Roby to stay in NBA Draft, ending Husker career
Though it's been expected for some time that Isaiah Roby would keep his name in the 2019 NBA Draft pool, the standout Nebraska forward finally made the decision official at the early entrant withdrawal deadline on Wednesday.
"My main thing was I wanted to get as much information as possible on both sides, and as the process went on, I felt really good about the information and the feedback I was getting," Roby told HuskerOnline.com. "Going back to school and improving my stats was definitely something I was looking at, but at the end of the day, a lot of teams have said I've done a lot for myself in the pre-draft process, so I feel really good about it."
Roby said new NU head coach Fred Hoiberg was completely supportive of him every step of the way through the process, even when he broke the news that he wouldn't be coming back for his senior season.
"He's been great," Roby said. "I told him, and he said he totally understands and he kind of quickly talked about his experiences. He told me to enjoy it and that it was going to be one of the best times of your life. He was excited for me and said if there was anything he could do to help, he'd be glad to do it."
The 6-foot-8, 214-pound native of Dixon, Ill., ends his collegiate career after three seasons in Lincoln. His junior year was by far his best as a Husker, as he set career highs in points (11.8 ppg), rebounds (6.9 rpg), assists (1.9 apg), and steals (1.3 spg) to go along with 1.9 blocks per game over 35 starts.
Roby was the only player in the Big Ten Conference to rank in the top-10 nationally in both blocks and steals, and he posted three double-doubles and five 20-point games. He also reached some elite company by joining only Venson Hamilton (1997-98, 1998-99) as NU players to register at least 50 blocks and 50 assists in consecutive seasons.
Based on the feedback he's gotten so far, Roby said his steady increase in production over his college career and his performance during the NBA COmbine and team workouts has his draft stock right where he hoped it would be.
"That was the main piece of my decision going into it: obviously nothing is 100-percent guaranteed, but if I have a good chance at getting a good draft spot and securing an NBA contract, that's something I'm not going to pass up," Roby said.
"All my feedback has been pointing to that happening for me, so I feel really strongly about that."
Roby will now look to follow Hamilton's footsteps again at the 2019 NBA Draft, which is set for Thursday, June 20th at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.
Nebraska hasn't had a player drafted to the NBA since Hamilton was selected by the Houston Rockets in the second round (50th overall) in 1999. Only four Huskers have been drafted since 1987:
1991 - Rich King (first round, 14th overall, Seattle SuperSonics)
1994 - Eric Piatkowski (first, 15th, Los Angeles Clippers via Indiana Pacers)
1998 - Tyronn Lue (first, 23rd, Los Angeles Lakers via Denver Nuggets)
1999 - Venson Hamilton (second, 50th, Houston Rockets)
Looking back in his three years at Nebraska, Roby said he'd grown significantly on and off the court, and his experiences in Lincoln have prepared him to make the jump to the next step of his career.
"It's been kind of a roller coaster career," Roby said. "I think at the end of the day, the biggest thing I'm going to take away from my time at Nebraska is I feel like I left the program better than when I came here. I'm excited about the direction they're going, and I'm excited to know I left my impact on the program."