Brian Roberts

Brian Roberts profile
Height: 6'1" (185 cm)
Weight: 173 lbs (78 kg)
Position: PG
High School: St. John's Jesuit High School and Academy (Ohio)
Hometown: Toledo, OH
College: Dayton
Current Team: Unicaja Malaga
Win - Loss: 1 - 1


Orlando Recap: First Team All-NBA Pre-Draft

Jonathan Givony
Jonathan Givony
Matt Williams
Matt Williams
Mike Schmidt
Mike Schmidt
Joseph Treutlein
Joseph Treutlein
Jun 02, 2008, 11:39 pm
Knowing how to take advantage of opportunities that are presented to you is what professional basketball is all about, and Brian Roberts did exactly that this week in Orlando. With his teammate Ty Lawson deciding to shut it down after just one game, Roberts stepped up to the plate and delivered in a big way, showing more versatility as a player than he may have been able to at Dayton.

Roberts is a slender point guard whose main calling card has always been his perimeter shot. He has beautiful mechanics and range that extends well beyond the 3-point line, allowing him to shoot a stellar 45.5% from that range in college on six and a half attempts per game. He looked excellent in the drills and hit a high percentage of the shots he took in the actual games, particularly with his picture perfect pull-up jumper from mid-range.

He was able to show off ball-skills in Orlando too, though, displaying a good feel for the game and a knack for pushing the ball up the floor and playing at different speeds. He is excellent on the pick and roll and makes good decisions with the ball in his hands, even if he clearly isn’t what you would call a pure point guard. He executes well offensively and is clearly not a selfish player, but doesn’t have incredible vision or playmaking instincts. He played very aggressive basketball, though, not hesitating in anything he did and showing a great deal of confidence in his offensive abilities, which helped make a lot of good things happen for his team. At times he lacked the strength or explosiveness to get all the way to the rim or finish strong in traffic, but he seemed to know his limitations and did not turn the ball over at all, posting a solid 15/5 assist to turnover ratio in the three games.

Watching his film from college, it’s hard not to be shocked at how heavily his team relied on him to handle the ball and create offense for them virtually all game long. Roberts seemed to enjoy the freedom he had here, which partially explains why he was so effective.

Defensively, Roberts is just average at best, as he often lacks the strength to fight through screens defending the pick and roll. This clearly wasn’t something he was asked to do a great deal of in college, but it will be very important for him at the next level.

Roberts is drawing a lot of Daniel Gibson comparisons these days, as both are slender, smooth 6-2 combo guards with great intangibles and phenomenal perimeter shooting skills. Roberts is a better ball-handler than Gibson, but is not quite as good a defender, though. Like Gibson, he will have to find the absolute ideal situation (likely playing next to a big point guard) to make and stick in the NBA. If he doesn’t find that, he will have a great career in Europe, where he can play a Louis Bullock-type role at a very high level as he continues to develop.

NBA Pre-Draft Camp, Day Four

Jonathan Givony
Jonathan Givony
May 31, 2008, 03:18 am
Brian Roberts might have had the best single game of anyone in day three, scoring 13 points to go along with 13 assists and no turnovers. He pushed the ball extremely well in transition, found open teammates spotting up and cutting the basket all game long, and shot the ball beautifully from mid-range and behind the arc. He’s emerged at this camp as a player that teams need to seriously consider on their draft boards.

NBA Pre-Draft Camp, Day Three

Jonathan Givony
Jonathan Givony
May 30, 2008, 08:35 am
Brian Roberts had a very strong performance as well (17 points, 5/7 FG, 1/1 3P), doing a great job mixing up his mid-range game with his dribble-drives, either finishing strong at the rim or getting to the free throw line (6-6 in this game). He seems to have significantly improved his ability to smoothly change speeds and keep his defender off-balance, which we just happened to watch him work on a few weeks back when we saw him with David Thorpe and co. at the Pro Training Center at IMG Academy. He did a solid job distributing the ball and playing under control as well, even though he didn’t finish the game with even a single assist. His game is extremely text-book and attractive to the eye, and he surely helped himself with the way he played today.

Cross-Country Workout Swing: Part One, PTC @IMG Academy

Jonathan Givony
Jonathan Givony
May 16, 2008, 08:46 pm
Brian Roberts- Roberts is about as tailor made as you’ll find for a workout setting, thanks to his picture-perfect shooting mechanics and incredibly smooth overall game, which reminds this writer of Louis Bullock. He’s incredibly fluid with his pull-up jumpers, looking like he’s worked on this part of his game extensively, and seeing excellent results in the process. Behind the arc he’s as expected lights out, which comes as no shock considering that he shot 46% for 3 in college. The coaches here are working with him a lot on the art of playing at different speeds, and they seem to be thrilled with the progress he’s making. He’s a lot faster with the ball in person than he looks on tape, and was pretty impressive getting up around the basket and throwing down emphatic dunks. His ball-handling skills could still improve somewhat, and he’s probably always going to be on the frail side—making him somewhat of a liability on the defensive end (especially fighting through screens), but it’s hard to not like the way he plays, even if he’s not a pure point guard. If he can find a way to become a bit more aggressive on the court, he has a chance to become a very high level overseas player, and maybe down the road compete for a spot in the NBA.

Day Two: Atlantic-10 Conference Tournament Blog

Kyle Nelson
Kyle Nelson
Mar 14, 2008, 12:54 pm
Though a Xavier victory was almost never in doubt, the focus of this game was on Brian Roberts’ performance. The results were somewhat disappointing again. Roberts played a majority of the game as Dayton’s point guard and showcased a familiar skill set. While he looked more comfortable with the ball in his hands setting up the Dayton offense, he still displayed hesitance in his decision-making and a tendency to pick up his dribble too soon. He did a better job in terms of dictating tempo and asserting his leadership on both ends of the floor. Taking this performance into account, Roberts showed that he is very much a combo guard and does not look like a future point guard that some expect him to become.

In terms of generating his own offense, Roberts was more aggressive today, but it did not amount to much for Dayton’s upset bid. He showcased his perimeter jumpshot more today, complete with high release point, beautiful form, and a quick release. If left open, Roberts rarely misses, but today Stanley Burrell’s suffocating defense forced him into some tough shots and he finished shooting a horrid 1/7 from beyond the arc. His shot selection was certainly suspect, and his inability to create offense for himself against a quicker and more athletic defender is certainly concerning regarding any future at the next level.

After yesterday’s performance, Roberts needed to improve in a major way, but responded by shooting 6/13 from the field, 1/7 from the perimeter, and 0/2 from the line alongside of a 3 assist and 3 turnover effort. With Dayton not being guaranteed anymore post-season games, it will be up to Roberts to impress scouts and personnel at Portsmouth if he wishes to have a shot at competing in the NBA. This was not a good weekend for Brian Roberts.

Day One: Atlantic-10 Tournament Blog

Kyle Nelson
Kyle Nelson
Mar 13, 2008, 04:57 am
With no Chris Wright in the lineup, the story of this game was Brian Roberts. Or was it? In front of scouts from the Phoenix Suns, Dallas Mavericks, Boston Celtics, and other NBA teams, the senior forward had an extremely disappointing and confusing performance, but still managed to remind scouts why he was once considered to be a fringe prospect.

Roberts is averaging 13 shots on the year, shooting a good 47% from the field. Today, however, he was held to only four, three of which were forced three point shots. His form continues to look good and he showed an ability to shoot both off of screens as well as off of the dribble, but the degree of difficulty of these shots were very high. His other shot was a quick pull-up jump shot from the top of the key, which showcased his quick release, stellar form, and fluid offensive movement.

The St. Louis defense was designed to stop him, but instead of stepping up to the occasion, Roberts withdrew into a shell of ineffectiveness and passivity. Though he eventually became more aggressive with about three minutes into the game, something was clearly wrong.

Roberts is still not a true point guard, which is evident in his inability to properly dictate and game tempo. Because he was not shooting as much, however, he was able to showcase his ability to effectively run an offense as well as his tendency not to over dribble.

When the game reached overtime, Roberts found himself on the bench for key stretches while his teammates stepped up to the plate. That being said, Roberts is lucky that he will have the opportunity tomorrow against Xavier to improve upon his less than stellar performance. Unfortunately, Stanley Burrell and company are far more notorious for their defensive prowess than Saint Louis.

NCAA Weekly Performers, 1/3/08-- Part One

Jonathan Givony
Jonathan Givony
Joseph Treutlein
Joseph Treutlein
Joey Whelan
Joey Whelan
Jan 04, 2008, 03:24 am
Brian Roberts has proven to be a giant killer, having led his team to huge victories on the road against #11 ranked Louisville and at home against #6 ranked Pitt, scoring 59 points combined in the two games, with 8 assists and just one lone turnover, on spectacularly efficient shooting percentages like he’s provided all season long. Dayton is currently 13-1 and ranked #20 in the latest Associated Press poll, which should help put Roberts at the forefront of NBA draft discussions as well when considering the type of season he’s having.

Standing 6-2, he was considered more of a combo than a point guard up until this year, posting a pedestrian 1.15 assist to turnover ratio as a junior and not contributing very much in other statistical categories beyond the scoring column to make up for his shortcomings. That perception has begun to change this season as Roberts has manned the point guard spot full time running Dayton’s semi-methodical offense, and has posted an impressive 2/1 assist to turnover ratio while upping his scoring averages and shooting the ball with incredible efficiency so far (50% FG, 49% 3P).

Physically, Roberts certainly isn’t the most imposing guard prospect in this draft. He has decent size at 6-2, a solid wingspan and a lanky frame that has gained some much needed weight this past summer, but could probably still get even stronger. Athletically, he probably won’t be testing off the charts at any combines, noticeably lacking a great first step and some explosiveness to finish strong around the basket. He is a smooth player, though, very cerebral in his movements, and very much committed to playing to his strengths.

Speaking of strengths, you have to start off the discussion with his incredible ability to shoot the ball from the perimeter. Roberts has terrific fundamentals on his shooting mechanics, including great balance to set his feet in an instant and get his shot off. He can come off screens or pull-up off the dribble equally well, only needing a glimmer of daylight to release his jumper. He loves to operate in the mid-range area, particularly playing the pick and roll, as he’s able to create beautiful separation off the floor to knock down tough shots with the greatest of ease. Stepping back, moving left or right, even spotting up from well beyond NBA range, Roberts is as pure a shooter as you’ll find at the collegiate level, and an incredibly efficient one at that.

Looking beyond his excellent stroke, there are a number of things that Roberts does well. He’s become a very capable ball-handler over the years, extremely mistake free (2.3 turnovers per game) as his calm and cool demeanor might suggest initially. He’s very smart in transition in particular, keeping his head up and making nice reads, while being highly unselfish finding the open man when the defense inevitably collapses on him. He appears to have a very high basketball IQ, although we might be lacking just a degree of vocal leadership skills from him at times.

Roberts’ weaknesses offensively mostly revolve around his ability to create separation from his defender with his first step on his slashing moves. He only gets to the free throw line 3.8 times per game, and looks much more comfortable pulling up off the dribble from mid-range than he is stepping into the lane, although he does possess a really nice floater he likes to get off with his right hand. Roberts’ left hand is noticeably weaker both creating shots for himself and finishing around the hoop, and his average size, strength and explosiveness render him more effective shooting the ball than trying to finish in traffic. That will become far more pronounced at the next level, where the big men are all quicker, longer and much more explosive.

In terms of his point guard skills, Roberts can bring the ball up the floor and get his team into their offense effectively, but is not a floor general type with outstanding court vision. He’s more comfortable creating shots for himself first and foremost, and then looking for others, not out of selfishness, but more because of habit, as he’s always been more of a scorer.

Defensively, Roberts is solid-- fundamentally sound and committed to keeping his man in front of him. He doesn’t have the greatest lateral quickness, but he makes up for that to a certain extent with the effort he puts in on this end of the floor, greatly aided by the fact that Dayton does not overplay him the way many mid-major coaches ride their star players—averaging a manageable 33 minutes per game. He has never shown a particularly noticeable gift for getting in the passing lanes.

All in all, Roberts is a name we’ll surely be hearing plenty more about as the season moves on and we get closer to the NCAA tournament. That will probably be the best place for him to truly make a name for himself, which could propel him from borderline draft status firmly into the second round. High-level European leagues feature plenty of players like him (Virginia’s J.R. Reynolds looked like a similar prospect to us for example), but there are some guards in the NBA (Damon Jones, or David Wesley going slightly farther back) who surely weren’t better prospects than him coming out of college. A lot has to do with timing, and even a certain degree of luck, so it wouldn’t surprise us either way if he made it or not. Regardless, he’s obviously going to make a lot of money at the professional level.

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