IU basketball’s Mike Woodson silencing critics he’d struggle in recruiting

BLOOMINGTON – Mike Woodson had a good day Monday.

IU’s coach landed a spring commitment from five-star forward Malik Reneau, a one-time Florida signee and Montverde Academy teammate of fellow five-star (and incoming IU signee) Jalen Hood-Schifino. Joining Hood-Schifino, CJ Gunn and Kaleb BanksReneau gives Woodson the Big Ten’s highest-rated 2022 class, for the 247Sports Composite.

He’s also the third player that metric ranked No. 30 or better to commit to IU in the 13 months Woodson has been in charge, a pretty direct rebuttal to questions about Woodson’s recruiting capacity when he was pulled from a decades-long NBA career to lead his alma mater last year.

More:Picking UI a ‘no-brainer’ for Malik Reneau; gives Mike Woodson a top-5 class

Scouting report:Malik Reneau can dominate around the rim, but there’s more to UI commit’s game

Apr 2, 2022;  Fort Myers, FL, USA;  Montverde Academy Eagles forward Malik Reneau (14) kisses the trophy after defeating Link Academy Lions and winning the Geico High School National Championship at Suncoast Credit Union Arena.

But there is something more fundamental signaled by Monday’s news, something basketball needs to acknowledge: It’s time to stop saying pro coaches can’t succeed in college.

It’s become a precariously lazy position to begin with.

Popular opinion has for some time been that the game’s best and brightest minds all gravitate to the NBA, so wearisome are the headaches that come with coaching in college, and so that’s where all the innovation happens. Therefore, players and coaches should get there as fast and stay for as long as they can. Reality is not so black and white, but it is presented (and often accepted) to be that way.

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