Bradley Guard Terry Roberts Visiting This Weekend

Following a visit from Belmont transfer Will Richard on Thursday (who is now down to a decision between Florida, Clemson, Georgia Tech, and Wake Forest) the Gators are bringing another talented target in for a visit, this time Terry Roberts from Bradley. 

 

Roberts started his career at the junior college level where he went to Florida Southwestern State and had two successful seasons. Last year he went to Bradley where he was First Team All-Missouri Valley Conference averaging 14.5 points, 4.1 assists, and 4.9 rebounds. Entering the portal it was clear he’d have all kinds of major suitors and the Gators are in that list and have some serious momentum going with Roberts making one of his first visit decisions to come to Gainesville. 

 

Standing at 6’3” and 180 pounds Roberts has good size for the point guard position but where he really differentiates himself is with his athleticism. He’s a powerful, explosive athlete who comes off pick and rolls looking to get into the paint and dunk with authority, something that is very different from what the Gators have had in recent seasons. Mike White was always more into smaller, quicker guards (with one departure with a larger change of pace Andrew Nembhard) but athleticism and power was never something that was valued with the point guard position. Many SEC teams build around having a more physically imposing point guard and for that reason Roberts projects as a perfect fit for the league. 

 

Pursuing Roberts, in addition to a few of the other targets that Todd Golden has gone after since taking the job at Florida, shows that he understands the athleticism and size required for the league and is making it a priority to get players that are competitive from a height, length, and dynamism standpoint. 

 

While Roberts is more of a player that looks to get in the paint and finish strong, he’s still an adequate shooter at 34% on just under four attempts per game. There has been a steady growth in his shooting efficiency since he entered college as he was first a 30% three-point shooter on only one attempt per game in his first year at Florida Southwestern, the next year he was a 32% three-point shooter on three attempts per game, and now at the Division 1 level he was a 34% shooter on four attempts per game. Roberts did shoot only 70% from the free throw line last season which doesn’t excel for a lead guard, but isn’t terrible. He was an 83% three-point shooter in his two seasons of JUCO, which maybe suggests that last year was below his potential.

 

The constant pressure Roberts puts on the rim with his athleticism can really collapse defenses and he is more than a willing passer that enjoys dropping the ball off to teammates for dunks or finding open shooters. Roberts was 52nd in the country in assist rate last season, a magnificent number that puts him up there with the best distributors in the country.

 

His size and athleticism are positive factors on the defensive end where he averaged 1.6 steals per game last season and spearheaded a very successful defense that ended the season 64th in KenPom’s adjusted defensive efficiency metric, a very impressive number for a team from Missouri Valley that isn’t at the top of the league. 

 

For whatever it’s worth, KenPom ranked the Missouri Valley as the 11th best conference in college basketball last season, so Roberts’ production in that league suggests positive things for a potential transition to the SEC.

 

Florida’s pitch will be all about role and style of play. With Tyree Appleby hitting the portal the Gators are without a starting point guard and could give Roberts the unquestioned starting spot without him potentially having to compete for minutes or shots. 

 

With Roberts picking Florida as one of his first visits the Gators are in a good position here but there may not be a decision soon as he will likely take a few other visits.

 

Eric Fawcett
Eric hails from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. His blend of sports and comedy has landed his words on ESPN, Bleacher Report, CBS Sports, Lindy's and others. He loves zone defenses, the extra pass, and a 30 second shot clock. Growing up in Canada, an American channel showing SEC basketball games was his first exposure to Gator hoops, and he has been hooked ever since. You can follow him on Twitter at @Efawcett7.