Houston forward and St. Thomas native J’Wan Roberts was named to the all-American Athletic Conference’s second team, as well as the league’s most improved player for the 2022-2023 season, AAC officials announced Wednesday.
The 21-year-old Roberts, a 6-foot-7 redshirt junior, was one of six Cougars players and coaches to receive individual awards from the AAC, as voted on by the league’s 11 head coaches.
Top-ranked Houston also had the AAC’s player of the year, which went to Marcus Sasser; the league’s defensive player of the year (Jamal Shead), freshman of the year (Jarace Walker), sixth man of the year (Reggie Chaney), and coach of the year (Kelvin Sampson).
Roberts was also among seven Cougars players named to one of the all-American Athletic Conference teams. Sasser was a first-team pick; Shead and Walker joined Roberts as second-team picks; and Walker, Terrance Arceneaux and Emanuel Sharp were on the league’s all-freshman team.
After two seasons as a reserve, Roberts became a starter for Houston this season — with positive results. He averaged 10.5 points and 7.2 rebounds, and shot 64.9% from the field — tops in the AAC and sixth-best among NCAA Division I teams, according to ESPN.com — as the Cougars went 29-2 and won the AAC’s regular-season title. Roberts had averaged 2.7 points and 4.5 rebounds over his first two seasons.
The highlight of Roberts’ 2022-2023 season came last month, when he posted back-to-back career high games. He had 20 points and 12 rebounds in Houston’s win over Memphis on Feb. 19. Three days later, he put in a team-best 26 points in beating Tulane on Feb. 22.