Roberson pieces together ‘Cuse class

Tyler Roberson's commitment gives the Syracuse Orange a very balanced and impressive five man recruiting class.

With the news that Tyler Roberson picked the Syracuse Orange a lot of smiles were no doubt happening in Upstate New York. Roberson, who ranks No. 45 in the 2013 class, is now the fifth member of a class that pieces together quite well for Jim Boeheim.

If there is one thing that Boeheim has coveted without exception in his time as the head coach at Syracuse it is length on the defensive end. That is evident with this class. Ron Patterson has a 6-foot-10 wingspan on the wing, Tyler Ennis is a long point guard, Chinonso Obokoh is known for his length and athleticism down low, B.J. Johnson is a long and athletic wing, and now Roberson is the same.

Roberson especially fits the mold of a classic Syracuse forward. Throughout their history a combo forward has been a staple at the back of the vaunted Syracuse 2-3 zone, and then also on the offensive end creating mismatches in the up tempo style that the Orange prefer to play.

At 6-foot-8 Roberson is probably a little more comfortable playing the power forward position than playing small forward, but especially on offense he can do both. Much like current Syracuse forward C.J. Fair was in high school, Roberson will be effective on offense because of his skill and ability to do so many different things, and then on defense in a zone his lack of ability to guard a pure wing will be hidden somewhat.

With Roberson occupying that key position in the class, the other four prospects really fall into place in a typical Syracuse way. Ennis is a five-star point guard who controls everything. At 6-foot-2 he can bother people at the top of the zone, and then on offense he controls the pace and is comfortable in both the halfcourt and in transition.

On the wing Patterson and Johnson each bring a little something different to the table. Patterson is an older more physically mature wing who is a very capable catch and shoot guy. Johnson is a young guy with length who can get to the rim. Both are very good athletes, but offensively they are very different, and then on the defensive end, Johnson would play more of a forward spot while Patterson can really pressure the ball at the top of the zone.

Finally down low there is Obokoh, while he is raw, he can do one thing fairly well and that is block shots. Obokoh is a legit 6-foot-10 with very long arms and good athleticism. He has shown a fairly good natural instinct for how to block shots. Given Syracuse's depth down low, his offensive game will be given time to develop as others will handle the scoring load early.

While not filled with five-star prospects, this is definitely a very well put together class that does a good job of filling needs with players whose skills complement each other well. Now the question is can Syracuse turn this in to a top 10 class by landing five-star pivot man Dakari Johnson in the late signing period. If they do it will be a huge recruiting effort for Boeheim and his staff as they move to the ACC.


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