After a solid freshman season, Pike guard Justin Roberts improved on his numbers across the board and helped his team to a Marion County tournament championship as a sophomore.
Pike’s 18-9 season had dramatic highs (the county title and a fifth consecutive sectional crown, capped with a win over No. 1 Southport) but the Red Devils saw the road end with a loss to Richmond in a regional semifinal.
“It was up and down,” Roberts said. “When I played bad, my teammates lifted me up. When I played well, they were there for me too.”
Roberts averaged 13.1 points, 3.5 assists, 3.4 rebounds and 1.8 steals as a sophomore. One of his best games came against Ben Davis in the county championship when he had 20 points on 7-for-10 shooting, including 4-for-4 from the 3-point line.
Roberts played alongside junior point guard Justin Thomas (13.1 ppg, 3.7 assists) in the Pike backcourt.
“I tried to do the things I normally do like getting to the basket and working as a spot-up shooter,” he said. “I played off the ball a little more with Justin Thomas so I’m learning how to score more.”
Though he doesn’t yet claim a Division I offer, Roberts has interest from a number of schools. Ball State, Iowa, IUPUI, Memphis, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State and Valparaiso are among the schools that have shown interest.
“I feel like IUPUI or Ball State might offer first,” Roberts said. “Once I start playing high-major guards and doing what I’m supposed to do I think some schools might start offering.”
Pike will lose Indiana All-Star Tahjai Teague (Ball State) to graduation next year. But with Roberts, Thomas and underrated junior Derek Hawthorne (9.8 ppg, 3.2 rebounds), Pike has a solid nucleus returning.
“(Thomas) and I will have to be the leaders,” Roberts said. “Hawthorne is going to be a good player for us.”
Roberts has switched AAU teams this spring, moving to the 16U Spiece Indy Heat. He previously played with the Indy Hoosiers, alongside Kris Wilkes (North Central), Paul Scruggs (Southport), Zach Gunn (Hamilton Southeastern) and others.
“I want to have that killer instinct and work hard every possession,” Roberts said of his goals for the offseason. “I’m not done working.”
*East Chicago Central senior guard Hyron Edwards is headed to Trinity Valley Community College in Athens, Texas.
MBB: WELCOME TO THE VALLEY -- Hyron Edwards, 5-11, PG, East Chicago, IN— TVCC Sports (@TVCCsports) May 11, 2015
The 5-11 Edwards was one of the most highly-recruited players in the 2015 class early in high school, drawing offers from Illinois, Indiana and Purdue. In a bit of a surprise, Edwards was not selected for the IndyStar Indiana All-Star team in April.