Roberson plays season-high 14 minutes, shows noticeable improvement

first_imgTyler Roberson collected a rebound midway through the first half and paused in the paint. The rest of his Syracuse teammates abandoned him and ran upcourt which left him alone in an unfamiliar situation.“Dribble!” yelled Michael Gbinije.He didn’t. Instead Tyler Ennis ran back and Roberson hit him with an outlet pass.The freshman forward may not be totally comfortable yet, but he made noticeable strides in No. 2 Syracuse’s (13-0) 70-48 win over Eastern Michigan (7-5) in the Carrier Dome on Tuesday. Roberson tied his career high with 14 minutes and finished with six points, five rebounds and an assist.With DaJuan Coleman out with a left leg contusion, Roberson could see an increase in minutes as the third forward in the rotation, and proved Tuesday that he could be a viable stopgap.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“Tonight he was good,” SU head coach Jim Boeheim said. “He got some rebounds, he made a couple of positive moves and a real good pass. A lot of positive things tonight.”Roberson played four minutes in SU’s 78-62 win over then-No. 8 Villanova on Saturday, and Boeheim said that he didn’t maximize his opportunities with Coleman hurt and Rakeem Christmas in foul trouble. The head coach said that Roberson gave up two easy layups to the Wildcats, didn’t rebound well and “was lost.”But Roberson looked comfortable against the Eagles. He was alert on the wing of Syracuse’s zone and effective in the high post on offense. He even threw a wrap-around pass to Christmas that got Boeheim to hop in the air before giving the freshman a casual point.“It’s just good to get out there,” Roberson said. “I’m starting to feel more and more comfortable.”Roberson still looked hesitant to shoot when he caught the ball in space. He attempted one jump shot in the first half that hit the back rim but said that “the jumper’s there, just need to keep shooting.”With 3:18 left, fellow freshmen Ron Patterson and B.J. Johnson joined Roberson on the court. After a hectic out-of-bounds save by Patterson led to a Johnson 3, Patterson set up Roberson with a floater in the paint.All three freshman reserves got their names in the box score Tuesday, and Roberson led the way with his most assuring performance of the season.“I was proud of them today,” SU forward C.J. Fair said of the freshmen. “Tyler was confident and that was good for us.” Comments Published on December 31, 2013 at 9:09 pm Contact Jesse: [email protected] | @dougherty_jesse Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more