Incoming Syracuse Orange freshman Tyler Roberson will be joining the team coming off of a championship in the NJSIAA Tournament of Champions, helping Roselle Catholic to the victory. His 19 points were more than the difference in a 16-point win over St. Joseph (Metuchen), 65-49.
In his final high school season, Roberson averaged a double-double with 17.5 points and 11.7 rebounds per game. He also added over three blocks per game.
Along with playing, Roberson has also been paying attention to his soon-to-be alma mater. "Yeah I watched all the games," said Roberson, referring to the NCAA Tournament.
He saw signs in the 2-3 zone during the season foreshadowing later success. "I thought their defense was gonna be one of their reasons they made it so far," Roberson offered.
"I mean, it's one of the best I've seen all year, if not the best," he added, referring to Syracuse's defense.
Looking at his upcoming inaugural season in orange and blue, Roberson gave his thoughts on Michael Carter-Williams decision to enter the NBA Draft instead of joining him and the Orange for the 2013-14 campaign. "He's a really good player…I think he'll do good in the NBA," Roberson stated.
After looking at what could have been, Roberson switched to what will be. "Tyler Ennis is a really good player, so I think we'll be fine," Roberson shared.
"I seen him play a few times," he added. "He's a really good point guard. He gets his team involved. He knows how to control the game."
He played on the black team opposite Obokoh's white team in the most recent Jordan Brand Classic Regional game held at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, home of the NBA's Brooklyn Nets. Despite a 114-102 loss for his team, Roberson finished with a double-double performance above his season average, scoring 19 points and grabbing 13 rebounds.
Turning his focus to what is to come, Roberson shared, "I've been in the gym trying to get stronger, doing everything I can to be ready for next year," adding that this is the hardest he has ever trained.
"It's definitely special," said Roberson of being a part of Syracuse's first season in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC). "They're gonna be playing against Duke, North Carolina, and other really good schools."
Heading into the ACC without Carter-Williams, who Roberson noted he spent a good amount of time with on his official visit, he will still have C.J. Fair, who recently decided to return for his senior season. "It'll be a great thing because he's a really good player," Roberson expressed of Fair's return.
He believes going up against Orange veterans like Fair "will make me a better player".
As far as his relationships with the Syracuse staff, Roberson stated, "I keep in touch with pretty much all the coaches."
"I talk to coach [Mike] Hopkins a lot since he's the one that recruited me the most," Roberson added.
When asked about his response to Hopkins' deciding to remain with the Orange, Roberson responded, "I'm definitely happy because he's a great coach and I have a really good relationship with him."
As Orange head coach Jim Boeheim approaches 70 and 40 years as the team's head coach, the question about retirement continuously comes up. If Boeheim were to retire during his time at Syracuse, "It would be something I would have to think about," Roberson stated. "Right now I'm not worried."
Offering a look into his game, Roberson shared what he believes is his best attribute. "I think my versatility, just be able to post up or go on the perimeter," said Roberson.
"I've been working on my perimeter game a lot more…been spending a lot of time on it," he continued.
But he is not complacent, sharing that he continues to push himself to get better. "Right now I would have to say I guess more moves overall, whether it's me being in the mid range perimeter or post, having more counter moves," Roberson shared as the clock ticks ever closer to his inaugural season with the Orange.