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Men's basketball season in review: Seniors


Senior guard Robert Johnson dribbles around Rutgers during the Hoosiers' game against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights on Thursday, March 1, during the Big Ten Tournament in Madison Square Garden in New York City. After the season, Johnson participated in the 3X3U Hoops tournament and hit the game-winning shot for the Big Ten. Evan De Stefano

The senior class of Hoosiers finished their IU careers likely missing out on the NIT Tournament, while also becoming the foundation of what's to come for IU Coach Archie Miller. 

Guard Robert Johnson was relied on to play a high number of minutes each game this season. He started in every game for IU this season and averaged a career-high 14 points per game. He also averaged a career-high 4.5 rebounds per game and 2.7 assists per game. 

After struggling to shoot 3-pointers in nonconference play, Johnson’s shot improved significantly during Big Ten Conference play as he shot 40.2 percent on 3-pointers.

It was the highest mark of his Big Ten career. 

“I think I just want to be remembered as a guy who, despite whatever circumstances that I came across, I tried to do my best to give the team everything I had and to help the team win in any way I could," Johnson said prior to senior night on Feb. 23. 

Johnson was a building block for Miller’s first team. 

“Probably can't put it into words just how much he's given to our staff,” Miller said before IU's senior night loss to Ohio State. “It hasn't been just like one day or one week. It's been literally the first second we arrived on campus until today, he has been all in, and he's worked extremely hard, not only individually on his own game, but he's really just done an amazing job of giving everything he has to our process.”

The other guard next to Johnson for most of the season was Josh Newkirk. He started 24 games this season, averaging 7.1 points per game along with just under three assists per game. 

Forward Collin Hartman came back for a fifth season after missing all last season due to a knee injury, but from the preseason onward, he struggled with various injuries. He never regained the form of his sophomore season, yet he still found ways to contribute to winning. 

“He's a leader,” Miller said prior to senior night. “He's stayed with it. He's all about winning. I think he's probably, deep down inside, he'd say to himself, 'I'm a shell of probably what I was at one point in my career,' and the injuries certainly played a big role, not in his inconsistency but his inability to really get in rhythm.”

Hartman played in only 23 games for the Hoosiers this season and averaged just over 15 minutes per game, significantly lower than his previous two seasons. 

Averaging 4.2 points per game, Hartman struggled to shoot 3-pointers and his 3-point percentage of 24.2 was way lower than his mark during the previous two seasons. 

Forward Freddie McSwain transferred from Neosho Community College in Kansas and played two seasons for the Hoosiers. He emerged late in the season as a crucial frontcourt player after sophomore forward De’Ron Davis was lost for the season due to an Achilles injury. 

He started in eight games and averaged 4.2 points per game. In conference play, his rebounding was his best skill and he pulled down just under five rebounds per game.

"He's come a long way,” Miller said before senior night. “I think Freddie is a guy that's always had pride in himself as a player and wants more opportunities. With injuries, he's got his opportunities, and I think when we've sort of evolved here over the last I would say seven, eight games, when we've needed energy, when we've needed rebounding, when we've needed a guy to come in here and give that to us, he did it.”

Forward Tim Priller only played in four games this season and did not attempt a field goal. 

However, he did score one point on a free throw. 

“My four years have been great,” Priller said. “The fan thing is pretty cool and all that, but I really just want to be remembered as a great guy with a great attitude that tried to help my team in any way possible and just do whatever I can to help us win games.”

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