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IU men’s basketball head coach Mike Woodson gets first hit of Colts anvil for 2023

Mike Woodson hits anvil before Colts game

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — It all started off with a bang.

Mike Woodson took the first anvil hit of 2023 Saturday night. Indiana basketball’s head coach was the anvil honoree for the Colts’ preseason game against the Chicago Bears.

Woodson was all smiles on the big boards of Lucas Oil Stadium. He joked about how heavy the hammer is, and how he wants to kick off the season on a positive note for the Colts.

“I hope it does well for the Colts,” Woodson said. “That’s what it’s all about. We’re here to support the Indianapolis Colts. They’ve been around for some years and had some good years here. It’s all about them.”

Woodson enters his third season with his alma mater — leading the Hoosiers to back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances in his first two years. That was the first time the Hoosiers went to the Big Dance in two consecutive years since the 2015-2016 seasons.

IU will look significantly different in the 2023-24 season, after losing four of last year’s starting five. Trayce Jackson-Davis and Jalen Hood-Schifino were selected in the 2023 NBA draft, while Race Thompson and Miller Kopp both graduated.

Woodson says the team will relay heavily on the leadership and talents of Xavier Johnson and Trey Galloway. Johnson returns for a sixth season after missing most of last year after breaking his foot in December’s game against Kansas.

Along with the two upperclassmen, Kaleb Banks, Malik Reneau and CJ Gunn will be key returners, according to Woodson. IU also added transfers like 7-footer Kel’el Ware from Oregon and Anthony Walker from Miami (Fla.) to bolster the roster.

The Hoosiers host the University of Indianapolis for an exhibition game Oct. 29 before opening up the season against Florida Gulf Coast Nov. 7.