Colorado State's David Roddy declares for NBA draft, but will keep option to return to school open

Colorado State junior David Roddy will enter the 2022 NBA draft but will maintain his college eligibility and retain the option to return to school, he told ESPN on Wednesday.

"This process is a great opportunity for me to get feedback on what I need to improve and test myself against other draft prospects," he said.

Roddy, the No. 31 prospect in the ESPN 100, was named Associated Press All-America honorable mention and Mountain West conference player of the year after averaging 19.4 points, 7.5 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 1.2 steals and 1.0 blocks in 33 minutes per game.

He helped lead Colorado State to its first NCAA tournament appearance in nine years as a No. 6 seed, highest in school history.

"The amount of hard work that was put in over the offseason was something special, and for it to all pay off in a tournament appearance was an unforgettable feeling. NBA teams saw all the different facets of my game, from shooting, passing, defending 1 to 5, and leading a team. They saw a lot of winning plays and dirty work. I hope they saw a kid with heart that can learn a lot more and get better at a very fast pace."

Roddy was an all-state quarterback in high school, drawing Division I scholarship offers in football as well. He has a unique physical profile for an NBA prospect, standing 6-foot-6 and 260 pounds, and seeing most of his minutes at power forward and center for Colorado State.

"NBA teams can learn a lot from my journey. I had to earn everything that I have achieved and nothing was given to me. I have gone through a lot of adversity and thrived in every role you can have on a team. From being a sixth man to just a shooter to the leading scorer and vocal leader of a team, there are several important aspects that can help better an NBA organization. Being under the radar helps with motivation and my drive to compete.

Roddy made dramatic improvements with his perimeter game as a junior, shooting 44% for 3, finishing second on his team in assists and emerging as one of the most dangerous mismatches in the college game. Roddy put himself on NBA scouts' radar early in the season with a 36-point outing in a win over Creighton, going 7-for-10 from beyond the arc. He had a dominant season in the Mountain West, which sent four teams to the NCAA tournament, helping him become one of just 24 players to be named an AP All-America honorable mention.

Roddy's ability to punish smaller players inside the paint, shoot out of a variety of actions and create offense for himself and others handling the ball in transition or the pick-and-roll is intriguing to NBA scouts projecting to the modern game, drawing comparisons to players like Grant Williams and Talen Horton-Tucker.

"I am looking forward to showing NBA teams that I can thrive in any situation. Whether the pace is slow or fast, free-flowing or stagnant, there are so many facets and intricacies that I have learned over time that will help me be one of the best and most important players on the court. But mostly I am just excited to chase a childhood dream and make it a reality."

The NBA draft combine will be held May 16-22 in Chicago, and the draft will be June 23 in Brooklyn, New York.

Jonathan Givony is an NBA draft expert and the founder and co-owner of DraftExpress.com, a private scouting and analytics service used by NBA, NCAA and international teams.