After a year of playing basketball in the HPER, Tom Crean will add a name most Indiana basketball fans should recognize for the 2016-17 season.
Zach McRoberts, a former Indiana All-Star at Carmel and brother of soon-to-be 10-year NBA vet Josh McRoberts, will join up with the Indiana basketball program this summer. A member of the well-known Indiana Elite AAU program, McRoberts went east after high school, playing just one season in the America East for the Vermont Catamounts before transferring back home to Indiana -- as a student, not a basketball player.
But the basketball bug bit McRoberts once again after a year as a student at Indiana, and he reached out to Indiana's Tim Buckley for a workout after the Hoosiers' 2015-16 season concluded. Of course, Indiana was well aware of McRoberts' presence on campus before the season. "We would have been interested when he first got here, but he didn’t have any interest," Crean said Tuesday. "It has, without question, been an added bonus. He’s fit right in, he works and he’s one of the guys right now."
You can read more at Inside The Hall here on McRoberts' background.
But, what does the pick-up mean for the Hoosiers?
McRoberts could easily slide in and be a rotation player for Indiana -- both this year and in coming seasons. He's a 6'7" wing player that can plug in in a role similar to Collin Hartman. His production numbers at Vermont were probably much lower than what they deserved to be at the end of his freshman season at the school. A knee injury kept him out of game action until December, so consider the time it generally takes for a non-phenom freshman to ramp up to the speed of collegiate play and plug into the lineup as a scorer. By the end of the 2015 season, McRoberts averaged almost 10 points a game in the CBI for the Catamounts -- including a career-high 13 in the middle of the team's run to the tournament semi-finals.
Oh, and he's got some of his brother's hops, too.
Expect McRoberts to play a role for the Hoosiers in 2016-17.