Covering University of Colorado sports, mostly basketball, since 2010

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

'Dre getting some pre-season love

Andre Roberson is one of the best players in the Pac-12 conference.  Anyone who obsesses over West Coast hoops understands this.  On a team dedicated to rebounding and shot defense, he's been the straw that stirs the drink.  Last season he averaged a double-double every night (11.6/11.1), while blocking nearly two shots per contest and notching the second best defensive rebounding percentage in the nation.  Now, after that stellar 2011-12 campaign which included carrying the Buffs through a conference title run, and a trip to the second round of the NCAA tournament, the word is starting to spread to national outlets.

Late last week, Andre was anointed the #1 NBA draft prospect in the Pac-12 Conference by  Coach Boyle's recruiting strategy this year has lead many to believe that he is banking on 'Dre jumping for the NBA early, and this only underscores that point.  Their projections may not yet include UCLA's Shabazz Muhammad (who's not only a freshman, but potentially ineligible), but that's still impressive.  Key quote:
"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."
I'm surprised that this article never mentions the name Dennis Rodman, but I digress. I don't think we'll ever see 'Dre hit the floor with a prolific perimeter shot, but a comfortable 18-20 foot jumper to stretch the defense is well within his capability, and would make him a strong professional contributor (Remember: if you can rebound, the Association will find a spot for you). DraftExpress currently has 'Dre pegged for a late first round pick, slotting him in a #23. A season of improved offensive output should kick that up, maybe even kissing the edges of the lottery, making his NBA choice a very simple one.

Additional lists of the top players nationally have also featured high praise for the rebound machine from San Antonio. CBS has him at #36, calling him "the best player you don’t know anything about." (Seth Davis voiced that sentiment earlier this summer.) Big Lead has him at #16.

As preseason lists begin to drop over the next few weeks, expect more than a few places to list 'Dre as their pick for preseason conference player of the year, and for him to make a slew of preseason All-Conference teams.  His days as an insider's secret are numbered.  As 'Dre ominously said last night "they will recognize."


Remember, you can see 'Dre, along with all the other members of both the men's and women's basketball teams, at the CEC this Friday night for Buffs Madness.  Admission is free, and the event will tip-off around 8:30.
You should also join the Facebook event page here.

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