Each day leading up to Orange Madness we will be releasing our player previews for the 2016-2017 Syracuse basketball season. Today’s player preview: Tyler Roberson.
The Syracuse Orange front-court hasn’t been this deep since the 2011-2012 campaign. Senior forward Tyler Roberson figures to be a staple in the aforementioned loaded front line this year. The tea leaves forecast Roberson as having a solid senior season after coming off a somewhat mercurial junior year. That’s not to understate Roberson’s meritorious 8.8 points and 8.5 rebounds per contest.
Roberson was at his best in the NCAA Tournament where he hauled in 56 rebounds in Syracuse’s run to the Final Four. He also played some of his best basketball against the best competition — Roberson scored 14 points and grabbed 20 rebounds at Duke last season and put up 9 and 11 at UNC. Consistency will be of major importance for Roberson in his final go-round.
This year Roberson will have a very similar role where he’ll be relied upon to rebound the ball and play solid defense. With a plethora of scorers in the fold, it’s unlikely that Syracuse will run much, if any offense through Roberson. Most of his baskets will come off of put-backs and screen and roll scenarios. His jumper — like Frank Howard — looks to be much improved but it remains to be seen how long of a leash Jim Boeheim will grant him. This summer Donna Ditota caught up with Roberson in his hometown. Take it for what it’s worth, but in his pickup runs he took jumpers with alacrity.
The challenge for Roberson will be to be “plugged-in Robie” all season long. Consistency is key and although Roberson had an overall successful junior campaign, he disappeared in some games. With Syracuse’s talent and depth, Roberson can afford to have an off night. But if he wants to be a fixture he’ll have to bring high energy every night. If he can improve his consistency, there’s no reason to think he can’t average a double-double. Here’s to hoping Roberson can connect on a few more plays this season like the one below.