One of the most accomplished players to ever wear a Colorado basketball uniform is moving on to the next challenge in his basketball career.
On Sunday afternoon, in a bit of a surprising move, junior Andre Roberson informed head coach Tad Boyle that he will forgo his senior season and enter the 2013 NBA Draft. His decision comes just two days after cancelling a press conference in which he planned on announcing his future, seemingly too torn between returning or leaving early. It was a tough decision to make for Roberson but ultimately he deserved to make the decision that he felt was best for his future.
So with Roberson gone, where does that leave the Buffs in 2013-2014? His decision will hurt Colorado next season but according to Boyle it won’t make or break their season.
“Andre knows we are going to have a good team next year” Boyle stated at his season ending press conference. “Obviously we are a better team with him than without him but it’s not going to be a make or break decision for Colorado basketball.”
In other words there is still plenty of talent left for Colorado to contend with next season but they may not reach the level they could with Roberson still in the fold. With Roberson, Colorado had the potential to be a top 10-15 team at the start of the season. Now without him they still figure to be good, most likely a top 25 team, but their chances of making an extended NCAA Tournament run are diminished.
Obviously, being the Pac 12 defensive player of the year in 2012, Roberson’s departure will be felt most on the defensive side of the ball for CU next season. The Buffs won’t have the luxury of knowing Roberson is behind them to erase shots at the rim or corral a loose rebound. Instead, guys like Xavier Johnson, Josh Scott and Wesley Gordon will be relied upon to fill that rebounding void left by Roberson and they have all the potential to do so.
Colorado will be OK without Roberson next season but they will certainly miss his production and leadership. Other guys will have to step up if the Buffs want to duplicate or better the record breaking season they just experienced. With the players previously mentioned returning, along with Spencer Dinwiddie, Askia Booker and an athletic recruiting class arriving in Boulder – 6-5 Jaron Hopkins, 6-6 Tre’Shaun Fletcher and 6-7 Dustin Thomas – Colorado is still in good shape.
As Roberson embarks on the next step of his basketball career he can move on knowing that he made his impact on Colorado basketball. He also will know that Buff Nation will be cheering for him wherever he ends up.
David LaRose is a College Basketball writer for Rant Sports covering the Pac 12 and the University of Colorado. He’s also a member of the USBWA. You can follow him on Twitter or check out his Facebook page.