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September 26, 2018

Zach McRoberts

Jake Forrester

Aljami Durham

Bloomington, Indiana

Q. Jake, everybody talks about the energy you bring. How does that translate for you on the floor?
JAKE FORRESTER: I'm definitely just trying to bring the most energy I can to the team this year, do as much as I can for the team, for everybody, so the energy I bring is just to try to give out to the rest of the team.

Q. One of the things we asked Coach about and a couple other players about is having been with Coach Miller and his staff for a while now, is it easier to be a leader, for example, on the defensive end now than say a year ago at this time?
ZACH McROBERTS: Yeah, I think being more comfortable in the system obviously helps you out a little bit. One thing I said before, it's more teaching than learning, so the new guys coming in, you're able to teach it a little easier because you understand it a little more fully. Obviously we can always get better and always learn, but having an understanding helps a lot.

Q. Zach and Al both, you guys are two of the returning veterans. You've been in the system for a year. You know what it's going to take. What do you guys have to do different individually and as a team to greatly improve upon last season, especially with the incoming guys that you have?
ZACH McROBERTS: The thing we're focused on, hard work, togetherness, toughness. I think those are three big themes for us, so taking those themes, carrying them into every day, every workout, every practice, every game. If we have those three things, I think we'll be able to improve every day, and we'll be at our best when it counts.

ALJAMI DURHAM: Bringing those things every day to practice and making sure we're picking each other up and making sure we're teaching the young ones about what the culture is at Indiana.

Q. Zach, Coach has noted that you've really spent a lot of time working on your outside shot. Is that something you put a higher emphasis on this off-season maybe?
ZACH McROBERTS: Yeah, just working on it. I know in the spring we started getting a lot of shots up and then carrying that throughout the summer, and then in the fall now I've been working on it continuously. Just wanted to improve that aspect of my game, and I've been working at it.

Q. Your playing time obviously increased kind of steadily over the last season to the point you were a regular starter by the end. What have you carried from last season in terms of experiences and things you felt like you wanted to get better at through this off-season as you work on your game?
ZACH McROBERTS: I think that year is just a learning experience. Obviously playing in the Big Ten another year, having another year in experience under my belt, learning the game a little differently, just carrying those things that I've learned into working out every day, something like being more comfortable shooting the outside shot, just being a student of the game and continuously learning.

Q. Zach and Jake, on Juwan, how tough is he to handle on those days when he comes into practice with that whole, who's-guarding-me-today mentality, and what are those practices like on a competitive level?
ZACH McROBERTS: Yeah, he's a competitor every day I'd say. There's no specific practice I can really point to where it's like he's amped it up because he's always amped up. I think he's coming in every day working hard, and he's on a mission, so it's been -- he's obviously a good leader, vocally and then by example. So he's been good for us.

JAKE FORRESTER: Yeah, back off that, every time he comes in and works really hard, it just makes us better, as well.

Q. Al, Juwan mentioned you as one of the returning guys he felt like improved a lot or the most over the off-season. What were some of the things that maybe you felt like you wanted to focus on or tried to focus on during workouts this summer?
ALJAMI DURHAM: I just tried to amp my game up completely from last year, bring certain things to the table that I just wasn't comfortable with last year, just making sure I was expanding my game all around, even in the weight room, on the court, and just bringing different things to the team, just so we could be a better team as one.

Q. Jake, how much have you changed your body since you've been here, and what kind of role do you think you can envision carving out this year?
JAKE FORRESTER: I've definitely changed a lot since coming from west town. Our strength coach, Clif Marshall, put on about 15 to 18 pounds on me, fluctuates, but definitely made me a much stronger player all around, and I'm trying to see where I fit in the team this year. We'll find out during these practices.

But I'm fine being whatever. Every time I get on the court, I'll just bring as much energy as I can and just do the job that I always do.

Q. Zach, any of the newcomers surprise you, maybe have done something or been a better player than you expected them to be right now?
ZACH McROBERTS: I don't think any surprises. I think I knew how good they were coming in, and they've done a great job adjusting to the college level, weight room-wise, practice-wise. They've been great and willing to learn, willing to listen, so it's really been great to be around.

Q. I know you played with a lot of talent at Westtown, pretty good guard going down to Duke, for example, and you played at a high level. But what is it like being here now? What kind of talent level do you see here? Does it surprise you, or what do you think about it?
JAKE FORRESTER: Yeah, definitely playing with a lot of big names in high school sort of got me prepared for what's going on up here, but just the workouts and just the energy and just the amount of just effort that you have to put in every single day is way different than high school. I mean, I would say I was ready, but I was not ready. I'm getting -- I'm still adjusting to everything right now, but I mean, it helped playing against good competition up here, as well.

Q. Al, you mentioned you're more comfortable with certain things. What are two, three, four things you feel you're more comfortable with now?
ALJAMI DURHAM: Just being vocal on the court with the team. I'm getting more consistent with my shot, my outside shot, and just handling the basketball, as well, during the offense, and just applying all those different things we worked out in the summer till now.

Q. Zach, there seems to be like a dozen, 13 guys on this roster that could play, should play or at least earn a niche in some form or fashion. Do you have a sense maybe that guys understand there's going to be some sacrifice involved to getting guys on the floor and creating all the roles that need to be shaped for this team to be successful?
ZACH McROBERTS: Yeah, I think that's important for a successful team, understanding it's a team aspect and guys can bring different things to the table and just be ready when your number is called to go out there and perform. But might be -- it should be good. The competition is healthy competition for us.

Q. Jake, you mentioned thinking coming in that you're ready but not really being ready when you got here. What have been the biggest adjustments from a basketball perspective or just the strength and conditioning that you've had to make?
JAKE FORRESTER: Well, just the schedule part of things. Just the amount of workouts that we have every single day. I wasn't used to that. I mean, I got in the gym a lot in high school, but this is just different, and just the amount of effort you have to put in, plus you're playing in front of like -- every practice there's always coaches around, so you always have to perform at the highest level you can, even in workouts.

What was the second?

Q. Just overall, the adjustments that you've had to make.
JAKE FORRESTER: Yeah, just putting on the weight that I had to put on. That's also like a job because I came in not that heavy, but now I'm up to where I need to be.

Q. Was it hard to put on the weight?
JAKE FORRESTER: Yeah, it was -- I had to eat like 7,500 calories a day. Like it was difficult. But I'm still working on it, and me and Coach Clif are working on it, and I'm going to be there.

Q. How do you eat 7,500 calories a day?
JAKE FORRESTER: It's like a lot of breakfast and then you have to have -- snacking is a big part of it. Like you have to snack in between the day a lot, and then just literally eat until you can't eat, and then once you can't eat, you still have to eat.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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