2016-2017 Player Profile: Priller, Jager, McRoberts and Taylor

  • 10/31/2016 8:32 am in

With the start of college basketball season on the horizon, we took a long look at the conference at large as well as Indiana’s roster over the past month and a half. Today, we wrap up our look at Indiana’s roster with Tim Priller, Johnny Jager, Zach McRoberts and Quentin Taylor.

The end of Indiana’s bench may not have a major impact this season for the Hoosiers, but if past seasons are an indication, one of the names we’re about to discuss will have a moment that stands out.

Last season, two end of bench guys made an impact for a team that won the Big Ten. Senior walk-on Ryan Burton, a Bedford native, stepped in a few times in key spots to provide valuable minutes. In a closer than expected win at Rutgers in late December, Burton came off the bench to splash two 3s. He wasn’t the only one who gave IU key minutes. Freshman walk-on Harrison Niego was a fringe rotation guy down the stretch as Indiana’s backcourt depth was thin and performed more than capably.

This season, the most likely end of bench guy to make an impact appears to be McRoberts, a former Indiana All-Star who played his freshman season at Vermont in 2014-2015.

The younger brother of NBA forward Josh McRoberts, who starred at Duke, the younger McRoberts could be in line for a bigger than expected role with the injury to Collin Hartman. At Vermont, McRoberts was a rotation guy for a team that won 20 games. He shot 54.3 percent on his 2s in conference game and posted an offensive rating of 125.7, which was second best in the America East Conference.

McRoberts has worked on his perimeter shot and his strength this offseason and his performances in two public scrimmages were encouraging.

Priller enters his third season in Bloomington as a scholarship player, but is unlikely to earn meaningful minutes. That’s partly based on who is ahead of him in the rotation and also the fact that Priller simply isn’t a Big Ten level player. While he does have size and can shoot it at a decent clip, the strength and athleticism aren’t there for Priller to be viewed as a viable option for minutes.

Taylor, a sophomore and Jager, a sophomore who transferred from Wabash College, will provide backcourt depth. Jager is a former Bloomington South standout and averaged 15 points in 32 minutes per game last season at Wabash.

Bottom Line: McRoberts is by far the most interesting member of this group in terms of potential impact on this season’s team. At 6-foot-6, he’s got some versatility and could be in line for an opportunity to play while Hartman is sidelined. He was recruited at the Division I level and was an effective player in his lone season at Vermont. Priller will remain a fan favorite, but there haven’t been any preseason developments to suggest he’ll be ready for more than end of game mop-up duty.

Quotable: “Zach has ability. He knows how to play. I’m glad we have him. He’s got to get stronger and improve his shot, but he’ll do that. He knows how to work.” – Crean on McRoberts in June.

Previously: Devonte Green, Grant Gelon, Curtis Jones, De’Ron Davis, Juwan Morgan, OG Anunoby, Thomas Bryant, Josh Newkirk, Freddie McSwain, Robert Johnson, James Blackmon Jr., Collin Hartman

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  • HuntinHoosier86

    Good read, but in the “Quotable” section, I think there should be a period after the word ability. Unless the “He” that you’re referring to is Jesus. Sorry to be that guy. Thanks for all that you all do, ITH!

  • HoosierStuckInKY

    You didn’t hear?! J-star decided to walk-on last month. The scouting report on him is he can jump out of the gym (all the way to the Heavens) and plays excellent defense. Needs to work on his free throws though.

  • BL4IU

    Great pic Alex.

  • GatewayHoosier

    I hear he is great at boxing out (turns both cheeks) but gives the ball (and his jersey-tunic) away all too willingly.

  • SilentBob

    So Alex, with everyone assuming Kris to UCLA is a done deal, what’s you’re gut feeling on our positions with Preston and Tucker?

  • HuntinHoosier86

    That’s great news! As long as He doesn’t turn any Gatorade into wine or anything….

  • HuntinHoosier86

    Yeah, but I heard He had an AWESOME assist rate. Fed like 5,000 in a game!

  • Shaggy_C

    Surprised to hear the assessment on Priller that he doesn’t have B1G strength going into his 3rd year on campus. With the amount of work that this team puts in the weight room even a slovenly, cheeto-eating internet poster like me would be built after two years. It seems to me the problem isn’t strength and athleticism but skill level. He just doesn’t seem comfortable when he’s on the court.

  • John D Murphy

    I have been favorably impressed with Zach thus far. Priller should dress for Halloween with a sign “In Case of Emergency…Break Glass”.

  • Outoftheloop

    I humbly disagree on Priller! I have seen the hour long video on the BTN and shorter clips on HH and HH scrimmages. Tim Priller appears very comfortable on the floor with other IU players. His size and length are positives. He is a very good shooter. He fully understands the offensive and defensive schemes. He is not a chiseled body, but neither was NW’s John Shurna. I will feel no fear with Tim getting 5 minutes as a Big sub early this year. But then I remember when Tabor was our best Big and Eric Surr our toughest guard!

  • Outoftheloop

    I don’t assume anything of the kind! Kris could be a Hoosier Legend in B-Town and in the State of Indiana!

  • StudentHoosier

    Funny story about Priller:

    Last week I was at my little brother’s dorm helping him out with some finite homework that he had due at midnight (real blast from the past being in dorms again, but hey, didn’t mind seeing some of those McNutt girls). Anyways, as I’m leaving, I look out my window and see Tim Priller, alone on the outdoor courts across from Briscoe, doing ball handling drills. Keep in mind that this was at about 11:30 PM, probably mid 50’s at best outside, and Priller is putting in some extra work. Now I know he’s not gonna be CTC’s first guy off the bench, or even his 3rd or 4th. But when his name is called this year, I think he’ll be ready.

    For the last time of the year: Is it November yet?

  • Trevor Howenstine

    You are “Outoftheloop”

  • dwdkc

    Sadly so. It will probably take the firing of an alltime great Hoosier legend to change things this spring, and I don’t really want to root for that.

  • MM

    I love a story about a guy working hard, but Priller is a scholarship player in which we are still talking about walk-ons (McRoberts) playing before him in year 3. I hope he graduates in 3 years and moves on to another program in which he can see more PT and clears up a scholarship for next season.

  • SilentBob

    I’m sorry loop, but I believe your holding on to false hope. He’s a goner