McRoberts Returns Home

BLOOMINGTON-Last season, Indiana fans had to watch a former standout Indiana high school star come into Assembly Hall and win a Big Ten/ACC Challenge contest when Sean May and the North Carolina Tar Heels knocked off the Hoosiers, 70-63. A year later and it was the same story, just a different player.

BLOOMINGTON-Last season, Indiana fans had to watch a former standout Indiana high school star come into Assembly Hall and win a Big Ten/ACC Challenge contest when Sean May and the North Carolina Tar Heels knocked off the Hoosiers, 70-63. A year later and it was the same story, just a different player.

This time it was 6-10 freshman Josh McRoberts of Carmel, Ind., on the winning side as the Duke Blue Devils beat Indiana 75-67. While McRoberts did not have a breakout game, he finished with six points, three rebounds and two blocks.

"I think as a team we're 6-0 now and that's all you can hope for going into a season," said McRoberts. "Personally, it's been a big transition and not just basketball-wise. Just going off to college is a big transition that sometimes you might not think about but it's a big transition too."

McRoberts signed a letter of intent before his senior season to play for coach Mike Krzyzewski and Duke, turning down many national offers, including the in-state Hoosiers. The game marked his first trip back to Indiana for basketball.

"It was a great atmosphere and it was great to get to play at Indiana and get a win," said McRoberts. "Obviously they're a really good team. It was the crazy atmosphere I expected. Indiana fans are always some of the best and it was a good atmosphere for college basketball tonight."

During the game McRoberts drew some attention from the Hoosier Faithful, but was bothered more by foul trouble than the ruckus. McRoberts was forced to the bench for most of the game with early fouls and Krzyzewski countering Indiana head coach Mike Davis' small lineup with more perimeter players.

"I didn't feel too singled out," said McRoberts. "I don't know if I was but I didn't concentrate on it too much. I just went out there and concentrated on the object at hand."

McRoberts played just 18 minutes, his fewest minutes in the six Duke games. McRoberts was averaging 25 minutes coming into the game against the Hoosiers and had played a career-high 31 minutes in Duke's previous win over No.11 Memphis.

Just six games into his college career McRoberts is already finding out what it is like to play with a target on his back. With Duke starting the season No.1 and winning the first six games, every team in the nation wants a piece of the Blue Devils. The latest win over Indiana was something McRoberts had thought about long before the season started.

"It was something that I wanted a chance to do," said McRoberts. "When I found out last year, I was excited I would get that chance. Just to come back to Indiana and get a win was great. This was just a great atmosphere to play in front of and it's the reason you play college basketball."

McRoberts spent the summer getting used to playing for Duke and getting ready for the season. With the No.1 ranking safe, he credits the summer workouts for his strong play as a freshman.

"I think being at Duke in the summer has helped me. I have nothing to compare that hard work to," said McRoberts. "I think it helped me get acclimated to the system and realize the level of hard work I had in front of me. We worked harder than any team I think in the summer. We went everyday to get work done. I think that set the tone for the year."

Being in Bloomington put McRoberts tantalizingly close to home. While he can't make the trip to Carmel, he did have family and friends make the trip to him.

"I miss my family and friends at home, but I think I'm doing alright," said McRoberts. "A lot of my friends came to the game and I'll get a chance to see them tonight. To come home and get a win is the best thing that could have happened tonight. It was an exciting start for us, making the first basket felt good. It was an exciting game to be a part of."

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