Syracuse has moved to 2-0 on the season with a 65-47 win over the visiting Hampton Pirates, Sunday.
The game was close until the end when the Orange pulled away. However, something that did seem convincing as the game went on is that B.J. Johnson will have a bigger role on this team than Tyler Roberson.
About two minutes into the game, Roberson was taken out. Johnson took his spot, and played pretty well. He scored eight points, knocking down a couple of three pointers, to go along with five rebounds. But bigger than that, Johnson spaces the floor much better than Roberson does.
Johnson has a much smoother shot than Roberson, and is not reluctant to shoot when he gets the ball. Roberson had multiple open shot attempts and did not take the shots. Roberson seems stiffer on the defensive end than Johnson. All in all, Johnson brings more to the court than Roberson at this point.
One Fizz follower on Twitter questioned whether Johnson was a good enough rebounder to hold his own for an extended period of time. When the Orange went small, with Michael Gbinije and Johnson as the two forwards, Johnson stepped up his rebounding game and grabbed some key boards.
After the game, head coach Jim Boeheim was asked what the biggest difference in BJ Johnson’s game was that Jerami Grant and CJ Fair weren’t in the program to take the minutes. After that, the Fizz asked Johnson what he thought and he seemed to agree, adding that Boeheim notices the “little things” he does and the work that he puts in at practice by rewarding him with more game minutes.
With the way Johnson and Roberson have played so far, it shouldn’t be a surprise if Johnson takes a spot in the starting role later in the year.
Posted: Seth Goldberg