Team preview: Colorado

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(Information in this team report is as of October 1.)

Colorado junior guard Richard Roby knew he probably wasn't going to be drafted after his sophomore season, but he still wanted to go through the process.

So when Roby goes through the draft process again, he'll have a better understanding of what the NBA folk are looking for, and how he rates.

The 6-6, 205-pound Roby declared for the 2006 NBA draft after averaging 17.0 points and 5.5 rebounds for the Buffaloes last season.

He returned home to California, played ball, worked out and waited for invites from NBA teams.

"Richard had a pretty solid season last year, but you just don't know what every NBA team is looking for," Colorado coach Ricardo Patton said. "They liked his size and his athleticism and they think he's a tough guy with a great upside."

Roby had six workouts sessions. Those with the Lakers and Rockets (alongside Duke's J.J. Redick and Iowa State's Curtis Stinson) went particularly well.

"The Lakers said they thought if I went back to school, it would help a lot," Roby said. "One [Lakers official] told me, 'You have a ton of potential. You remind us of a young Allan Houston.' "

Good money, if you can get it. Though Houston no longer is in the league, the Knicks are still paying off a $100-million, six-year deal that made Houston the highest-paid player in franchise history.

Roby spoke briefly with NBA All-Star forward Kenyon Martin, who is his half-brother.

"He just explained to me what was going to go on [with workouts] and he would support me," Roby said.
When it came time to make a decision, Roby knew the cons would outweigh the pros as to whether he should go pro. Still, Roby has no regrets.

"I just kind of went with my gut," Roby said. "I figured if I go back, it will help me. I think I made the right decision. Mostly, it was a learning experience. Go and see where I was at, go through the process, so the next time I do it, I'll be more comfortable going through it.

"I was happy I decided to come back. It was more stressful doing that [NBA] stuff than playing in college, any day."

To retain his eligibility, Roby did not sign with an agent, took two correspondence courses from California during the spring semester and, after withdrawing his name from the draft, attended a summer school session in Boulder.

"There are so many [NCAA] limitations and rules, so you don't want to be ineligible for the next year," Roby said. "It was very difficult in that way."

Patton wanted Roby to return to school, of course. But Roby's decision to declare for the draft had Patton's blessing because of its execution.

"He always took the position that he really wanted to test the waters," Patton said. "He and his mom did a terrific job leaving the door open for his return. His mom was in constant contact with our academic people and just did a terrific job making sure all his academic work was in order."

Naturally, teammates and fans pleaded for Roby's return. Fans chanted as much during the final home game last year. Roby's head coach also had his preference.

"Coach just wanted what's best for me," Roby said. "He expressed that he wanted me to come back because he thought it would help me, but he was going to support me either way. I talked to him a lot and he had a lot of good input. But at the end of the day, it was up to me. It was my decision. I had to do what was best for me."