Kerwin Roach II is a 6’4” senior combo guard for the Texas Longhorns. Roach is one of the most explosive athletes in college basketball, with a rare combination of straight-line speed, lateral quickness, accelerative burst, and vertical bounce. These physical attributes have contributed to Roach being tagged as a high upside prospect since his freshman year, with scouts hoping to see him round out his game with refined, translatable ball skills and decision-making. Although pure athleticism remains his most prominent differentiator as a prospect, Roach has shown that there’s certainly more to his game.
Tale of the Tape
Pick-and-Roll Handler Acumen
Kerwin Roach II is not the primary ball-handler for Texas this season, however, Shaka Smart’s offense runs a high volume of sets that lead to Roach initiating a side pick-and-roll as a secondary creator. Roach ranks in the 82nd percentile as a pick-and-roll initiator this season (1.028 PPP on 144 possessions), while turning it over only 11.8% of the time. Approximately two-thirds of these possessions result in the pick-and-roll coverage hard-committing to stopping Roach as means to prevent him from turning the corner and utilizing his burst and explosiveness to attack the rim. Roach has excelled at countering this defensive strategy by reading the off-ball defenders and distributing to the open man.
In the clips below, we highlight Roach’s ability to read pick-and-roll coverages and pinpoint the defense’s vulnerability.
Continued efficiency and progression as a pick-and-roll handler would help sure up Roach’s case to function as a second-unit lead guard at the next level.
Standing at 6’4” with relatively average length and a thin frame, Roach doesn’t appear, at first glance, to be an overwhelmingly special athlete. As we touched on in the notes above, however, Roach’s athleticism is functional, multifaceted, and truly elite as a combo guard prospect. One area of Roach’s game where his athleticism manifests itself is his explosiveness attacking the rim. He combines the burst of his first step with subsequent stride length, downhill acceleration, and vertical explosiveness as both a one and two foot jumper.
Roach ranks in the 91st percentile as a non-post-up finisher around the basket (1.471 PPP on 34 possessions).
In the clips below, we highlight Roach’s ability to utilize his athletic tools to penetrate the paint and finish over rim protectors. His quick-twitch athleticism allows him to get off the ground quickly, hang in the air, and acrobatically finish through or around the defense.
Kerwin Roach II had the best performance of his career (32 points, 7 assists, 6 rebounds, and 4 steals on a 12-of-15 shooting clip) earlier this season in a high profile match-up against North Carolina, with many NBA scouts and executives in attendance. Roach went toe-to-toe with likely first-round combo guard, Coby White, and lead the Longhorns to victory. This impressive showing almost certainly made an impression on some of the NBA personnel in attendance.
Roach has all of the physical tools to seamlessly adjust to competing with bigger, faster NBA athletes. Roach’s explosiveness, in conjunction with flashes of improved ball skills and decision-making, provide him with a very good chance to hear his name called on draft night. Tightening up his shot mechanics and becoming a more efficient, consistent player on both ends of the court would help solidify his draft case. Roach is likely a 2nd round flier for a team with a strong player development program in need of back-court depth.