Taipans complete roster with Roberts
The CQUniversity Cairns Taipans have signed 206cm forward Josh Roberts from Manhattan College to finalise their 2023-24 roster, with the American import becoming the seventh NBL newcomer that will make their debut in orange this year.
Roberts has spent the last two years playing for the Manhattan Jaspers, where he averaged 12.6 points and 9.6 rebounds and completed his collegiate career as second in the country in field goal percentage (70.2) which became the new single-season program record.
The 24-year-old also led the NCAA Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) in blocked shots (1.8 per game) with his 90 career blocks ranking eighth in his school’s history.
Roberts was named the MAAC Co-Defensive Player of the Year along with All-MAAC Third Team honours, with NBL Coach of the Year Adam Forde declaring he fits the Taipans bill.
“The most appealing part to Josh’s game is he played his role very efficiently in college.
“Statistically, he was Top 10 in the NCAA for offensive rating. He runs hard with purpose and doesn’t shy away from contact. He is always wanting to finish above the rim.”
Earlier this year, Roberts was invited to the prominent Portsmouth Invitational Tournament, featuring 64 of the top senior players across the US, with alumni such as Jimmy Butler, John Stockton, Alex Caruso and Scottie Pippen.
Prior to his time at St. Johns and Manhattan, Roberts played at Montverde Academy where he led the Eagles to the national championship with a 32-0 record in 2017-18.
"We went through a lot of candidates this season looking for the right fit. During our character checks, one person referred to Josh as having an ‘enthusiastic approach’ to defence. You see this in his ability to defend screens and in support filling the gaps to then close out his man,” said Forde.
“Josh is another example of a guy who has had to work for everything. Like Tahj, Bul and so many others, nothing was handed to him. He had to do the grind years, and it’s those years that really builds a young man’s character."
2023-24 CQUniversity Cairns Taipans Roster
- Tahjere McCall*
- Bul Kuol
- Sam Waardenburg
- Jonah Antonio
- Lat Mayen
- Sam Mennenga
- AK Gak
- Taran Armstrong
- Bobi Klintman**
- Patrick Miller*
- Lachlan Anderson
- Josh Roberts*