The offensive side of the ball is not Andre Roberson’s better half, but he has the potential to improve at the next level because of his combination of athleticism and non-stop motor. Roberson most effectively displays these traits on the offensive glass, one of his best skills. Roberson loves to crash the glass from the perimeter, timing his approach and leap with outstanding instincts to find the ball. He utilizes his quickness and long arms to at least get a hand on the ball and keep it alive for a teammate if he does not pull it down himself. Roberson simply has a nose for the ball once a shot goes up, and gets much of his offense from crashing the glass. Roberson spends much of his time on the perimeter, and has the quickness to beat his man off the dribble with a solid first step. Roberson’s handle is not his best trait, but it has improved over the last few years. He does most of his damage around the rim, moving off the ball to get a pass from a teammate or by grabbing the rebound once the shot goes up.
But for the most part, Roberson is still a very raw offensive talent who must improve his scoring ability to contribute at the next level. Roberson’s jump shot needs work, as he has a very slow release, sticks out his elbow, and does not get great rotation on the ball. He has improved his perimeter skills, but still struggles to create his own shot. If a wide open jumper is not available, he will move the ball around the perimeter or drive with his head down. His touch in the paint is average at best, and he has not yet displayed a consistent midrange game. Roberson has the quickness to get around forwards in the post, but has not developed an array of post moves to become a threat on the block. He is a menace once the shot goes up, but is easy to guard until then because he lacks the offensive instincts and skill to beat his man without getting set up by a teammate.
Andre Roberson’s skill set much better translates to the defensive side of the ball, which is where he is much more likely to have an impact in the pro ranks. Roberson’s intensity and activity level are both well above average. He disrupts opponents on the perimeter with his motor, long arms, and knack to get a hand in the passing lanes. Roberson can also bother post players with his length and quickness, even if he lacks ideal size and strength. He is quick enough for his size to get back and forth between the paint and the wings, and does a great job of closing out on shooters. He is athletic enough to guard the 3 or stretch 4 at the next level, with the potential to bother 2s because of his quickness and effort. But easily Roberson’s best skill is his effort and anticipation on the defensive glass. Roberson is an elite rebounder who displays outstanding instincts when the shot goes up. He always seems to be in the right place when the ball comes off the rim, and utilizes his length to at least get a piece of almost every rebound. He compliments his length with a commendable effort level to keep opponents off the offensive glass, even when guarding opponents from the perimeter.
Roberson’s defensive weaknesses derive from a slender frame that he may need to bulk up in order for his rebounding prowess to translate in the NBA. Roberson often uses his arms and upper body to box out rather than planting his legs and carving out space down low. Additionally, Roberson’s defensive aggressiveness can occasionally force him to lose track of his man on the perimeter, leading to open looks for the other team. Roberson is an above-average shot blocker because of his physical skills, but lacks the strength and size to consistently protect the rim.
There are prospects every year that wow scouts with their athleticism, but Andre Roberson separates himself somewhat from this group by complimenting his physical traits with an outstanding motor, particularly on the glass. Roberson is one of the best rebounders in the entire draft class. He has great length, leaping ability, timing, and anticipation of where the ball will come off the rim. Combine this with great effort and desire to grab every rebound, and Roberson appears capable of contributing in the NBA as a force on the glass. These same traits make Roberson a gifted defensive player, with the ability to guard multiple positions because of his size, length, and quickness. But Roberson falls on draft boards because of his very raw offensive skill set. Roberson struggles to create his own shot, getting most of his points on offensive rebounds or setups from teammates. He displays poor form with his jump shot, has just average finishing ability in the paint, and shows midrange and post skills that are developing at best. Roberson will need a lot of coaching at the next level to contribute to an NBA offense, but possesses the rebounding instincts, athleticism, and work ethic that make him an attractive, albeit a raw prospect.