Already known as an outstanding rebounder, scouts expected Andre Roberson
to assume a greater role in Colorado's offense as a sophomore. Roberson definitely delivered, averaging 11.6 points and 11.1 rebounds per game while leading the Buffaloes to the NCAA Tournament, their first in nine years, and to their first tournament win in over 15 years. No longer under the radar, Roberson has emerged as the PAC-12's top-prospect and must help Colorado defend its conference title while proving to scouts that he is capable of playing on the wing at a NBA level.
Resolving his positional issues are particularly important given his physical profile. At 6'7 in shoes with a decent 6'9 wingspan and wiry 210-pound frame, Roberson lacks ideal size for the NBA post, but has outstanding size for the small forward position. Similarly, Roberson is an excellent athlete, possessing a combination of explosiveness, fluidity and quickness complemented by his energetic and relentless playing style.
He did not transition into the perimeter scorer on offense that many expected he'd become as a sophomore, however, still often playing out of position as a power forward. His role definitely changed between his first and second years, as he saw nearly twice as many of Colorado's offensive possessions, but he was still a complimentary player, rarely showing the skill or instincts to step up as a primary scoring option. He was more productive as a sophomore, but his 15.5 points per 40 minutes pace adjusted ranked him near the bottom of prospects in our top-100.
As was the case during his freshman year, Roberson is still at his best while crashing the offensive glass. He may have grabbed fewer offensive rebounds as a sophomore, but he nonetheless ranked as one the top prospects in our top-100, showing an uncanny combination of fundamentals, instincts, and energy to collect rebounds within and beyond his immediate vicinity. Roberson is not a particularly skilled scorer down low, but he outhustles most bigger defenders and uses his soft touch and quickness to score inside.
Moving away from the basket, Roberson made a few subtle improvements, but still has a long way to go before fully transitioning to the wing. As was the case during his freshman year, he continued to look excellent in transition, running the floor hard and finishing emphatically. His ability to move without the ball, and to finish off of cuts to the basket remains impressive, as well. His value as a hustle player on offense, inside and outside, is undeniable and he finds most of his points simply by being the hardest working player on the floor.
Roberson shot an improved 38% from beyond the arc, albeit on just 1.8 attempts per 40 minutes pace adjusted, and rarely settled into a groove as the season progressed. On film, his mechanics leave much to be desired. For one, he has a quick, but truncated release, with a low release point and little follow through. Furthermore, while he shot the ball better as a sophomore, he rarely looked comfortable or fluid when setting himself up for a shot. He made just 28.6% of his open attempts, as he was unable to find his shooting rhythm and often passed up easy spot-up opportunities as a result.
While his shot creating abilities remain underdeveloped, he showed more of a face-up game as a sophomore, attacking the basket and occasionally knocking down shots from mid-range. He is limited to straight line drives at the basket, however, due to his extremely shaky handles and overwhelming tendency to drive right. He doesn't have a lot of control with the ball in his hands, either, and most of his turnovers are results of his raw instincts as a shot creator and facilitator at this stage. His mid-range arsenal is very small, primarily composed of a pull-up jump shot, but, though he made an abysmal 28.6% of them on just a few attempts, he showed the potential to develop further in this area.
Moving forward, Roberson must expand his perimeter game by developing better shooting mechanics, greatly improving his ball handling abilities, and becoming a more versatile scorer from mid-range. Roberson showed subtle improvements between his freshman and sophomore seasons, but scouts will be looking for him to take significant steps forward offensively as a junior.
Roberson once again stood out on the defensive end of the floor, showing remarkable versatility and lockdown potential at the collegiate level. His combination of excellent lateral quickness and outstanding timing situates him as a match-up nightmare on the perimeter, where he can stay in front of quicker guards, get his hands in passing lanes, and block shots all over the floor. His 1.7 steals and 2.5 blocks per 40 minutes pace adjusted show just how disruptive he can be, inside and outside. Furthermore, though he still guards power forwards quite often, there is no question at this point that he has the physical tools to transition seamlessly into a lockdown defender on the wing.
Finally, it's worth pointing out that Roberson is the top returning defensive rebounder among all prospects in our database, pulling in a remarkable 10.3 defensive rebounds per 40 minutes pace adjusted. For the second straight year, he finished as one of the nation's top rebounders, which is particularly impressive given the fact that he is undersized and playing out of position.
There is little doubt, then, that Andre Roberson
is an excellent NBA prospect. When contemplating an NBA comparison, players as diverse as Shawn Marion
, Kawhi Leonard
, and Kenneth Faried
come to mind, showing just how many different directions his development could take him and just how good he could be. He already possesses ideal size and athleticism for the NBA wing position along with excellent defensive potential and intangibles. Scouts will be watching him closely this year to see whether he can emerge as a comfortable, consistent, and prolific perimeter shooter. His NBA future is bright, regardless of his offensive development, but if he continues to improve as a scorer, then he has the chance to be a very special player at the next level.