Andre Roberson left Colorado’s basketball program a year early so he could develop his game quicker for the NBA, his father said Wednesday.
John Roberson, who played 12 years professionally overseas, said his son’s announcement Sunday was his alone.
“It was definitely his decision,” John said from his home in San Antonio. “People think I had a lot to do with it. Dre’s his own man, and he makes his own decisions. For him, it was just development and where he saw he’d be developing more.
“You look at all the different dynamics. You have what he’d be doing in Colorado versus the NBA. We felt it best for him to forgo his senior year.”
Roberson averaged 10.9 points per game this past season, shooting .480 from the field, including .328 from 3-point range, and .551 from the foul line. He finished second nationally in rebounding with 11.2 per game and was the Pac-12 defensive player of the year.
NBA scouts are unanimous in ranking him as a second-round draft pick, at best. He might have to settle for being a free agent. The 6-foot-7, 210-pounder would have been one of five starters back from a 2012-13 team that reached the NCAA Tournament for the second consecutive year. But Roberson’s father didn’t see his son developing on the offensive end if he stayed at CU.
“You’d have a lot of guys coming (back) next year that were demanding the basketball,” John Roberson said. “Dre, not being a selfish player, it’d be hard for him to kind of say, ‘I want to work on my NBA game my senior year’ while the other guys are doing their thing.
“It boiled down where the best development was.”
John said he consulted numerous friends who played or are playing in the NBA before giving the information to his son. Andre has not addressed the media to explain his decision and told CU coach Tad Boyle little about why he chose to leave.
Boyle used Roberson as a devastating role player in a defensive and rebounding mode. John Roberson didn’t feel Colorado developed his son to play in the NBA.
“That’s the struggle he was fighting,” John Roberson said. “Was it more about Dre and fulfilling his dream or more about getting wins?
“I think it has to go both ways. If you’re going to develop him, develop him. Don’t just take the point of view of, ‘We need Dre so we can have a Final Four team or a top-10 team.’ Now, if you look at it that way, it’s selfish as opposed to (Andre) being selfish.”
Boyle, informed of Roberson’s comments, said his job is not to train players specifically for the NBA.
“My job as Colorado basketball coach is to develop all of our players as much as I can,” Boyle said. “That’s our staff’s job as well. I have great assistant coaches who I think do a very good job of development. We’re trying to develop all of our players, not just Andre.
“We want to get better from week to week, month to month and year to year. Everybody develops at a different rate in their own way. With development, we get everybody on the same page playing for Colorado basketball and the name across their chests. There’s a reason we don’t have names on the backs of our jerseys.”
Roberson said he and his son considered the value of a college degree, which Andre was on pace to achieve next spring.
“I understand that argument,” Roberson said. “A lot of guys will graduate this year, but how many college graduates are making a million dollars?”
Told second-round picks don’t get guaranteed money and D-League salaries are between $15,500 to $26,000 a year, John said: “It’s not guaranteed when you graduate you get a job out of college. So this deal looks at the best possibility of maximizing what you can do. Dre knows education is important. But he has to go fulfill his dreams. This allows him to do that and come back and get his degree.”
Another factor, John Roberson said, is next year’s draft is expected to be stronger. He said he discounted the possibility of his son having a strong senior season, topped with a deep NCAA run, improving his son’s chances of getting chosen in the first round a year from now.
“That’s all speculation,” he said, adding: “There’s a big risk for that as well. Who knows who gets hurt? He could wind up getting hurt the first game. The deal is right now, and he wants to seize it.”
Boyle said he’s most disappointed that Andre Roberson won’t become the school’s career rebound leader. His 1,045 rebounds are nine from Stephane Pelle’s 1999-2003 record of 1,054.
“Listen, I support Andre and I respect his decision,” Boyle said. “But I don’t agree with his decision as head basketball coach at Colorado.”
John Henderson: 303-954-1299, email@example.com or twitter.com/johnhendersondp