University of Missouri

Father says Mizzou signee C.J. Roberts will take wait-and-see approach with coaching search

Guard C.J. Roberts and his family have decided to wait and see who will be hired at Missouri to replace Kim Anderson (above) before deciding whether to ask out of his national letter of intent.
Guard C.J. Roberts and his family have decided to wait and see who will be hired at Missouri to replace Kim Anderson (above) before deciding whether to ask out of his national letter of intent. The Associated Press

The rapport Richland (Texas) High combo guard C.J. Roberts established with outgoing men’s basketball coach Kim Anderson and his staff was the impetus behind signing with Missouri in November.

Sunday’s revelation that Anderson — and eventually his staff — won’t be with the Tigers next season understandably has given Roberts and his family pause.

“My family and I are disheartened to learn of Coach Anderson’s resignation from the University of Missouri,” Roberts’ father, Craig Roberts Sr., said in an email to The Star. “Coach Anderson and his staff had gained our trust, but more importantly he had gained CJ’s trust and had committed to nurturing and developing CJ.

“We understand the business of basketball and know that tough decisions have to be made. However, please understand that despite this tough decision, CJ is disappointed that Coach Anderson will not be there as he had built a great rapport with him.”

After conversations with first-year Tigers athletic director Jim Sterk, Roberts and his family have agreed to wait and see who is hired to replace Anderson before deciding whether to ask out of his national letter of intent.

“Over these past couple of days, my family and I have been in close communications with Mr. Sterk,” Roberts Sr. said. “We are choosing to comply with Mr. Sterk’s wish for us to wait a couple of weeks before we make any decisions as to CJ’s future. Hopefully the search for a new head coach will be smooth and executed expeditiously as we are all eager to sit down with the new coach and evaluate whether CJ. still fits into the style and vision that Mizzou basketball is headed.”

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Roberts, who is listed at 6-feet-2 and 186 pounds on Richland’s roster, is a Rivals four-star prospect and ranked No. 98 overall in the country.

He chose Mizzou over offers from Baylor, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas State, LSU, Purdue, Rutgers, SMU, USC and Virginia Tech among others.

ESPN also rates Roberts, who is the only player currently signed in the 2017 class, as a four-star talent — No. 15 in Texas and No. 35 at point guard — with additional offers from Mississippi and Texas Tech.

He’s listed as a three-star prospect by both 247 Sports — checking in No. 12 in Texas, No. 39 at point guard and No. 185 overall — and Scout.

According to 247 Sports, Roberts also has offers from Alabama, Rhode Island, South Carolina and TCU.

“We are trusting Mr. Sterk to do what is best for the Missouri men’s basketball program just as we will do what is best for CJ,” Roberts Sr. said.

Roberts averaged 25 points, 4rebounds and 1.7 assists in helping guide Richland to a 10-4 record before suffering a season-ending stress fracture in his left foot in December, according to Roberts Sr.

Roberts is expected to be released by the doctor at the end of March, his father told The Star.

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