H: 6' 10"|
W: 240 lbs
(28 Years Old)
|RSCI: 2||Agent: Bill Duffy |
High School: Carmel
Hometown: Carmel, IN
Drafted: Pick 37 in 2007 by Trailblazers
Best Case: Chris Webber
Worst Case: James Augustine
|Year||Source||Height w/o Shoes||Height w/shoes||Weight||Wingspan||Standing Reach||Body Fat||No Step Vert||Max Vert|
|2007||NBA Pre-Draft Camp||6' 8.75"||6' 10"||240||7' 1"||8' 10.5"||13.7||27.5||31.5|
|Year||Source||Height w/o Shoes||Height w/shoes||Weight||Wingspan||Standing Reach||Body Fat||No Step Vert||Max Vert|
|2007||NBA Pre-Draft Camp||6' 8.75"||6' 10"||240||7' 1"||8' 10.5"||13.7||27.5||31.5|
The ship continues to sink for the former top ranked player in the 2005 high school class, as after laying an egg in his first game here, he proceeded to have an even worse outing tonight, shooting 2-10 from the field. Josh McRoberts clearly doesn’t want to be here—that much is obvious from his body language, seemingly floating up and down the floor aimlessly “with his thumb up his [rear end]” as one longtime NBA scout put it. He’s coming off the bench behind two undrafted players in Lance Allred and Cory Violette who look destined for Europe—and quite frankly has not made any type of case for himself to be receiving minutes over them.
Offensively, McRoberts does not seem to have a consistent way of creating points for himself. He looked incredibly soft in the post, fading away from contact, being unable or unwilling to use his body to create space, showing very little in the ways of actual post moves, and settling for bad shots. On the perimeter, McRoberts is making things way too difficult on himself, pulling up off the dribble on more than one occasion for mid-range jumpers (air-balling one of his attempts), and even trying to shoot an NBA 3-pointer.
Defensively, McRoberts could not stay in front of any of the D-League players he tried to guard tonight, and did not really put much effort at all into this part of his game--being outhustled for rebounds as well. Opposing players have been going right at him in both games we saw here, and McRoberts really hasn’t responded to the challenge in the least bit.
The sooner McRoberts realizes how far he is right now from being an NBA player, the better off he’ll be. From what we can tell, the Development League is exactly the place he needs to be at the moment. His lofty recruiting rankings from high school will only take him so far at this point, as he looks pretty close to turning into a cautionary tale if he’s not careful.
Josh McRoberts’ likely last game in a Duke uniform was a very disappointing one indeed. Although he broke his career high in scoring, and statistically had a very solid game, he could not help his team deliver the knockout blow to a very pesky and talented VCU team, missing a couple of key free throws down the stretch.
McRoberts scored most of his points inside the paint tonight, whether by cutting to the basket and using his explosiveness to finish strong, putting the ball on the floor and making his way to the hoop, cleaning up offensive rebounds, or even with a surprising jump-hook shot he threw in from 10 feet out. He did a solid job on the glass, snatching down 11 rebounds, but was outmuscled inside on a couple of occasions and missed padding his stats even a little bit more when he went chasing after a block and gave up his position for the defensive rebound.
VCU’s tremendous pressure defense not only affected Greg Paulus’ ability to manage the game, it also did an effective job keeping the ball out of McRoberts’ hands.
All in all McRoberts certainly did show off many of his strengths today, if only in flashes, including his phenomenal passing ability and explosiveness finishing around the basket, but this was not enough to make up for an underachieving season that is now over in shocking fashion. Just the fact that a potential lottery pick that is not projected as a defensive stopper or rebounder only now scored more than 21 points in a single game after two full seasons is a bit appalling in itself. His draft stock will likely be as volatile as anyone’s if he’s indeed going to do as expected and enter the draft.
On paper, Josh McRoberts’ lone performance in the ACC tournament might have appeared to be a fairly decent outing judging by his stats, but considering the way it looked in person, as well as the fact that his team was upset on the first day, it was hard not come away disappointed by what he showed.
This was really a tale of two halves for McRoberts, starting off terribly and then warming up as the game moved on. He picked up two quick fouls and barely scored in the first 25 minutes or so, looking completely out of sorts on both ends of the floor and displaying some very worrisome body language when things weren’t going his way. It doesn’t seem to take much for McRoberts to completely lose his confidence. He looked sluggish and a lot slower than we thought he would, being extremely passive on the offensive end and not being able to take and make decisive actions without hesitating. On one particular sequence, he stole the ball from NC State and handled the ball beautifully all by himself in transition. As the defense recovered, he could not decide whether to take the ball in all by himself or pass the ball to a streaking Greg Paulus, instead doing neither and just throwing the ball meekly out of bounds, and then hanging his head in disgust.
Defensively, McRoberts was absolutely smoked by either of the NC State big men he tried to guard, whether it was Ben McCauley or Brandon Costner. They established position on him at will, backed him down in the post, and then got him in the air with a simple pump-fake to open up a clear angle for an easy layup. Part of this had to do with the foul trouble they quickly got him in, but McRoberts clearly needed to show a little bit more pride by not letting players score on him so easily on this end of the floor.
Offensively, he looked as mechanical as always with his back to the basket, struggling to get into any kind of effective post move without deliberating and taking the ball up extremely softly at the basket. It was if he were more concerned with avoiding contact than getting his team two points, which resulted in his shot being blocked on more than one instance.
Later on in the game, his real potential started to come out to a certain extent, making some great crisp passes and executing nicely on pick and roll plays with Greg Paulus, finishing with one terrific tomahawk jam after creating his own shot and then throwing down a beautiful two-handed reverse on another. In overtime he stepped up his game a lot more, but it was too little too late and Duke was sent packing before archrivals North Carolina even made it into the building.
McRoberts’ season hasn’t gone according to plans so far, both individually and on the team level. If he’s to recover his draft stock—keeping in mind that he was considered a lock for the top 5 up until not too long ago—he will have to show some more passion and fire in leading his team past the second round of the tournament. That’s not going to be easy of course, considering that his team is a 6 seed and they’ll likely be playing Aaron Gray’s Pitt if they are to make it past VCU in round one.
It has been somewhat of a disappointing year for a player as talented as McRoberts, as many expected him to carry the burden of the Duke scoring load on his back this season, a task that he has been unable to accomplish so far. Even with his lack of production, though, there is a package of skills that the Duke sophomore offers that can be matched by no more then five players in the college game today.
What makes Josh so incredibly intriguing is his remarkable perimeter skills for a player who is approaching seven feet tall. He is the ultimate high post power forward, with the ability to beat you off the dribble, hit the mid range jumpshot, or find the open man with the simplest of ease. McRoberts' passing ability is what really sets him apart however, as he has shown the ability to play a bit of a point forward role in the open floor at times, finding the open man more often then not. In the half court set, he passes the ball out of double teams freakishly well and always has his head up looking for the open man. He is clearly the best passer of any big man prospect in this year’s draft, averaging 3.7 assists per game with an assist to turnover ratio (1.62/1) that many point guard draft prospects can’t match.
On the low block, the 2005 McDonald’s All American MVP has shown the ability to shoot a jump hook with either hand. It is a bit puzzling though how much he favors going to his right (opposite) hand when he touches the ball in the post. He is so much more fluid when going right, looking awfully uncomfortable when forced back to his left hand. McRoberts' tendency to go to his right hand is also apparent when facing the basket, where seemingly every single move he makes towards the rim will eventually find itself going back to his right hand by the time it is time for him to make a decision with the basketball.
Athletically, McRoberts is excellent for a 6’11 player. He possesses great leaping ability, an explosive first step, and great speed in the open floor. He does not always utilize his athleticism to it’s fullest potential, but it is shown in flashes throughout the game. McRoberts has also combined his outstanding hops with improved timing this year to make himself a formidable shot blocking presence, although primarily from the help side.
While McRoberts remains a very good athlete, his athleticism does not carry over to the defensive end aside from his shot blocking. He struggles a bit guarding opposing power forwards on the perimeter, and is a pretty average rebounder for a power forward, pulling in 7.7 boards per game. He relies far too much on his leaping ability when it comes to rebounding, and could easily corral more missed shots if he chose to exert more effort into boxing out on the defensive end.
It has also been evident throughout the season that Josh will disappear during some games, making fans forget that he is even on the floor. It is frustrating to see a player so talented produce so little in terms of scoring, leading many analysts and fans alike to openly question McRoberts' mental toughness at times. The examination of his heart is warranted however, as he does seem to shy away from contact at times and settles a bit too much for three point shots, which is definitely not his strong suit.
McRoberts has casually flirted with entering the NBA Draft for the last two years, although there ending up being not much substance to rumors in either year. With this being a somewhat frustrating year in Durham and possessing such great upside as far as the NBA is concerned, it would certainly not be shocking to see Josh throw his name in the draft this year. Although McRoberts is getting enough shots now to begin with, he would be receiving far less with the arrival of scorers Kyle Singler, Taylor King, and Nolan Smith at Duke next year.
So far, the early results have not looked good for McRoberts. Gone is a good deal of the outstanding athleticism that made him such an intriguing prospect coming out of high school, and in return we find a tentative player who is clearly struggling to produce points consistently in the post. Without the terrific quickness and explosiveness he showed last year and beyond--he’s still trying to recover as he regains his form coming off surgery-- McRoberts looks fairly soft trying to finish plays in the paint, lumbering up and down the floor and not getting off the ground quite as quickly as he used to. He’s avoiding contact and looking very predictable with his post moves, not rebounding well at all and playing very average defense on players that have no business scoring on him.
On the positive side, McRoberts has done a good job facing the basket from the high post. His passing skills look as good as ever, and he’s doing a very nice job using his ball-handling skills with either hand to create shots for himself, something we didn’t seem much of at all last season. He looked like he really did want to help carry his team’s offense against Marquette, but without his explosiveness, things are much tougher on him. It’s quite possible that he just isn’t in the type of shape he needs to be in after missing such a huge part of the summer recovering from surgery, so it’s certainly too early to completely write him off just yet. We still have a long season ahead of us, but judging off what we’ve seen so far, he’s not nearly as intriguing as he was 5 months ago.
One of the most highly touted high school players to join the college ranks in the pre-age limit era over the past few years, Josh McRoberts has passed on the honors of being a likely lottery pick twice already in his short career. Having decided to return to the cozy confines of Cameron Indoor Stadium, McRoberts has absolutely no choice but to start translating his upside into major production if he wants to keep his draft stock steady.
Considering the tools he has at his disposal, the natural talent he shows every time he steps out on the floor, and his likely go-to role in Duke’s offense; there is little reason to believe he won’t be able to deliver on an All-American type season. Potential can only get you so far when you’ve been on the NBA radar since age 16, so it wouldn’t be a stretch to say that its put up or shut up time for McRoberts.
We’re talking about a prototypical power forward as far as NBA scouts are concerned, blessed with excellent quickness, outstanding leaping ability, and some of the surest hands you’ll find around. McRoberts is a graceful player with the way he gets around out on the floor, moving intelligently off the ball and presenting himself well to his partner in crime Greg Paulus, with whom he’s formed terrific chemistry already. He understands the game extremely well and was outstanding scoring off cuts to the basket (92/114 or 81% in the 30 games we tracked) last season. He can go after a long rebound out of his area, bring the ball up the floor himself, and then finish the play himself with a spectacular one-handed dunk.
McRoberts also looks comfortable shooting the ball from the perimeter thanks to his good-looking flat-footed stroke, and is smart enough to quickly find the open man making a move to the basket. He has some solid potential as a shot-blocker and rebounder, but needs to get tougher and stronger to fully maximize this part of his game.
McRoberts was too often an afterthought in Duke’s offense last season, although he seemed plenty content with this role for the most part and didn’t show enough focus or consistency to warrant a bigger load. His intensity wavered last year, as did his assertiveness, and he will certainly have to show more of a willingness to take responsibilities if he’s to keep his critics at bay.
The problem here is that McRoberts still hasn’t found a consistent way to create offense for himself, as his back to the basket game is weak, his shot-creating skills from the perimeter unreliable, and his jumper untested outside of the wide open looks he’s see playing off J.J. Redick and Shelden Williams. He lived off scraps as a freshman—getting a large majority of his points from offensive rebounds, in transition, and specifically off cuts to the basket for a drive and dish play from Paulus or a spectacular alley-lob from Sean Dockery. Going up and finishing stronger around the paint, developing a go-to move offensively, and specifically adding strength to his outstanding frame are all priorities for McRoberts over the next 9 months leading up to the draft. Assuming all is well with his lower back after the surgery he had to relieve pressure on nerves in his spine this past summer (he was just recently cleared to practice again after sitting out for an extensive time), a spot in the Top 10 of the lottery is his to lose.
]A disappointing season came to a close with a disappointing game for freshman Josh McRoberts, as Duke was eliminated in the Sweet Sixteen Thursday night. McRoberts hasn’t been able to put everything together for much of the season, and things were no different in this game. Most of the night was characterized by McRoberts looking like he was about to do something good, then falling just short. Whether it was taking his man off the dribble and not being able to finish, making a rotation and not being able to alter a shot, getting in position for a rebound but not actually getting it in his hands, getting an offensive rebound and not being able to score the putback, or getting an open three-pointer and having it rim out, McRoberts just kept falling short. All game long, he was putting himself in position to do something good, playing a smart overall game, but he just wasn’t able to turn it into a positive impact.
On the positive side, McRoberts did grab 10 rebounds and had a few scintillating jams and alley-oops over the course of the game. He also showed some very nice flashes of potential as noted above, especially with his face-up game. From the high post and from the perimeter, McRoberts was easily able to take anyone matched up with him off the dribble, getting into the lane, but not being able to finish the play. He also exhibited good weakside awareness on the defensive end, playing some solid team defense, but not being able to turn it into many shot alterations.
Most of the early indications we’ve received from NBA scouts point towards McRoberts declaring for the upcoming 2006 draft. He has not played up to expectations this season, but could still be a lottery pick based on potential, and may feel pressure to take advantage of this. If McRoberts went back to school next season, there is a chance his game could be exposed with teammates J.J Redick and Shelden Williams no longer on the team, something that McRoberts would likely have a better sense of than anyone else.
On the other hand, if he’s up for the task, this could also be an opportunity for McRoberts to step up and finally put all of his potential together into what everyone expected him to be. For the long-term, McRoberts would likely be best off further developing his game at the collegiate level if he intends on getting significant minutes during his rookie contract and paving his way into a better 2nd deal. He appears to be just a few minor tweaks away from really improving his production. But if he doesn’t believe he can ever live up to his hype, it’d be hard to pass up the chance at being a lottery pick. He’s already passed it up once and might be regretting it now.
The heralded freshman really brought his “A game” against GW, doing absolutely everything you could ask for out of a high post power forward. McRoberts handled the ball against pressure, scored inside, and delivered passes that 7 footers are not supposed to make. During a critical time in the game when GW had a good deal of momentum on their side, McRoberts threw a 30 foot bounce pass with his off-hand (his right) to a slashing Sean Dockery, who was fouled on a reverse layup attempt. While it may not sound like much, it’s just another example of the talent that the Indiana native has.
While the NBA will definitely be knocking on McRoberts’ door this spring, he would be best suited to spend one more season at Duke before putting his name in the Draft. With the departure of Shelden Williams and J.J. Redick, he would be able to become the go-to-guy of the Blue Devil offense. Regardless of when he comes out however, Josh will likely see himself selected in the lottery portion of that respective draft.
After a bit of a disappointing freshman season considering the massive hype going in, McRoberts has another chance to show fans and scouts alike why he was considered the #1 player in the 2005 high school senior class. Part of the reason for his fairly lackluskter showing so far has been by choice, as McRoberts has been very passive in many games, preferring to play a supporting role and not taking much on himself besides crashing the offensive glass and throwing down alley-oop lobs. Part of it also has to do with his overall skill level, which shows flashes but is just still nowhere close to what we heard it was coming out of high school. If McRoberts wants to declare for the draft this year, he surely hasn't done anything on the court to indicate this so far, and it would be a fairly surprising move considering that he could have been a lottery pick last year already and his stock has gone nowhere but down since. A bit of a resurgance towards the end of the year in the ACC tournament might be a sign that McRoberts is becoming more accustomed to his role at Duke and might be stepping up his game when his team needs him most. It's great to see a player being as selfless and ego free as McRoberts has been this year, but the fact of the matter is his team could sorely use a 3rd scoring option to help out when Shelden Williams and J.J. Redick are not in their best form.[Read Full Article]
McRoberts' great play carried over from the Roundball as he was very impressive in practice today. He showed nice range on his shot, ran the floor well, and had a few really nice passes that the majority of 6'11 players can't even dream about making. He stated that he is not even considering the NBA at this point and is fully committed to Duke, which is a bit surprising considering his strong play so far in the McDonald's practices and his performance at the Roundball Classic, especially when you consider some of the players that are considering making the jump. We're definitely looking forward to seeing him at Duke next year, though. It looks like Coach K really got a good one.[Read Full Article]