Richard Robys journey as a prospect the past three years is about as strange as youll ever see in college basketball. Following his sophomore season, Roby was viewed as a borderline first round pick, but chose to go back to school and further develop his game. Unfortunately, his development seemed to regress, as his shooting percentage dropped from 42% to 38%, while his three-point shooting percentage dropped from 36% to 27%, even though his offensive burden didnt significantly increase. Now, a senior, Roby has posted career highs in every shooting category, and by significant margins, too.
When looking at Robys game, its important to first mention Colorados new coach, Jeff Bzdelik, who has drastically changed the teams style of play, bringing in a Princeton offense and slowing the teams pace from 73 to 63 possessions per game. The team as a whole is taking much better shots, with their shooting percentage up from 42% to 45%, and three-point shooting up from 31% to 34%. Roby is obviously leading the charge here, as his shot selection is greatly improved, forcing far fewer bad shots, and benefiting from the offenses ball movement with more open looks.
Looking at Robys actual game, his shooting mechanics have cleaned up some, with him being more consistent than he was last year, but still showing a few problems. Most notably, he rarely holds his follow through on his shot, and at times appears to be rushed, which leads to some bad misses. He also has a tendency to push forward on his shot at times, which offsets the advantage he has with his superior length, leaving him prone to being blocked on the perimeter at times. Despite these problems, Roby is still shooting a solid 39% from behind the arc as Colorados go-to scorer, which is a testament to how much natural ability Roby has as a shooter. At times, Robys quick-release is a thing of beauty, most often when he has space and gets his feet set, where his shooting motion is much more consistent and his success is more frequent. If he ever got to work with a shooting coach and really hammered out some of the inconsistencies in his shot, he could be an outstanding shooter, but these are criticisms that have been aimed at Roby as long as hes been a draft prospect.
Roby has also done a very good job utilizing shot fakes from the perimeter this year, faking the three and taking one or two dribbles forward for a pull-up jumper, which he hits fairly well in space. The rest of his mid-range game is pretty inconsistent and unreliable, and to his credit, hes really cut down on using it this year, not taking many off-balanced, contested shots off the dribble, something that hurt him in the past.
In terms of attacking the basket, Roby shows a decent dribble with both hands, though it can be sloppy at times, and he doesnt show much proficiency with it in a crowd. On his dribble-drive moves, he over-relies on his spin move, but does a solid job getting to the basket when in single coverage. Roby isnt especially quick with the ball, and doesnt have an explosive first step, so he probably wont be very good in isolation drives at the next level, though he does do a good job making off-ball cuts. At the rim, he struggles to finish through contact, not possessing the greatest strength, but doesnt really shy away from it, getting to the line a fair share. When he isnt dealing with a weakside defender, Roby shows nice touch off the glass, showing a nice proficiency for using reverse lay-ups, and he can finish with either hand.
On the defensive end, Roby has played well this year, using his hands and length very well to pick off passes even block some shots, while playing fairly aggressive defense in general, showing a solid stance and often contesting shots on the perimeter. Laterally, he is just average, and hes definitely lacking in strength, getting pushed around whenever hes forced to defend the post. Robys rebounding has been much improved this year as well, where he uses his length to come from out of position for boards.
Roby, while just an average athlete, has very good length, and clearly has a lot of natural talent, which makes his potential at the next level intriguing. While hes been a very good college player this season, theres question about how some of his abilities will translate, and if he stands out enough in one area to earn himself a role in the NBA. Roby definitely has the potential to be a stand-out spot-up shooter, but will likely need to work with a shooting coach to fix some of the kinks that lead to his inconsistency in that area. Other than that, he needs to continue to improve his decision-making, something hes already made nice strides with this season. Roby could be a second round pick this year, and will have both pre-draft camps (starting with Portsmouth) and private workouts to attempt to distinguish himself for NBA scouts and executives.