Roby Anxious For Senior Season

With the official start of pre-season practices set for Friday, BSN spoke recently with Colorado senior Richard Roby about the team's summer conditioning, learning coach Jeff Bzdelik's new offensive system and the upcoming CU basketball season.

While the team will open its official practices Friday, they've been allowed to hold two hours of pre-season workouts per week the past few weeks. BSN spoke with Richard Roby following one of the recent workouts.

BSN: How have your pre-season workouts gone?
: Everything's starting to come together. We've still got long ways to go, but everybody's real eager to learn. Guys are pushing each other. That's what we need.

BSN: How was your offseason conditioning?
: It was great. This is the most conditioning and running I've done in an offseason. As a team, and by myself. Coach Bzdelik really preaches that being in better condition than a team you're playing against is always key. That'll always help you, to be able to play the last minute like the first minute of the game.

BSN: What did you do that was different?
: In the summertime we were running four or five miles (at a time). Years before that, we really never did too much running in the summertime.

BSN: Where did you do that?
: We ran in here (Balch Fieldhouse), and we ran down by the Boulder Creek.

BSN: So you'd run four or five miles just doing laps in here?
: Yeah. It gets boring. That's why we asked if we could run outside so we could at least see the scenery.

BSN: Obviously, there's a new coach, new staff, but how do things feel different going into your senior year than in years past?
: We have more of a sense of urgency. He brings a sense of urgency with him. He's not here to turn us into a winning team three or four years from now. He wants to win now. Everybody has that type of attitude.

This is my last year, Marcus (Hall's) last year. As seniors, we really try to push these guys. We want to go out with a winning season. This is our last go around; we're not going to take anybody doing anything less than that. It's a team thing, everybody has to go 100 percent.

BSN: Everybody talks about Coach Bzdelik's offense, and how that's going to be different than what you've done in the past. In your words, how is it different?
: Just discipline wise, we're not going to allow bad shots. If you run it over and over again, you're going to get a good shot. When you're getting good shots and doing well on offense, that carries over to defense. If you take a bad shot, it usually leads into the other team getting layups. It all factors in to winning ballgames.

BSN: You've always been good away from the ball. How is this going to impact your game?
: Guys like to deny and pressure me. It's going to be tough to deny me because there's so much open court, so much open space. It allows us to drive, gives us angles, the back door. It makes me harder to guard as an offensive player.

BSN: How long before you guys really get this new offense in your blood to where it becomes second nature?
: I think by the time the first exhibition game we're going to have this thing down. He's always going to add things on throughout the year, but we really have the basics down now. We're learning all the counters, what do we do when guys deny. Just all the little things we have to plug in.

BSN: Tell me about the three freshmen, Levi Knutson, Caleb Patterson and Cory Higgins.
: Levi, he's a dead-eye shooter. And he can also finish with both hands above the rim. He's going to thrive in this offense.

Cory's a real long athlete. One of the better defenders on the team. Can hit open shots.

Caleb has a lot of talent. He just has to fill in and get used to the physicality of the game. But he has a huge upside.

BSN: What will it be like having Marcus Hall back on the team?
: He's a fifth-year senior. He brings a lot of experience and a lot of leadership. I know it's very tough for any player to sit out, especially when they're struggling. But I think that just helped him for this year. He felt what it was like to sit out. Now he's eager to get on the court, and he'll bring a lot of enthusiasm.

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