Honors & Awards
- Big Ten Sportsmanship Award (2019)
- Nebraska Scholar-Athlete Honor Roll (Spring 2017)
- Tom Osborne Citizenship Team (2017, 2019)
It was no coincidence that Nebraska took off once Isaiah Roby was inserted into the starting lineup in mid-January. The 6-foot-8 junior forward emerged as one of the Huskers’ primary options over the final two months of the season. Roby, who led NU in both rebounding (6.3 rpg) and blocked shots (2.0 bpg), closed the year with a flourish. Over the Huskers’ final eight games, Roby averaged 13.0 points, 8.8 rebounds and 2.6 blocks per game, recording three of his four double-doubles in that stretch. With a 7-1 wingspan, Roby helped anchor a Husker defense that ranked seventh nationally in blocked shots and finished second in the conference in field goal percentage during Big Ten play. He also possesses a unique skillset with his length and basketball IQ. Roby joined 2018 Big Ten Player of the Year Keita Bates-Diop, as the only conference players to total more than 50 assists and blocked shots. As he enters his junior campaign, Roby has worked to add additonal strength to while expanding his shooting touch. He showed the ability to knock down 3-pointers as a sophomore, hitting 41 percent from beyond the arch, including 11-of-21 in Big Ten games. If he continues to make strides and stays healthy, Roby has the potential to be an All-Big Ten performer in 2018-19.
Roby emerged as a difference maker for the Huskers, especially during the second half of the 2017-18 campaign. Roby averaged 8.7 points on a team best 57 percent shooting, topping Nebraska in both rebounding (6.3 rpg) and blocked shots (2.0 bpg). He finished fourth in the Big Ten in blocks, as his 63 blocks were the most by a Husker since 2001. Roby joined Ohio State’s Keita Bates-Diop as the only Big Ten players to total at least 50 blocks and 50 assists in 2017-18. Roby led NU with four double-doubles and reached double figures 16 times. Roby played some of his best basketball over the final six weeks of the season, averaging 13.0 points on 63 percent shooting along with 8.8 rebounds and 2.6 blocks per game over his final eight games. Roby closed the season with a pair of strong performances in the postseason. He led the Huskers in scoring (16), rebounds (seven) and blocks (five) in the Big Ten Tournament against Michigan on March 2, and nearly had a double-double with 10 points and eight caroms at Mississippi State on March 14.
In Big Ten play, Roby made 12 starts and averaged 9.3 points on 61 percent shooting, and team best in rebounds (6.9 rpg) and blocks (1.8 bpg), as he was third in the Big Ten in blocked shots, sixth in field goal percentage and 10th in rebounding. He reached double figures 11 times, highlighted by a career-high 19-point performance at Minnesota on Feb. 6. In that game, Roby went 8-of-10 from the floor and added eight rebounds and five blocked shots. He followed that performance with three consecutive double-doubles (10 points/11 rebounds vs. Rutgers; 11 points/10 rebounds vs. Maryland; 14 points/10 rebounds at Illinois) from Feb. 10-20.
Roby began the year with a flourish, setting then-personal bests with 11 points, 13 rebounds and six blocked shots against Eastern Illinois on Nov. 11. He followed by putting up double-figure efforts in wins over North Texas (Nov. 13) and North Dakota (Nov. 19). Roby was slowed by a sprained ankle suffered against Long Beach State on Nov. 26 before regaining his form late in non-conference action. He had 10 points, including a pair of 3-pointers, in 13 minutes at Creighton before adding eight points, six rebounds and four blocked shots vs. No. 13 Kansas on Dec. 16.
Roby had a late start because of an offseason injury, but was an essential part of the Huskers' rotation as a freshman. He played in 30 games, including four starts, and averaged 3.1 points and 2.9 rebounds per game. Roby ranked third on the team with 25 blocked shots, as his blocks total was the fifth highest by a Husker freshman.
Roby started to emerge in Big Ten play despite averaging just 3.3 points and 3.4 rebounds per game. He led the Huskers in blocked shots (17) while playing just 16.5 minutes per game. Roby closed Big Ten play with his best effort of the year, scoring a season-high 10 points on 4-of-5 shooting against Michigan on March 5. He put together his best stretch of games in back-to-back performances against No. 9 Wisconsin and Penn State. Against the Badgers, he had four points, a season-high eight rebounds, three blocked shots and two steals in 15 minutes. Against Penn State on Feb. 14, he had six points on 3-of-4 shooting and two rebounds before suffering a sprained ankle. Roby keyed NU's win at No. 16 Indiana on Dec. 28 with eight points, six rebounds and three assists in 21 minutes, highlighted by a dunk featured on SportsCenter's top-10 plays of the day. He earned extensive playing time while Ed Morrow Jr. was injured and made four starts in Big Ten action. Roby set season bests in both rebounds (eight) and blocked shots (four) against Ohio State on Jan. 18.
Roby, who missed nearly three months of work with a pelvic injury, was eased into action during non-conference action.His best performance came against South Dakota on Dec. 5 when he had eight points and two boards in 18 minutes of work.
Roby starred for Coach Jason Mead at Dixon High School, finishing his career as the school’s No. 2 all-time leading scorer with 1,328 points while setting school records in both rebounds (939) and blocked shots (327). Roby also finished fourth in school history with 366 assists. He was a four-star recruit by Scout, 247 and Rivals, which ranked him No. 114 in the class of 2016.
As a senior, he averaged 19.7 points, 10.5 rebounds, 5.5 assists and 3.9 blocks per game to lead Dixon to a 25-4 mark. He was a second-team all-state (all classes) by the Chicago Sun-Times and a first-team Class 3A all-state by the Chicago Tribune. His best performances were a 24-point, 16-rebound, 10-assist performance against Christ the King and a 13-point, 23-rebound, 15-blocked shot effort against Burlington Central.
As a junior, Roby was a second-team all-state Class 3A selection by the AP and a second-team all-state in Classes 3A/4A by the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association. He led Dixon to a 28-2 record and a regional finals appearance in 2014-15. Roby averaged 12.5 points, 9.8 rebounds, 3.8 assists, 2.6 steals and 3.7 blocks per game as a junior, highlighted by a triple-double of 23 points, 11 rebounds and 10 blocked shots in one game. As a sophomore, Roby showed his all-around game, averaging 10.6 points, 8.7 rebounds, 3.1 blocks, 2.7 assists and 1.9 steals per game in helping the school improve from three to 23 wins and earn the school’s first district title since 1986. He played AAU ball for the Quad City Elite and coach Logan Wynn, and also saw time with the Spiece Indy Heat in the EYBL.
In addition to his basketball exploits, Roby lettered twice in track and placed fourth in the high jump in the Illinois Class 2A meet in 2016.
Isaiah committed to Nebraska in October of 2014, and also looked at Iowa, Georgia and Creighton among numerous schools.
Isaiah is the son of Danielle and Roderick Roby and was born on Feb. 3, 1998, in Dixon, Ill. He has four brothers, Donovan, Ellis, Drew and Kordae. Isaiah majors in management at Nebraska.