Delvon Roe

Delvon Roe profile
RCSI: 11 (2008)
Height: 6'7" (201 cm)
Weight: 229 lbs (104 kg)
Age: 31
Position: PF
High School: St. Edward High School (Ohio)
Hometown: Euclid, OH
College: Michigan St
Current Team: Michigan St
Win - Loss: 22 - 9


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Delvon Roe just might be college basketball's toughest and injury prone player. Consider the following: after Roe's high school career ended with a microfracture procedure on his right knee, he hyper-extended his left knee and tore his right meniscus during the 2009-2010 season. Roe, however, withheld his injury from Michigan State's coaching staff and played the remainder of the season in intense pain through Michigan State's Final Four run. Unfortunately, though certainly not undeservedly, when Delvon Roe plays, his injuries are the subject of conversation rather than abilities.

From a physical standpoint, Roe looks the part of an NBA combo-forward at 6'8 with a strong frame and long arms. While he likely has to continue to fill out his frame if he wishes to play in the NBA post, he overpowers players at the collegiate level with his strength. Though injuries have obscured his athleticism thus far in his collegiate career, Roe still has good quickness for the post, which coupled with his relentlessly aggressive style of play, allows him to scrappily contribute despite his lack of explosiveness at this point. If he can improve upon the flashes of athleticism and fluidity that he displayed at times last year, however, then Roe is a completely different prospect.

Unfortunately, outside of Roe's athletic potential and solid size, he does not bring much to the table offensively, though his injuries likely are responsible for last season's drop in production. Though he arrived at Michigan State billed as a combo-forward, he does not show much of a face-up game. When Roe receives the ball, he rarely will go into triple threat position or drive to the basket. Rather, he pauses and looks lost, oftentimes passing the ball out to the perimeter if he cannot back his man down.

His jump shot is also raw, showing little improvement from his freshman season. He has a slow and deliberate shooting motion with inconsistent mechanics. He has improved considerably, however, as a free throw shooter, where he now makes 66.1% of his 5.7 attempts per 40 minutes pace adjusted versus the 45.5% he shot as a freshman. Roe must become more comfortable facing the basket and on the perimeter if he wants to achieve his potential and emerge as a legitimate prospect for the next level.

Roe's back to the basket game is not perfect, either, though he has improved somewhat since his freshmen season. Despite his injuries, he is still stronger, quicker, and more agile than many Big 10 big men, which allows him to get to the basket as often as his improved, but still not great, footwork allows. His touch around the basket is only slightly above average, as well, though he is considerably better when he is not rushed, as evidenced by the reliable left hook that he made at a nice rate last season.

Where Roe truly stands out as a prospect, however, is with his energy. He is a very smart player with excellent intangibles, willing to move without the ball, set good screens, talk to his teammates, and make the extra pass. Similarly, few collegiate players know their limitations and play within their abilities, both in terms of skill and athleticism, as well as Roe. He also does a good job on the glass, especially on offense, where he uses his size and agility to rebound the ball in the paint and score off of put-backs.

Defensively, Roe is a mixed bag, once again showing excellent intangibles and fundamentals, but limited by his lack of ideal lateral quickness. He works very hard guarding his man in the post and, at the collegiate level, is able to overcome his lack of elite size and bulk by sheer effort. Also and as mentioned in past articles, Roe has excellent timing and a solid basketball IQ, which combined with his length, allows him to gather blocks and steals despite his athletic deficiencies. Unfortunately, however, it is difficult to project him as a competent perimeter defender at the next level.

Going into his junior year at Michigan State Roe is the consummate collegiate role player, displaying the basketball IQ, discipline, toughness, and versatility that is coveted by NBA scouts. He could emerge as a completely different and more intriguing NBA prospect down the road, however if he regains the athleticism that made him a high school star. Early reports from East Lansing indicate that Roe is healthy and ready to produce on both ends of the floor for Michigan State next season. Expectations should be tempered, however, as Roe's troubled injury history has often impeded the tremendous potential and promise that he showed as one of the most valued high school recruits in the country.

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On a team that played in the national championship game just a few months ago, featured several stars, and had a player selected in the most recent NBA draft, it would seem a difficult task for a freshman to make a real impression averaging barely over five points per game. That's exactly what Delvon Roe managed to do despite seeing just over 17 minutes of playing time per game in his first season in Lansing and the former top-10 recruit now finds himself showing up on the radars of pro scouts as he prepares for his second campaign in the Big Ten.

There were some concerns about Roe physically entering the season as he underwent micro fracture surgery on his knee during his senior season of high school, and while it took him a little time to work his way back to being at his peak, by the end of the year he looked to be back towards his peak performance level. The sophomore certainly looks good physically for a power forward at the collegiate level, standing 6-8 with a wiry but strong 220-pound frame and a wingspan that reportedly measures seven feet. The youngster runs the floor very well, has good quickness and shows off good leaping ability. The one noticable effect of the surgery Roe underwent two years ago is that he isn't an overly explosive jumper from a standstill like he used to be back in high school. He can still elevate well, but most of the time he needs a little bit of a start before he can get going.

As one would expect from a young big man, the overwhelming majority of Roe's touches last season came in the immediate vicinity of the basket, with post ups, offensive rebounds, and cuts to the rim accounting for nearly two-thirds of his shot attempts according to Synergy Sports Technology. He holds his position very well on the block thanks to his broad shoulders and upper body strength, having little trouble establish himself inside on this level. Once he has the ball, Roe typically sticks to basic back to the basket moves, alternating between a strong drop step and a baby hook shot in the middle of the lane. From time to time he will use an up and under as well, but even with his post game still developing, the potential is definitely there as he displays excellent footwork. What he needs to focus on next is developing a little more touch on his shots around the cylinder, as his consistency wavers when he's well defended our doesn't have a great angle. There's no denying that the gritty power forward is more than capable of finishing with contact from defenders and he has the athleticism to contort his body for the occasional acrobatic finish.

The rest of Roe's offense at this point is built around his tremendous hustle and the mismatches he gets as a result of his athleticism. The Ohio native ranked third in offensive rebounds per 40 minutes amongst all freshmen in our database thanks in large part to his tremendous effort. As previously mentioned, Roe doesn't explode off the floor from a standstill, but he does such a great job of positioning himself and more often than not just outworks other players to haul in rebounds at a very high rate. He gets a fair number of baskets as well by simply running the floor well in transition, often beating opposing frontcourt defenders down the court for open or lightly contested looks.

Roe didn't get very many touches in situations where he was facing up away from the basket, but there are certainly signs that he could start to work himself away from the paint as he continues to develop. The sophomore handles the ball pretty well in transition and can attack the rim in a straight line at this point, able to beat slower big men off the dribble. His range is limited to the foul line extended primarily, and his form needs quite a bit of work. Again, there wasn't a large sampling of jump shots to look at, but his 45.5 percent shooting from the charity stripe is a strong indication that Roe is a ways off from being considered a perimeter threat as a shooter.

Defensively there is a lot to like about Roe as he carries the same toughness over from the offensive side. He plays tough in the post despite often giving up several inches and quite a bit more weight to other big men. The shots that he blocks at this point are a testament to his timing and his smarts, as he doesn't leave his feet early very often. It's encouraging to see that he can already guard the pick and roll fairly well and he certainly shows enough lateral quickness to cover smaller, quicker players right now. Roe still has some things to learn defensively as he will get caught in the wrong spot from time to time and he often gets fooled on simple ball fakes when on the perimeter.

Overall, Roe is a player who is more than likely going to spend at least a couple of more seasons at the college level, something that will give him time to further develop his game. With the departure of Goran Sutton, he will almost certainly be more of a feature in the Spartan's offense; it will be interesting to see how much time he spends away from the paint though. Possessing a smaller frame for an NBA frontcourt player, it will be vital for Roe to improve his mid-range jumper, while also further developing his ability to handle the basketball on the perimeter. There is no question his hardnosed, blue collar work ethic and hustle will endear him to many NBA scouts and help ensure another good season for Michigan State.

Roe Outlasts Holiday In Thriller On ESPN2

Rodger Bohn
Rodger Bohn
Dec 10, 2007, 10:37 pm
While Holiday may have gotten the upper hand in the stat sheet, it was Roe who took home the victory on national television. It was a typical day at work for Roe, whose gritty play has made him a consensus top 15 player nationally for the class of 2008. He did the most of his damage from 15 feet and in, struggling to get much going on the perimeter in the few times he tried to do work out there. The Michigan State recruit’s passing ability and tough play around the rim was enough to get St. Edward’s a victory, however.

Roe definitely passes the look test for a power forward prospect, standing a legit 6’8 with a 7’0 wingspan. He is already a chiseled 220 pounds with a frame equipped to add another 20 pounds if desired. A much improved athlete, the Euclid native showed off a quicker first step and explosive leaping ability, evidenced by the two monstrous dunks that he threw down on the evening.

Not just an athlete, Delvon exhibited some nice footwork in the low post via a series of drop steps, spin moves, and counter moves. Able to finish around the rim with either hand, he converted on the majority of his scoring attempts around the rim. What was most impressive about Roe’s performance was his ability to pass the ball from the high post, where he ran the high-low game to perfection with Indiana recruit Tom Pritchard.

The toughness and ferocious play that Roe showed off on the offensive end also transcended to his performance on the defensive side. He did an excellent job boxing out Campbell Hall’s stable of smaller, quicker players en route to corralling 12 rebounds. Utilizing his nice wingspan, he was able to block 5 shots and alter many more. Finishing off his impressive showing on the defensive end, Roe surprised many with his ability to move laterally, doing a nice job of keeping the much smaller Holiday in the situations that he was forced to defend the speedy guard on the perimeter.

While Roe is one of the more skilled post players the class of 2008 has to offer, he does not offer the long term upside of other elite power forward prospects such as Greg Monroe or Samardo Samuels. He will need to vastly improve his perimeter player over the next few years if he hopes to maximize his potential as a draft prospect. Delvon will be a great fit at Michigan State, where he will have the opportunity to compliment fellow Ohio native and former AAU teammate Raymar Morgan next season. His blue collar style of play will allow him to make his presence felt as a freshman, and will surely make him a fan favorite for the Spartans.

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