Jordan Wells / TheHoosier.com
With the offseason underway, TheHoosier.com will review each IU player's 2016-17 season.
We continue the series with a look at redshirt sophomore forward Zach McRoberts.
Averaged 0.8 points and 1.3 rebounds in 11.3 minutes per game ... Shot 33 percent from the field and 33 percent from 3-point range ... Also chipped in 29 assists, 12 steals and six blocks ... Played in 33 of the Hoosiers' 34 games last season, starting in three of them.
Season In Review
McRoberts arrived into the program in May 2016 as a walk-on. Nearly one year later, he emerged as a valuable contributor off the bench for IU.
By January, the Carmel (Ind.) High School product carved out a larger role for himself. After averaging 10.2 minutes per game off the bench through Indiana's first 13 games, the number jumped to 12.1 over the course of the remaining 17.
His playing time shot up partly due to the loss of forward OG Anunoby to a season-ending knee injury at Penn State on Jan. 18. From then on, McRoberts played further up in the forward rotation than he previously had.
Within that stretch of 17 games came a three-point, five-rebound, three-assist, two-steal effort in a critical 82-75 home win over Michigan State on Jan. 21. It encapsulated exactly what he brought when called upon off the bench - the ability to do a little big of everything.
McRoberts always looked to make the extra pass and was reluctant to shoot the ball at times. He attempted one or more shots in just 17 of the 33 games he played in last year, but also finished with 29 assists and just 8 turnovers - the fewest mistakes made out IU's core rotation of 10 IU players who played at least 11 minutes per game.
McRoberts solidified his spot in the rotation last season with his ability to contribute in multiple ways on both ends of the court.
However, it's unlikely he'll see increased minutes off the bench next year.
Indiana has 6-foot-5, 200-pound four-star Lincolnshire (Ill.) Stevenson forward Justin Smith entering the fold as a player who could have the chance to play right away depending on how he develops over the spring and summer. While Anunoby is turning pro and not returning to school, forward Collin Hartman - who missed the entire 2016-17 season with a knee injury sustained last September - will be back for a fifth-year senior season.
Juwan Morgan also figures to be a key player in the forward rotation given his minutes as a starter last season. Freddie McSwain Jr. will be in the mix as well depending on how he develops in his second and season in Bloomington.
McRoberts could very well continue to create a bigger role for himself once again this season and be one of the first forwards off the bench, but the crowdedness at the position won't make it easy.
Previous Postseason Player Reviews:
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