There’s a familiar name returning to Louisiana college basketball.
Stanley Roberts, Jr., the son of former LSU standout and NBA center Stanley Roberts, Sr., signed with Tulane on Monday.
The 6-foot-8, 240-pound post player is the latest and most under-the-radar addition to the Green Wave’s 2014-15 roster. The 17-year-old Rolling Hills Estates, Calif., product was expected to attend prep school in the fall to build upon his game and increase his range of collegiate options.
“His AAU coach was telling everyone that he was headed to prep school and so a lot of coaches just assumed he wasn’t in the process anymore,” Roberts, Sr. said. “But I kept telling him it was his option but he had to make a decision and that he could go to college even though it may have changed some things about recruiting.”
After Roberts, Jr. grew between two and three inches and added more than 10-pounds of muscle in the past year, Tulane coach Ed Conroy and Roberts, Sr. were connected through a common friend, and the combination of a thin Green Wave frontcourt, the school’s sterling academic reputation and proximity to Roberts, Sr. (who resides in Baton Rouge) helped the pieces fit and resulted in Tulane adding Roberts, Jr. to the recruiting class.
“It’s a wonderful thing to have my son right down the street,” Roberts, Sr. said. “He’s such a great kid and he’s so focused. It’s something I always lacked, that he’s got. I used to lose focus and he never does.
“When he decides he wants something he goes for it. I think this is going to be a great place for him.”
Roberts, Jr. considers himself a “stretch four”, comparing his game to Portland Trailblazers’ power forward LaMarcus Aldridge. However, the recent growth spurt also allowed him to add some physicality to the finesse and he could earn a spot at either one of the Green Wave’s post positions when he arrives on campus in August.
“I grew some and I started lifting weights and it’s definitely helped out,” Roberts, Jr. said. “I’m not getting pushed around all of the time now and I’m actually doing some of the pushing myself instead of getting thrown around. I like to use my midrange jump shot but I’ll definitely work the block and grab rebounds.”
He joins fellow California prospect Dylan Osetowski in trying to rebuild Tulane’s front line, an area where it was routinely outmatched last year in Conference USA and will face much stiffer competition when the Green Wave move into the American Athletic Conference this season.
“Coach Conroy was really excited when we talked because he just thought Stan was headed to prep school like everyone else did,” Roberts, Sr. said. “I encouraged him to go to Tulane because academically it was the best of all of the schools that were looking at him and it’s a great environment and the people I know in basketball all talk to so highly of (Conroy).
“So, I went with their recommendation and how the schools fits with Stan. He’s going to get there and work hard and he’s going to do what he’s got to do in order to win and fit in.”