees is.

Cupps's statistics (21.6 MPG, 2.6 PPG, 1.8 RPG, 1.2 APG compared to 0.8 TOPG plus 0.8 SPG on shooting splits of 36.4% FG/35.9% 3/61.5% FT) were boring. Regardless, the poise and toughness that the true freshman showed all year long was fun to watch. His fellow frosh Newton may have gone through a minor setback throughout the duration of his freshman campaign, but a major comeback could be brewing within his mojo.

Gabe Cupps
Gabe Cupps, Indiana Men's Basketball / G Fiume/GettyImages

Galloway turned into one of the top playmakers in the Big Ten by the end of the year, and will be the unquestioned leader of this squad in 2024-2025. He made massive strides offensively this season, and he has always been a positive defensively. Could he be a sneaky Big Ten Player of the Year candidate as we look ahead to the unknown abyss of the future?

Trey Galloway, Oskar Palmquist
Trey Galloway, Indiana Men's Basketball / Rich Schultz/GettyImages

Leal's return might not ring as prominent as Galloway's, but the former benchwarmer was an essential rotation piece by the end of 2023-2024. His defensive energy was a silver lining in a lost season, with that especially being the case in the latter half of the schedule. He has yet to find his full rhythm offensively, but a scorching 47.4% connection rate from deep this season could foreshadow a leap from Leal in the bucket department.

Anthony Leal
Anthony Leal and Kel'el Ware, Indiana Men's Basketball / Justin Casterline/GettyImages

It should go without saying that getting Reneau back was huge, as the team will have at least 1 of it's frontcourt cornerstones back with the common assumption that Kel'el Ware does the dash to the big leagues. If Mike Woodson can convince Mackenzie Mgbako to give it another go, then things become a bit less murky.

Mackenzie Mgbako, Malik Reneau, Kel'el Ware, Gabe Cupps
Malik Reneau, Gabe Cupps, Mackenzie Mgbako, and Kel'el Ware, Indiana Men's Basketball / Gunnar Word/GettyImages

A major makeover is en route to Bloomington, and it is hard to say exactly what things could look like when it is completed.