Last summer, Allen Roberts chose to make the most of his extra year of eligibility by transferring to Penn State to join the Nittany Lions and coach Patrick Chambers.
As a three-year starter for Miami (OH), he led the Red Hawks in scoring with 12.3 points per game last season.
When arriving in Happy Valley, the graduate-student guard was assigned the role of coming off the bench to support Penn State’s leading scorers, D.J. Newbill and Tim Frazier.
Through the first 18 games of the 2013-2014 campaign, Roberts did just that. Averaging 5.7 points per game, along with shooting 75.8 percent from the foul line, he made an impact for the Lions. However, that impact was short-lived.
“He’s not at practice right now,” Chambers said in a teleconference on Tuesday afternoon.
After a loss to Minnesota, Roberts was forced to take a personal leave of absence. He couldn’t get back into the flow of things upon his return, resulting in a discussion between him and Chambers after the home loss on Feb. 9 against Illinois.
“We were 3-8 and I just felt it was best for him that he start thinking about moving on and after college life,” Chambers said.
During Roberts’ time away from the squad, Graham Woodward and Geno Thorpe emerged as solid bench players during a three-game stretch with Indiana, Michigan and Purdue. Chambers became focused on getting his rookies playing time.
Following his hiatus away from University Park, Roberts only played in two more games for the Lions. His last game he checked into was against Michigan State when he dropped seven points in four minutes.
“He wanted a bigger role. I can’t blame him for that,” Chambers said. “I just said look, we’re going to play some freshmen.”
Transferring is never easy, especially with the expectations that followed Roberts as he walked through the Bryce Jordan Center’s doors for the first time.
He was “expected to be an immediate contributor in the Penn State line-up,” according to GoPSUSports.com.
The Middleton, Ohio native didn’t back away from the pressure.
Roberts averaged 18.5 minutes per game during his time on the floor. His season-high point total came in a Penn State victory against Monmouth when he scored 17 in 22 minutes.
Although he made significant contributions to Penn State when he stepped onto the court, Roberts’ role dwindled.
“He had dreams of something different and so did we,” Chambers said. “Sometimes, it just doesn’t go your way. We’re not happy with how things turned out and he’s not happy.”