IU men's basketball seniors share goals for the season ahead of Hoosier Hysteria

While the Indiana University men's basketball's exhibition season opener against University of Southern Indiana on Nov. 1 is still more than a month away, fans eager for candy-striped pants and a packed Assembly Hall can get their fix Saturday at Hoosier Hysteria.

This spirit rally plus scrimmage will feature both men's and women's basketball programs. Festivities start at 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 29, at Assembly Hall and are free of charge.

Inside IU Bloomington caught up with IU men's basketball seniors Zach McRoberts and Juwan Morgan to find out what they're looking forward to for the season, how they're leading the team as upperclassmen and more.

Zach McRoberts, redshirt senior from Carmel, Indiana

Zach McRobbertsView print quality image
Zach McRoberts jumps for the ball during a game against Notre Dame at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in December 2017. Photo by Craig Bisacre, IU Athletics

Q: What are you looking forward to the most this season?

A: I'm really eager to see how we come together. We've all been working together since the summer, but it'll obviously be different when we're playing against different guys. It'll be interesting to see how we'll compete against other teams and other players.

Q: How does Hoosier Hysteria help you get pumped for the season?

A: It's always an exciting way to start off the season. A full Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall is an exciting environment, and there's nothing else like it.

Q: As an upperclassman, how are you mentoring and leading the younger members of the team?

A: Whether it's by talking to them or leading by example, I'm definitely trying to help the younger guys any way I can. It's important for us upperclassmen to be an outlet for them and help in any way possible.

Q: How does it feel knowing that this is your last season wearing the candy stripes?

A: It's weird. It's definitely going be a special year, and I don't want to look back at the end of it and have any regrets. I'm going to give it my all.

Q: What's the biggest lesson you've learned during your time at IU?

A: That's a tough question. I think I've learned a lot about teamwork. When you're working with your teammates so hard toward a common goal for so many years, you learn a lot of valuable lessons.

Juwan Morgan, senior from Waynesville, Missouri

Juwan MorganView print quality image
Juwan Morgan celebrates during a game against Notre Dame at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in December 2017. Photo by Craig Bisacre, IU Athletics

Q: What are you looking forward to the most this season?

A: I'm ready to get out there and compete with a group of guys I love. I've been part of several successful teams over the years, and this is another to add to my yearbook. I'm ready to come out here and try to lead this team to greatness. This year, we are a very close-knit group of guys, and I think that's going to be good for us.

Q: Do you have any pregame routines or superstitions?

A: I have to put everything on starting with my left side then doing my right. I don't know why, but I just have to.

Q: As an upperclassman, how are you mentoring and leading the younger members of the team?

A: I used to be a lead-by-example kind of guy, but I realized you can't always do that. I've been getting on these guys verbally, so I'm showing them and telling them exactly what needs to be done so there are no mistakes being made. That way they know what's expected of them right from the get-go.

Q: How does it feel knowing that this is your last season wearing the candy stripes?

A: It hurts. From my first year walking in and looking up to Yogi to pretty much being the "Yogi" of the team, it's been a journey, and seeing it come to an end is bittersweet.

Q: What's the biggest lesson you've learned during your time at IU?

A: Give everything you have every single minute, because you never know when your last minute will be.