It is really a good sign that Tyler Roberson has put together two good games against two of the best teams SU has or will face this season. Against Duke, the sophomore tallied 19 points and 10 rebounds. He then followed it up with 13 and 9 against Louisville, when he was guarded much of the night by Montrezl Harrell. The recent play has given SU hope of Roberson being a real player for them next year.
While opponents have been focusing on Rakeem Christmas defensively all season, Roberson has finally taken advantage of this opportunity. However, all is not perfect with Roberson. Jim Boeheim still says he needs to develop any kind of jump shot. When Rak is doubled, Roberson is left all alone on the wing and is no threat to shoot and make it. He remains a non-threat from the outside. But the last few games he has begun taking the ball to the basket more and he has been effective finishing on the inside.
The question remains, why is Roberson having his two best games as Syracuse’s schedule gets more difficult? And the true answer is, that there is no answer. Sometimes players perform up to their competition. That could be what we are seeing.
With a monster recruiting class coming in, and the possibility of Thomas Bryant still lurking along with Chris McCullough and DaJuan Coleman set to come back, Roberson’s place on next year’s team was in question. Would he still be a starter? Would he come off the bench? Would he play?
It has become abundantly clear however that the potential is very much there. Roberson can be a great player, he just needed to learn how to play at a college level. Now that he has adjusted, and learned that he could not get by on pure athleticism, Roberson has shown that he can play well.
The Orange is in the middle of a very tough stretch to finish the season, and that continues Saturday against Pitt. If Roberson can continue to perform, it is a testament to his development and a great sign for next year.
Posted: Seth Goldberg