The Journal Gazette
Sunday, March 06, 2016 7:04 pm

Seniors grateful for IU experience

Chris Goff | The Journal Gazette

BLOOMINGTON — Following Sunday's regular-season finale against Maryland, an 80-62 Indiana win, the Assembly Hall fans said their goodbyes to seniors Yogi Ferrell, Nick Zeisloft, Max Bielfeldt, Ryan Burton and Jackson Tharp. But those five had plenty to say, as well, each telling a unique story of their time in a Hoosier uniform.

Below is a sampling of their comments, the theme of which was gratitude to be able to play for the storied program.

Ferrell, on his career: "It's been fun. A lot of ups and downs. Different teammates going in and out of the program. It definitely went by fast. I feel as though the fans have stuck behind us no matter what. Over the last four years, I feel that the fans have shown us a lot of love no matter where we stand in the Big Ten rankings. Hoosier Nation has always stuck behind us. They are obviously great fans, and there is no greater place to play than Assembly Hall. My body feels like I've been here forever. I'm old now."

Ferrell, on visiting the campus after his playing days are over: "I will definitely have a lot of chills when I think about all the memories, playing with my guys, being out here. If I could suit up again in 5-10 years I probably would, just to get that one game, that one feeling, back. It will definitely be a special moment and hopefully they won't have forgotten about me by then, especially when I see the 2013 and 2016 Big Ten (regular-season titles) and knowing that was because of hard work."

Ferrell, on how he wants to be remembered: "Just as a winner, a guy who went out there and played hard every possession with how active I am on the court. And being able to be a part of two Big Ten (regular-season titles) hopefully helps my case."

Ferrell, on if he has a favorite moment: "It's got to be winning the Big Ten. Winning at Iowa (on Tuesday) has to be my favorite."

Zeisloft, on Assembly Hall: "There's not a better place to play in the nation. It has just been a dream come true playing at Indiana. I always wanted to be here, I wanted to be a Hoosier, and I wanted to play at Assembly Hall. I want to thank (Hoosiers coach Tom Crean) for this opportunity. It has been a heck of a run here. We hope to continue playing and extend this season another month. It has been so fun playing here, and it is crazy to think that it is coming to an end. I loved every moment of it. Once you win here, you are remembered here. We are looking to win two more championships and really cement our place in the history books here at Indiana."

Bielfeldt, on going through a second round of senior ceremonies after he did so while playing for Michigan last season: "This is No. 2 for me. It's funny. Last time ever playing here but just another game."

Bielfeldt, on becoming a more productive player than he was at Michigan: "Over the summer, working with the coaches, and then just getting comfortable in this offense were the two biggest things for me."

Burton, on transferring from Bellarmine: "I think overall it's been an awesome experience. Coming here and being part of the program for the last two years was a great choice for me. I couldn't have asked for better teammates, and I've definitely met some great people and have lifelong friends from this. It has definitely been a blast."

Tharp, on being a team manager elevated to the active roster in January: "It's really been an unbelievable experience. Just being able to see all sides of the program, I came in as a freshman manager, and it's been cool to grow within the program as well as now becoming a player. Coach Crean, I just really appreciate everything that he has done for me here. It'll be something that's just unreal to come back. To know that you were part of something very special to so many people is something I will always have."

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