Isaiah Roby became the highest drafted Nebraska men’s basketball player in 21 years, as he was a second-round selection during Thursday’s NBA Draft at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Roby was originally picked by the Detroit Pistons before his rights were traded to the Dallas Mavericks.
Roby, a 6-foot-8 forward from Dixon, Ill., was taken with the No. 45 overall pick, becoming the 27th Husker basketball player drafted and the first since Venson Hamilton in 1999. At No. 45, he was the highest Husker selected since Tyronn Lue was the No. 23 overall pick in 1998. Roby is just the sixth Husker basketball player selected in the first two rounds of the NBA Draft, joining Marvin Stewart (2nd, 1971), Rich King (1st, 1991), Eric Piatkowski (1st, 1994), Lue (1st, 1998) and Hamilton (2nd, 1999).
Roby was a mainstay in the Husker lineup for the past three years, helping the Huskers to consecutive postseason appearances in 2017-18 and 2018-19. He totaled 786 points, 530 rebounds and 154 blocked shots during his Husker career, as he finished sixth in school history in blocked shots.
He enjoyed a breakout 2018-19 campaign as Nebraska won 19 games and reached the second round of the NIT. Roby established career highs in scoring (11.8 ppg), rebounding (6.9 rpg), assists (1.9 apg) and steals (1.3 spg), while averaging 1.9 blocks per game. He made 35 starts last season and finished among the Big Ten leaders in blocked shots (third), steals (ninth) and rebounding (14th). Roby was the only Big Ten player to rank in the top 10 in the conference in both blocked shots and steals. Roby tallied three double-doubles – all in Big Ten action – and had a career high 28 points in Nebraska’s first-round NIT win over Butler. It was one of five 20-point games during his junior campaign. Roby’s 66 blocked shots tied for ninth in school history, and he joined Hamilton (1997-98 and 1998-99), as the only Huskers to put together consecutive seasons of at least 50 blocked shots and 50 assists.
Roby moved into the starting lineup midway through his sophomore season, sparking the Huskers to a 10-2 Big Ten finish, as Nebraska set a school record with 13 conference wins on its way to a 22-11 mark. He averaged 8.7 points and a team-high 6.3 rebounds per game while ranking fourth in the Big Ten in blocked shots at 2.0 per game. He also shot 40 percent from 3-point range, including 52 percent in conference action. Roby had four double-doubles as a sophomore, including three in conference play.
Roby will begin his professional career next month in the Las Vegas Summer League from July 5-15.