With the deadline to withdraw from the 2013 NBA Draft having come and gone along with green room invitations having been received, it would appear that the nations top players are ready to make the leap into the next level of basketball. Only a handful of the hopefuls will officially become a part of the NBA Draft selections while others will look to play overseas.
Recently, the Oklahoma Sooners' Romero Osby has been steadily climbing the ladder often finding himself projected in the second round. However, just as often as one finds Obsy listed as a second round draft pick, another projection has him sitting on the undrafted list. One of the best kept secrets of this year's draft remains the 6-8 232 forward out of the University of Oklahoma.
So What's to Like About Him?
Ability to Dominate the Paint
Being undersized would normally have been a disadvantage for many in the Big 12 Conference yet Roe was able to use his strength inside not only to score but also to grab rebounds. In a senior campaign, Osby averaged 16.0 points per game to go along with 7.0 rebounds to lead the Sooners in each statistical category.
Converts Free Throws Consistently
Free throws are something NBA scouts will be considering if they plan to spend a coveted draft pick on a hopeful. Fortunately for Osby, free throws are one of his strengths but it was not always the case. During his tenure at Mississippi St., Obsy shot 63% from the line and was more in line with a number associated with a player of his size. However, when he arrived at Oklahoma and was forced to sit out a season due to the transfer rule, something clicked. In his final year of eligibility, Roe attempted 194 shots from the charity stripe and connected on 154 of those for a 79.5% conversion rate. In terms of free throws, his biggest feat may have been the 36 consecutive made attempts.
Skill Set to Stretch the Floor
Fans who watched Osby compete on a regular basis know that he possesses a solid face up game with the knack for knocking down mid-range jumpers. While the Sooners showcased him in that role, there were occasions where Roe stepped back to knock down a three-pointer (shot 52.9% in 2012-13). Yet, it was in that moment that Osby showcased the ability to take bigger defenders off the bounce as well.
Natural Leader and Hard Worker
Finally, we get to the intangibles, and area where Osby really sets himself apart and thrives. The #24 will be passed on to the next in line at Oklahoma as it now symbolized the vocal leader that Roe was on the floor. But, from day one it was apparent that this was a player playing for more than himself. A dream was set and pushed for each and every day due to his family. It will prove extremely difficult to produce a player who worked harder on the court as well as off the court during his time on the collegiate circuit than Osby.
Areas of Improvement?
At 6-8, it will be tough for an NBA coach to leave Osby alone in the blocks on players such as Zac Randolph, Pau Gasol, and Blake Griffin. While Roe has the ability to bang bodies down low, his height leaves him at a bit of disadvantage considering all the 7-footers in the league. Where does that put him defensively? Most likely against the cream of the crop.
Osby Must Prove He Can Guard the Three Spot
Asking this if anyone has become a tall task. Carmelo Anthony as well as Kevin Durant are elite level offensive players that will demand a ton of attention and are often left to the best defender on any given team. Throw in others like Kobe Bryant and LeBron James and you can see why this becomes the toughest position to guard.
At this point in the game, it all comes down to what Osby does in workouts. In a draft class that lacks elite talent yet contains much depth, I believe his is worthy of going in the middle of the second round. Roe is drawing comparisons to others who are role players that were taken in the second round such as Draymond Green.