Tom Inman didn't quite know what he had on his hands when John Roberson, a point guard from Lake Howell (Fla.) High enrolled at Plano (Tex.) Plano High. It didn't take the coach long to figure it all out and by the end of the year, a state championship trophy was raised.
"Bigger than you could ever imagine," Inman said of the importance of Roberson to his program. "I wouldn't trade him for anybody. The kid has character, he's got toughness and he'll take the big shot. I'm the luckiest guy in the United States to have that great of a player move into the area. No one deserves that much luck, least of all me."
At Plano, Roberson got a chance to slide over and be the point guard at 5-foot-11 and didn't have to be his team's No. 1 scoring option, though he is a scoring point guard.
"That's what he played in Florida," Inman said. "I looked at him and never saw anything but a lead guard who can score. If a point guard scores too much at the expense of other people – which John doesn't do – then you're a two guard playing the point. He's a point guard who is able to score when he needs to score."
Roberson says that decision making is an area he's working to improve upon. His coach says that he's as tough as they come and wants the ball in his hands when its time to win a game. He's a good outside shooter – we love him from the elbows – and will set guys up. For those reasons, the interest is widespread.
"What I told everybody who recruits him is that I think John is going to be a better player with better players around him," Inman said. "If you put him with four guys who can finish, how are you going to help on John?"
Right now, Oklahoma is leading the charge for Roberson. "I'd say Oklahoma is probably right on top and Utah is slightly under them. Jeff Capel would be a point guard coaching a point guard. I'm a big believer in the bloodlines theory of basketball. A large percentage of coaches come from guys with blood lines."
Inman mentioned that Arizona State is chasing Roberson. Mississippi State is also taking a peek as are SMU (offer), Rice (offer) and Texas A&M (offer). Illinois is keeping in touch with Roberson should the Illini's top guard option, Derrick Rose, not work out.