Justin Roberts averaging career-high shooting numbers to begin senior season for Georgia State

Justin Roberts, who had an incredible last year is a part of the returning starting five who all averaged double figures. Photo by Trent Legaspi | The Signal

The 2021-22 Georgia State Panthers men’s basketball team dominantly began their season with a 97-37 win over the Brewton-Parker Barons and then an 83-64 victory over the Northeastern Huskies. 

Head coach Rob Lanier and his staff are certainly satisfied with a 2-0 start, and Justin Roberts is one of the early apparent reasons for that.

Roberts has started 2021 with a pair of exceptional performances. He poured in 19 points on 7-11 shooting from the field and 3-5 from three against the Barons. On the defensive end, he was active all night, picking up six steals. He followed the season opener with another efficient outing of 22 points on 9-14 shooting and hit four more three-pointers against the Huskies. 

This type of play from Roberts is just a continuation and building process from his performances in his junior year, where he averaged 13.2 points, 3.7 rebounds and a team-high 4.7 assists. He also posted solid shooting splits –– 44% from the field, 35% on threes and 74% at the charity stripe –– en route to an All-Conference Third Team selection.

But it’s also the system and the support Roberts’ teammates provide that allows him to excel in his role. Fellow senior Corey Allen is the number one scoring option for the Panthers, which draws the opponents’ best defender. However, if Allen cannot create, Roberts uses his off-ball offensive skills to find space and knock down shots or, similarly, create for himself. 

Roberts’ partner in the backcourt, Kane Williams, also gels well with Roberts. The two are now in their third year together and continue to build chemistry on the court. The numbers suggest that Roberts is getting better each year with Williams. All numbers from efficiency to advanced stats indicate he’s grown to become more efficient and a better defender than when he began at Georgia State.

It also helps that Roberts’ will have most of his teammates back from last season, with eight returning players to mentor the highest-ranked recruiting class in the program’s history. Evidently, through two games, the chemistry is sharp and Roberts, along with the rest of the team, will look to use that to their advantage as their season continues in non-conference play and heading into conference play. 

The team is in Virginia tonight to take on the Richmond Spiders at 7 p.m. EST before heading to North Carolina for the Legends Classic at High Point. The team will have two games, one Saturday and another on Sunday. Roberts will surely be a name circled on the opposing teams’ scouting reports.