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NBA Daily: Kerwin Roach Counting On His Instincts

It’s going to be a busy next few weeks for Kerwin Roach II.

The senior point guard from Texas is in the process of preparing for the NBA Draft on June 20. He’s already had a workout with the Charlotte Hornets, attended the Portsmouth Invitational and he took part in the Pro Basketball Combine last week in Los Angeles.

Roach wasn’t invited to the NBA Draft Combine in Chicago, but at the PBC he still had the opportunity to showcase his talent in front of NBA and G League personnel. He was one of 24 players selected to take part in the PBC, and he ended up being one of the most impressive players there.

While it’s been an arduous process thus far, and he most likely will have more workouts on the horizon, it’s also an exciting time for Roach.

“It’s everything how they described it to me. It’s stressful, worrisome and tiring, but it’s also exciting, it’s your future at hand, you just got to seize the opportunity,” Roach told Basketball Insiders. “It’s all of the above to be honest, just going through it every day it just makes you a better player, it shows that your motivation level is very high. It’s something that you really want to do, it shows your commitment level.”

In a way, this isn’t something brand new for Roach. After he completed his junior year at Texas, he opted to test the NBA Draft waters last summer. He didn’t hire an agent, thus at the time allowing him to return to school.

After receiving feedback on his possible draft status, he chose to withdraw his name from draft consideration. He also suffered a minor injury that played a factor in his decision to return to school. This time around, he feels as if testing the process last summer prepared him for this.

“Just going through it last year, I feel like just going through the one workout I did last year before I hurt my groin was pretty insightful,” Roach told Basketball Insiders. “It was a good experience and it just gave me a good little taste of what it is, what the workouts are, and how it’s going to go. Everyone is different, but it gave me a good taste of how it was going to go.”

During his four years at Texas, Roach developed into a player who can switch between both guard positions. When he first arrived at Texas, he was little more than an energy guy that was able to lock down anyone on the perimeter.

As he continued to improve, he became one of the best playmakers on the team and his scoring started to come around as well. Not only was he an explosive athlete, but he was also starting to show an all-around floor game as well.

At the PBC, he recorded a max vertical of 45 inches. That measurement would have been the top measurement at the NBA Combine. Roach is confident that what he’s been able to display on the court to this point would definitely translate to the NBA.

“Off the bat, just defense, defensive intensity and energy, I can bring that every day. It’s something I can control, something I’m very good at, I just got to go out there and do it, show that I can guard one through three,” Roach told Basketball Insiders. “Other than that, I feel like my pick and roll game is pretty good, my spot up, my catch and shoot, just going by the numbers. I feel like those things will get me on the court.”

In today’s NBA game, more and more players are starting to become more well-rounded. It’s less about what position a player plays, and more about what they can bring on the court. Versatility is key and that’s exactly what Roach believes he’s able to bring.

He can score if need be, he has a good outside shot and his athleticism helps him in attacking the rim. But he also is able to be a facilitator and make plays for his teammates. It’s not only offensively where his versatility stands out. His defensive ability enables him to guard multiple positions from point guards to small forwards.

“Nowadays it’s positionless basketball. You got 6-9 guys out there passing like they’re point guards, you got centers out there that’s dribbling the ball, it’s really positionless basketball,” Roach told Basketball Insiders. “You just want to be as versatile as you can, you don’t want to put no limit on yourself. Whatever the team needs, I can provide.”

To be able to switch between both guard spots is a unique talent. Players need to be able to shoot and score like a shooting guard, but at the same time have the floor leadership and court awareness of a point guard. To find that balance can be a bit tricky.

It’s one of Roach’s top skills, however. He knows when he needs to facilitate and make plays for his teammates and when to make the switch and take over a game with his offense. At the end of the day, it’s just basketball.

“I just go out there and play basketball, just read and react. That’s all the game really is, read and react and instincts,” Roach told Basketball Insiders. “At the point guard spot, you still want to be aggressive, you still want to get in the paint. At the same time, you just got to know that with playing one-on-one, there’s going to be a lot of eyes looking at you, somebody’s going to be open.

“But with someone else creating for you, you get to drive off the ball, catch and shoot, that’s pretty much read and react. That’s basketball at the end of the day. You just got to have good instincts and a good feel about it.”

And Roach is hoping that those instincts, and that feel he has for the game, will lead to Adam Silver calling his name on June 20.

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