Player Profile: Ron Roberts

Saint Joseph's 2011-2012 season tipped off Friday evening with a win at Western Kentucky. Although the season is underway, Hawk Hill Hardwood still has a few more player profiles for you. Tonight, we take a look at sophomore forward Ron Roberts.

6'8 sophomore forward Ron Roberts provided more than a few jaw-dropping moments during his freshman campaign last year. His freakish athleticism, nose for the ball, and toughness were all on display last year. This year, he is primed to take the next step.

As a freshman, Roberts averaged 6.4 points and 4.7 rebounds per game in just under 20 minutes per contest. With the graduation of forward Idris Hilliard, plus a strong offseason, Roberts will see his playing time dramatically increase this year. In the Hawks' 2011-2012 season opener against Western Kentucky, Roberts tallied 31 minutes of action.

Saint Joseph's assistant coach Dave Duda works with the Hawks' post players and had some insight into Ron's game. "His strength is now closer to matching his energy level," Duda stated. The 6'8 New Jersey native is now up to a listed 216 pounds, and that additional muscle is immediately noticeable.

With his added muscle, Ron is working on "improving around the basket," Duda said. When Hawk Hill Hardwood spoke with SJU head coach Phil Martelli over the summer, he said that Ron was one of the most impressive, hardest workers during the offseason. Duda took that claim a step further, by saying that he "is really coachable which will just make him better."

Last season, Ron won the respect of his teammates, coaches, and fans with his relentless play. That is something that Coach Duda also discussed. "Ron is relentless on the glass now each possession," Duda explained. "He takes no plays off."

In Friday night's season opener at Western Kentucky, Roberts picked right up where he left off last season. Ron netted 10 points on 5-10 shooting, collected 11 rebounds, and swatted away 3 shots. The rebounding is no surprise to his coach, who said that Ron "would like to be one of the A-10's elite rebounders."

If Friday evening's game is any indication, Roberts is well on his way to that lofty goal. The Hawks play an exhibition game at home tomorrow evening against Scranton before heading south for the Charleston Classic. On Thursday evening, the Hawks will take on Georgia Tech.

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