For three seasons in Boulder Andre Roberson did nothing but grab rebounds and defend. Thursday night, the talents he’s been showing off at the Coors Event Center went recognized as first round worthy. The 6’7” athlete was picked twenty-sixth and will suit up for the Oklahoma City Thunder this upcoming season. He was the third Pac-12 player selected in the first round.
NOTE: I’M NOT ENTIRELY SURE AND NOT BOTHERING TO GOOGLE WHETHER OR NOT “THUNDER UP” IS AN ACTUAL OKC PHRASE. OK, TURNS OUT IT IS BECAUSE I DID GOOGLE IT AND THE FIRST SEARCH RESULT IS THIER NBA SITE.
For Roberson, the pick has to come as somewhat of a surprise as many draft boards did not include the CU departed.
For Colorado fans, the pick may come as no surprise considering they watched the young man lock up each of the Pac’s other draftees. Which is exactly the versatile and dynamic talent that NBA teams – particularly ones set in their scoring – need in order to succeed.
One needs to look no further than the success of Kawhi Leonard who found his way into the Spurs’ lineup by defending and boarding (Roberson qualities), while letting the offense come to him as it may.
Alas, this helter-skelter draft is full of “the next Kawhis” but as it were, it seems Andre has a very good shot at legitimately becoming such. The Thunder clearly have a scoring nucleus and could greatly benefit from the defensive versatility Roberson could provide. What’s more: HOLY-BIG-LENGTHY-ATHLETIC-LINEUP, BATMAN! I mean seriously, imagine a lineup of Westbrook, Martin, Roberson, Durant, and Ibaka. Sounds like a dunk contest.
I’ve long been a Roberson fan and I’ll continue to be as he heads to Chesapeake Energy.
This week’s wrap up for AllBuffs is more of a preview. You see, Colorado joined this conference, escaping the tyranny of Big-12 Hoops in which no one seems to care much to challenge the Jayhawks; a fact I’d like to cite for their 8-straight conference titles but reality is they’re just that damn good.
Read my AZ-CU Preview at AllBuffs.
Well now that they’re in the Pac-12, Colorado was seeking a rival. Last season Utah – their travel partner – wasn’t worth the endeavor. The Utes would prove one of the worst major conference foes of all-time and the Buffs would win the conference tournament. They settled on the Wildcats as their main rival.
An outsider might call it a little brother move - I wanna be like them! – and perhaps there was an element of such. After all (and I’m always quick to rattle the stats off), Arizona has won 25 conference titles, visited the Final Four four times, and won the 1997 National Title amongst many other braggable accolades.
But then the Buffs went ahead and beat the Wildcats twice last season. Down year’s be damned. When the new kid on the block – expected to finish eleventh – picks the baddest kid in the playground and KO’s them, literally knocking the Wildcats out of the tournament for just the second time since I was born, they mean business. And if you’ve followed their program, they indeed do. They’ve played more-than-respectably this season and Tad Boyle is far on his way to building a program.
So Thursday night, when these two square off it should be a helluva ball game. Both school’s have loft expectations for 2013 and it begins this week.
I’ll be watching – albeit after rushing from the office due to the damn 5pm tip – and excited to see what will come of this long awaited return to conference play. Glad it kicks with doozy.