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As it comes off a 23-win campaign, Indiana will feature several new faces when it opens its season against Florida Gulf Coast on Tuesday evening in Bloomington, Ind.

The Hoosiers will welcome newcomers Kel'el Ware, Mackenzie Mgbako and Gabe Cupps. Ware is a sophomore transfer from Oregon who was a McDonald's All-American in 2022, and Mgbako is a true freshman who earned McDonald's All-American status last season.

Indiana coach Mike Woodson hopes the influx of talent can help fill the void left by longtime standout Trayce Jackson-Davis, who averaged 20.9 points and 10.8 rebounds last season. Jackson-Davis now plays for the NBA's Golden State Warriors.

Ware is a 7-foot center who averaged 6.6 points and 4.1 rebounds for Oregon last season. He also blocked 1.3 shots per game.

The North Little Rock, Ark., native will get every chance to build upon those numbers this season.

"It's been a lot of really going at him in practice to get him to be aggressive and do the things that we want him to do on the offensive end," Woodson said. "And he's starting to show some signs that he can do that."

Florida Gulf Coast travels north to begin its second season under coach Pat Chambers. The Eagles finished 17-15 last season, including a 7-11 record in the Atlantic Sun Conference.

Chambers, who previously coached at Penn State, is no stranger to facing Indiana. His top returning player is guard Isaiah Thompson, who averaged a team-high 14.9 points in 2022-23.

Zach Anderson (11.7 points per game last season) and Andre Weir (9.2) also return to Florida Gulf Coast.

The Eagles were picked to finish second in the Atlantic Sun preseason coaches' poll.

"I'm surprised that we're as high as two because we only have one all-league candidate in Isaiah Thompson," Chambers said. "Usually, when you are ranked that high, you have two, three or four candidates, so I thank the coaches and the media for ranking us that high.

"Preseason rankings are for the fans, and the families. That's for them. We need to focus on ourselves."

--Field Level Media

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