There is a lot to talk about here. While Brandon Roy has always been talented, it wasnt until his senior season that he put everything together and became a legitimate star. 2006 has been a truly breakout season for Roy, and he has become one of the most well-rounded (perhaps the most well-rounded) and versatile players in the country.
Roys main weapon, and the aspect of his game that has kept scouts intrigued over the years, is his ability to create off the dribble. His smooth, patient manner of breaking defenses down is nearly impossible to deal with on the college level. He has a nice first step and usually has no trouble getting a shoulder past his defender. Once he gets that step, defenses are in trouble. Roy can slash all the way to the basket or find his teammates as well as any player in the country.
Roy has a beautiful midrange pull-up jumper. He is able to nail the traditional, jumpstop 15 footer with ease. As he gets closer to the basket, that textbook shot becomes more of a one-handed floater that is almost impossible to block. At the rim, Roy finishes creatively, and in a variety of ways. He is very aware of where the shot blockers are and will hang in the air, switch hands, or reverse angles to get a shot off.
Of course, what makes Roy really dangerous is the fact that he almost never forces these slashing moves. He is patient enough that when he sees help defense closing in, he immediately looks to find the open man - even if hes already in the air or his teammate isnt within his peripheral vision. For this reason, he is averaging over 4 assists per game on the season, and has a sparkling 1.8-1 Ast/TO ratio.
There is even some question as to whether Roy might be able to play a bit of PG on the next level. His court vision is first rate, and he has a calm, collected presence with the ball in his hands. Roy rarely commits turnovers or makes mistakes in creating situations.
The silky smooth way in which he picks apart defenses is undeniably effective.
The old knock on Brandon Roy was his suspect outside shot. He has always been able to make a difference closer to the basket, but what NBA team wants a shooting guard that whose effectiveness is limited to within 15 feet of the hoop?
Roy is a much better shooter this season, adding range well past the college 3-point line (35% on 20 attempts last season, 39% on 78 attempts so far this season). This has really opened up his game. Where he was once a very nice complementary player, he is now a feared go-to scoring force. Roy will always get the ball in clutch situations for the Huskies and has come through with big plays on numerous occasions, whether it is a contested outside jumper or a beautiful look to a teammate.
Another aspect of Roys offensive game that has to be discussed is his ability to post up. He is very comfortable taking smaller guards into the paint and backing them down. Once again, we see Roys excellent court awareness come into play. If help approaches, he will locate the open man and deliver the ball. If allowed to continue backing down his man, he is more than capable of turning and elevating for a turnaround J.
On offense, we see a player that can do almost everything. Whether it is handling the ball, creating for teammates, creating his own shot, or hitting the perimeter J, Roy is capable.
On defense, we see this same versatility. Roy has guarded four positions very effectively throughout his career, and is just as comfortable checking a point guard as he is a wing. His most notable defensive exploit this season was probably locking up UCLA PG Jordan Farmar, forcing the sophomore into one of his worst games of the season (2-13 shooting, 7 TOs).
In the end, Brandon Roy is such an effective player because there really arent any weaknesses in his game. While he is certainly the go-to scorer for Lorenzo Romar this season, he is just as comfortable blending in and getting his teammates open looks. Roy hasnt taken 20 shots in a game since December, and has only passed that mark twice all season. Roy is a physical rebounder (nearly 6 per game), an on-court leader, and an efficient shooter (50% from the floor, 80% from the line).
While it has taken him four seasons to get here, the question now must be asked: whats not to like about Brandon Roy?
If we have to pinpoint a weakness in Roys game, it might be the lack of a standout trait that he can bank on at the next level. While Roy is certainly spectacular off the dribble, he doesnt have that blow-by explosiveness or dunk contest leaping ability of a star NBA wing. He has the ability to handle the ball and create for his teammates, but he probably wont be playing full-time PG in the NBA.
For this reason, Roy may project as a consummate roleplayer type at the next level, as opposed to a full out star.
While Roys range has improved, he can still work on making his 3-point shot a more consistent part of his repertoire. Roy still doesnt look to shoot the longball very often, and that will likely have to change at the next level.
In addition, while Roys ability to blend in to his teams offense is definitely a positive, sometimes his play borders on passive. Washington has relied on Roy as a go-to scorer all season, but there are times when he is too willing to let other players dominate the ball. This is far from a major gripe, as he likely will be playing a complimentary role in the NBA, but he certainly could take over a bit more often at the NCAA level.
The biggest issue for Roy has to do with his bad knee, which has bothered him for quite some time now. It really hampered him early last season, and a couple of surgeries may have robbed him of a bit of explosiveness. While Roy probably isnt in the same category of a Kennedy Winston, you can bet that his knee will get lots of attention from NBA teams.
Brandon Roy plays in the Pac-10, a league long-regarded as one of the nations finest, but one that has been considered down over the past several seasons. With Washingtons eight game win streak to end the season and Roys impressive individual numbers, expect him to take home the Pac-10 Player of the Year honors.
Roys career as a Husky got a late start, after academic issues and amateurism questions by the NCAA held him out well into January of his freshman season (2003). He still managed to play a significant role, and showed flashes of stardom down the stretch. Averaged 6.1 ppg and 2.9 rpg, while 50% from the floor in 17.2 mpg.
2004 saw the Huskies return to the NCAA Tournament, on the backs of a 4 guard lineup consisting of Will Conroy, Nate Robinson, Roy, and Bobby Jones. Roy once again showed flashes, but it was Robinson that emerged as a go-to presence down the stretch. On the season, Roy averaged 12.9 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 3.3 apg, and shot 48% from the floor in 30.3 mpg.
After averaging 24 ppg in his first two games as a junior, Roy tore the meniscus in his left knee. He missed 9 games in total, and never fully regained his starting role. Despite players like Robinson and Tre Simmons emerging as the go-to scorers, Roy managed to remain productive. He shot 56.5% from the field, and averaged 12.8 ppg, 5.0 rpg, and 2.2 apg in just 24.2 mpg. Roy averaged 15.3 ppg in three NCAA Tournament games.
With scorers Robinson and Simmons and playmaker Conroy gone, Roy has emerged as Washingtons do-everything star in 2006. He began Pac-10 play with a bang, scoring 35 points in back to back games against the Arizona schools. His clutch efforts against Arizona ended up coming in defeat, but his overall performance should be recognized as one of the top individual showings of the season.
Roy has improved his 3-point shooting (38.5%) significantly, and has come through in the clutch time after time. The Huskies are currently the Pac-10s hottest team, winners of eight in a row, and now project to earn a top 5 seed in the NCAA Tournament. Roy is a likely First Team All-American, and is currently averaging 19.6 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 4.1 apg, and 1.3 spg while shooting 50.5% from the floor in 31.2 mpg.
Nobody has improved their draft stock more than Brandon Roy in 2006. Where injuries and talent around him have held him back in the past, Roy has now emerged as one of the top all-around players in the country. There is very little he doesnt do, whether it is creating his own shot, finding his teammates for open looks, defending just about any position, and showing up in the clutch when his team needs him most. His smooth, calm style of play makes him both effective and efficient. While Roy will need to prove that his knee is fully healed, he looks like one of the top wing prospects in the draft. He might not have the star potential that many younger prospects do, but Brandon Roy is a proven commodity and is perfectly suited to be a complementary type of starter at the NBA level. A selection in the mid to late lottery is very possible, as long as the knee checks out.
Roy very easily could have ended up somewhere other than Washington, after the coach that recruited him, Bob Bender, was fired. He originally picked the Huskies over Arizona and Gonzaga. He ended up declaring for the NBA Draft, taking advantage of a new rule that gave high schoolers the option to withdraw from the draft.
Roy ended up doing just that, and then decided to stick with new coach Lorenzo Romar at Washington. He then had academic and eligibility hurdles to overcome, but finally suited up for the Huskies on January 19.