Texas guard Kerwin Roach II (12) celebrates a win over against West Virginia 87-79 in the NCAA Game on Saturday, March 3, 2018. RICARDO B. BRAZZIELL / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Men's Basketball

Kerwin Roach on testing the NBA waters: ‘It’s a great way to get feedback, which is key’

Longhorns junior will not sign with an agent, thereby protecting his amateur status if he chooses to return

Posted March 27th, 2018

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Texas guard Kerwin Roach II hasn’t decided to go pro. He hasn’t decided to return for his senior season with the Longhorns. He hasn’t decided anything, really.

Roach simply wants to see where he stands with NBA decision-makers. To get the ball rolling, the 6-foot-4 junior declared for the NBA draft on Tuesday, but Roach will not sign with an agent, thereby protecting his amateur status.

Texas guard Kerwin Roach II (12) shoots over Oklahoma State guard Lindy Waters III (21) during an NCAA college basketball game in Austin, Texas, on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018. NICK WAGNER / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

“It’s a great opportunity for yourself,” Roach said just before a workout inside Cooley Pavilion. “It’s a great way to get feedback, which is key. So you might as well get information while it’s available.”

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The NCAA changed the rules last year specifically for guys like Roach. Players could participate in private NBA workouts, hear directly from general managers and then make a decision whether to go pro or go back to school — provided they did not sign with an agent.

Andrew Jones did this exact thing last spring after his freshman season. Jones went to Chicago, participated in the NBA scouting combine and then chose to come back to UT.

As for whether Roach has decided on his future, he said, “I haven’t thought about that. My family and I haven’t really discussed that.

“Right now, we just want as much information and feedback as we can get,” Roach said. “That’s the main idea, main objective right now, and to correct the areas they say I’m lacking in.”

Roach had a career-year scoring wise this past season with the Horns. He averaged 12.4 points per game and piled up a career-high 26 points against Nevada in the NCAA Tournament. He’s a 33-percent shooter from 3-point range and hit 63.6 percent from the free-throw line.

Roach is known for defense. He routinely guarded the opposing team’s best offensive player. Former teammate Mo Bamba said Tuesday that Roach does things “that don’t show up in the stat sheet” by playing defense. But Roach could be inconsistent on that end, too.

NBA GMs pull no punches, and Roach really doesn’t want them to. He hopes to be invited to the NBA scouting combine in Chicago to showcase his skills. Then, Roach and his family can make a decision, he said.

“I got some feedback that I was inconsistent throughout the season with free throw shooting and ball handling,” Roach said. “These workouts coming up, that’s what I’m going to show them.”

Contact Brian Davis at 512-445-3957. Email bdavis@statesman.com.

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