That’s A Wrap: Zach McRoberts

  • 04/21/2017 3:35 pm in

Welcome to “That’s A Wrap,” our player-by-player recap of the 2016-2017 Indiana Hoosiers. Up next: Zach McRoberts. (Previously: Devonte Green, De’Ron Davis, Grant GelonCurtis Jones, Juwan Morgan, Thomas Bryant, OG Anunoby, Freddie McSwainJosh Newkirk, Tim Priller, James Blackmon Jr., Robert Johnson, Collin Hartman)

McRoberts (31 games): 0.8 points, 1.5 rebounds, 0.9 assists, 100% FT, 40.7% eFG, 33.3% 3PFG in 11.3 minutes per game

Not much was expected of walk-on Zach McRoberts entering his first season in Bloomington.

A former Indiana All-Star from Carmel, McRoberts signed with Vermont as a member of the 2014 class and played one season for the Catamounts. But McRoberts decided to transfer following his freshman season and landed at Indiana as a student during the 2015-16 academic year.

He had no intentions of playing basketball again – and he didn’t have tickets to IU games, either – but watching the NCAA tournament drew McRoberts back in. Indiana won two games in the 2016 NCAA tournament and it wasn’t long after that McRoberts decided he wanted to give basketball another try.

“I would just watch the games on TV and listen to all of my friends talking about it,” he said last summer. “And then just watching the (NCAA) tournament, that competitive spirit, you don’t get that anywhere else.”

In late April of 2016, McRoberts contacted an IU assistant coach regarding his interest in joining the program as a walk-on and he officially joined the program last June.

An injury to Collin Hartman last fall and a midseason injury to OG Anunoby gave McRoberts an opportunity to crack the rotation as a redshirt sophomore. And for the most part, he filled his role capably.

While not much of a threat to score, McRoberts was a strong defender and a willing passer. He appeared in every Big Ten game but one and scored in five different conference contests.

The younger brother of Josh McRoberts, an NBA veteran, it’s clear that McRoberts was well coached at Carmel and he proved to be a valuable addition in his first season in Bloomington.

Bottom Line: Not many walk-ons play the type of minutes McRoberts played last season for the Hoosiers. He averaged more minutes per game than four of IU’s scholarship players – Tim Priller, Grant Gelon, Freddie McSwain and Curtis Jones. While his role may not be as major as a junior, McRoberts will be an asset to Archie Miller and the new coaching staff because of his experience and his ability to play defense.

Quotable: “Just pushing my teammates. Being able to make them better. Anything I can do to help the team win is kind of what I’ve done throughout my career playing. I’m not worried about stats or playing time. It’s just doing what I can to help the team win.” – McRoberts last summer on what he hoped to bring to the program.

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  • inLinE6

    Very happy for his development and contribution to this program. And then it’s head-scratching to see that he plays better than scholarship players.

  • Lance76

    It was a joy to watch his hustle. So far not an offensive threat, but an Indiana player with defense and a do what ever it takes attitude.

  • myrddin

    The coaching staff needs to build his confidence up in his shot. He passed up open looks this past year that made it too easy for defenses to play 5-4, and he can make enough open shots so that the defense can’t just leave him alone.

  • Ms hoosier

    If he could give you 10 points a game with his defense he could be a starter!!

  • inLinE6

    Or at least get a scholarship?

  • PreKnight

    It is great when a young man wants to play basketball at IU badly enough that he would walk-on. If he was an Indiana All-Star, he should have a shot. He just needs the confidence to take the shot. Hopefully he is still willing to be a walk-on next year.

  • John D Murphy

    I hope ZM is back again next year.

  • KelvinSampson87

    I was surprised by his stats. He is definitely a player that provides much more value than his stats would lead you to believe.

  • just a fan

    You know, this kid had to have had some decent stats in high school to get a Divvy one scholarship, he CAN score, and he’s proved it. I bet I’m not the only one who yelled at the tv screen this last season, “Just shoot it” ! Love his defensive hustle, though.

  • IU Hoosiers # 34, 1979-83

    John D!!!! Someone has to go if only OG leaves. Well obviously, but Zach may be one of the ones out.

  • Shaggy_C

    As a walk on he is safer than anyone else on the roster ?

  • IU Hoosiers # 34, 1979-83

    Shaggy, you got me on that one!! I forgot he is a walk on!!! Thanks for that!!!

  • Mark Bando

    I have a feeling ZM is Archie’s kinda player. I expect him to have a role on this team.

  • Larry Brown

    That is because he is smarter and more mature than those players. Tom crean’s system requires players to play smart and under control with good decision making. That is why his teams are only good when we teams have good leadership on the court and mature players. It’s hard to understand why he doesn’t slow down the pace a little when he does not have those qualities in his players

  • Rick Pearson

    I don’t see Johnson, possibly Bryant not coming back either Blackmon may play elsewhere also

  • AndyCapp

    Wow, where did THAT non segue come from? Did you mean to post in this thread because no one, and certainly not Alex in his post about ZM, was discussing anything remotely about other players not being around next year. And for the record, I think you are dead wrong about at least one of the players you mentioned about not being here next year.

  • AndyCapp

    Zach absolutely epitomizes my ideals for players wearing the IU candy stripes. A hard nosed player who always seemed to give his all when on the floor. He may never have the flashiest stats, but he plays with heart and gives the team a boost whenever he was on the floor.

  • KelvinSampson87

    McRoberts did a great job this season and certainly contributed more than most walk-one but I think it’s a little silly to say he played better than scholarship players, unless you are referring to priller and gelon specifically. His role was basically to play hard defense and not totally screw up with the ball in his hands. It’s hard to compare that role to someone who has to meet much higher expectations and actually make plays and taking shots. I’m also not sure where you are getting that he is smarter and more mature than other players. All of the non-freshman scholarship players OG,JM, JBJ, RJ, TB, Newkirk all seem to be extremely bright and mature.

    You are right on about Creans offense requiring a great leader to have great success which may have been one of the reasons for his inconsistency as that type of player does not come along every year and often takes time to develop.

  • AndyCapp

    Probably because that’s the only way he knows how to coach, but that is just my opinion. Remember, Crean wasn’t a player so his coaching was always going to be one dimensional, more theoretical than practical

  • Ms hoosier

    I can’t count the times I screamed at Zach to shoot it!! It was redicalous how open he always was!!

  • Ms hoosier

    If I was Zach I would get with the shooting coach and shoot 500 threes a day!

  • Mike Blair

    That kid is a ball player!

  • Ole Man

    You spelled that (redicalous) like they say it in the Harry Potter films! Love it!
    And no, this post isn’t about spelling; I don’t go there.
    When I was reading I said the word in my head like Lupin did in the films. LOL!

  • Ole Man

    I’d love to see that, but seeing as how we don’t have enough now.

  • GHG

    Lol smart and under control hardly define any team under Crean, even w Vic, Yogi and Zeller we had lots of TOs

  • marcusgresham

    He was a scholarship player, though, just not at IU. It’s not like some guy who just walked in off the street….well, yeah, I guess he DID kind of just walk in off the street, but he’s smart and always stays within himself.

  • PBzeer

    One stat that gets overlooked with Z is 29 assists to 8 turnovers. No one else that played more that 250 minutes had less than 23 TO’s, and that was Freddie, who played 99 fewer minutes (350-251). So while he doesn’t score often, he does help others score, and doesn’t throw the ball away and prevent us from scoring.

  • marcusgresham

    10 a game would be more than Newkirk or Morgan scored.

  • marcusgresham

    Someone on scholarship has to go. ZM’s presence has no bearing on the scholarship numbers, whatsoever, so he doesn’t have to go anywhere unless he wants to do so.

  • marcusgresham

    Oops, sorry, should have read more before I responded. D’oh!

  • marcusgresham

    True. I’d be curious to see his +/-.

  • Dave Carnes

    Crean never had “GREAT” success how would we know what it took

  • AndyCapp

    lol, well said

  • IU Hoosiers # 34, 1979-83

    Exactly!!! I read all the comments below mine about Zach ,,,,of course AFTER I made a fool of myself. Take care Marcus. Hope you and your family are doing well.

  • Larry Brown

    I didnt say he played better than the scollie players, actually I wish CTC had played the latter more and let them develop more. But McRoberts is a smarter player than most of them, in terms of defense and taking care of the ball. The guys you mentioned made bad decisions too often. The fact that they were not intelligent and mature enough players is proven by their underachievement. Look, when CTC had guys like Hulls, Watford, Zeller and Oladipo, not only did they have talent, but they also had guys who could play fast yet play under control and make good decisions. Likewise with Ferrell, Bielfelt, Zeisloft last year. But this year, they had the talent, even with OG and CH out, yet they could not achieve. My contention is that that is due to the guys not having the bball IQ, toughness and maturity that the others had. But that’s not saying they aren’t good players or that they won’t be better this coming year … perhaps a coaching change will bring out those qualities, I hope so!

  • KelvinSampson87

    The definition of “great” success is relative I suppose. Maybe I should have left out the great and gone with a great leader being required to have success. The years we won the Big10 and made it to the Sweet 16 we had great vocal leaders like Zeller and Yogi.

  • John D Murphy

    He isn’t a scholarship player.