Player Spotlight: Malik Reneau shines in first week of the new year

Every week during the conference season, we will showcase the Hoosier that we believe had the most productive and impactful week. This week's recipient...Malik Reneau!

Indiana v Nebraska
Indiana v Nebraska / Steven Branscombe/GettyImages

In Big Ten play’s restart in 2024, Malik Reneau was the best player on the floor for the Hoosiers during the first two contests. The forward was sensational in the Hoosiers’ win over Ohio State, which, coupled with a solid performance in the loss at Nebraska, has earned him the player spotlight this week. 

His week started with a strong performance against Nebraska, tallying 14 points, six rebounds, and five assists. Nebraska's guard play may have dominated IU, but the Hoosiers' frontcourt played great. Kel'el Ware and Reneau were excellent In what was an otherwise poor game for the Hoosiers.

 As for other stats, Reneau added two three-pointers, matching his previous season-high. Reneau also made all four of his free throws, which may not sound like much of an accomplishment, but on this Hoosier team, it sadly is.

Reneau shined defensively, preventing any forward for Nebraska from scoring in double figures.
Although the result shows Nebraska was the better team, Reneau played well and won his position battle with a good performance on both sides of the ball. 

Although Reneau was solid in the game against Nebraska, his best performance was versus Ohio State. Reneau led the Hoosiers with 23 points and seven assists. He also had one assist, one steal, and one block to top it off. The block was not only a very impressive play but a significant momentum shift in what ended up being a comeback win for IU. 

Reneau also hit a three-pointer in the second half that solidified a Hoosiers' run and tied the game after Indiana was down by nine. Similarly to the Nebraska game, Reneau did not miss a free throw, which is always crucial in a close game like this. 

Besides the great stats, Reneau also impacted the game as a leader. He played 37 out of the 40 minutes in this game and was the go-to guy in almost every possession down the stretch. He made several vital buckets during IU’s comeback, and after the comeback, he connected on more shots to give the Hoosiers the win.

His footwork and vision were incredible, which usually goes unnoticed in today’s flashier game. However, many fans noted how well Reneau executed his post moves late in the game. 

All this led to a Hoosiers victory, a much-needed one, as this became their most impressive win of the season. It moved Indiana to 3-1 in the conference, good enough for second place in the Big Ten. This was all aided by Reneau’s great week, something he hopes to replicate.