Texas Longhorns guard Kerwin Roach II will test the waters of the NBA Draft while retaining the potential to return to school by not hiring an agent, the school announced on Tuesday.
“My family and I talked with Coach Smart and we have all decided that it is best for me to test the waters,” Roach said. “We want to see where I may stand in this year’s draft, but we’re also keeping all options open. We want to get the most accurate feedback directly from the NBA, so we can make the best decision for my future.”
Last year, fellow guard Andrew Jones went through the same process, attending the NBA Draft combine and soliciting feedback from scouts before deciding to return to school.
The next step for Roach is to secure that coveted invite to the combine, which is likely. That event will take place from May 16-20. After the combine, Texas may not know about Roach’s plans until the early entrant withdrawal deadline, which is on June 11, 10 days before the draft.
Jones reportedly wanted a first-round guarantee to stay in the draft, but Roach might be happy with an early second-round grade. Right now, he’s just focused on getting that invaluable evaluation.
“I haven’t thought about that,” he said on Tuesday when asked about a decision regarding his future. “My family and I haven’t really discussed that. Right now, we just want as much information and feedback as we can get. That’s the main idea, main objective right now, and to correct the areas they say I’m lacking in.”
The 6’4, 180-pounder started 31 of his the 34 games in which he appeared this season, leading the team in steals (47) and ranking second in assists (115). At 12.3 points per game, Roach finished third among Longhorns in that category and topped the 20-point mark five times.
The losses of Jones to a leukemia diagnosis and fellow junior guard Eric Davis Jr. to allegations of accepting improper benefits thrust Roach into a big role late in the season. He responded, improving his three-point shooting and becoming a reliable late-game performer off the bounce.
In the NCAA tournament against Nevada, that improvement was on full display, as Roach scored a career-high 26 points and hit 6-of-10 three-pointers. Over the last 17 games, he led the team in scoring at 14.7 points per game while shooting 40.5 percent from distance.