When you think of recent Syracuse Orange big-men, Terrence Roberts is a name that will emerge in your head. Whether it was his toughness on the floor, vocal leadership or determination to win at all costs; Roberts was a focal point of SU's program for four seasons. He came out of one of the winningest High School programs of all time, St. Anthony (N.J.), where he won the New Jersey Tournament of Champions his senior season.
Truth be told, Roberts has a ton of credibility and knows what he's talking about.
"In all honesty, I was baffled myself," when asked about Dajuan Coleman's lack of minutes in Wednesday's loss to Wisconsin. "I think the more he plays, the better he will get. He needs to get into a rhythm."
After Wednesday's loss, Coleman was visibly frustrated in the locker room. He spoke very few words, but when he did, they were meaningful. "I guess he (Boeheim) don't trust me out there," the 6-foot-9 center said.
"I understand DC's frustration completely," Roberts said. "He just has to hang in there and when he gets his opportunities, he has to show out. At the end of the day, I feel like coach Boeheim will only trust you as much as you trust yourself."
Jim Boeheim told reporters after the game that Coleman is healthy, and has reiterated time and time again he doesn't have a minutes limit.
Roberts sees it differently, "At this point, I personally kinda feel like Boeheim is just being very cautious with him, as far as over using him. He might want to make sure he gets through the entire season. I do believe the further down the line we get, the more he will be used, especially in the ACC schedule."
An interesting piece of information that Roberts shared was how he would put matters into his own hands at times. "If it was me, I would have told Boeheim to put me in, real talk. Sometimes you just gotta be more vocal and forward with him; you help him make the decision," he said. "You need to understand the situations and where you fit in. When you see a certain person get in foul trouble, stand up and start making your way towards the table, essentially making the decision for him."
I asked if he did that a lot during his career, "Hell yeah, all the time," he said. "It's all about eye contact. When he was looking for a sub for whatever reason, I just started walking towars the table. I was confident so I didn't care. I wanted to be on the court all costs. Truthfully, it worked almost every time, too. The worst that can happen is he tells you to sit down."
As for coach Hopkins starting his nine-game head coaching stint a few weeks early, Roberts is in favor. "I'm his biggest fan, honestly, so I'm really excited to see how things will be under coach Hopkins," the former big-man said. "The dude is like my freaking step dad. Of course I'm excited, hell, more like ecstatic. Don't get me wrong though, I love coach Boeheim, but Hop is my guy."
Terrence continued saying coach Hopkins was the reason he came to Syracuse because, "he believed in me when I was too stupid to believe in myself."
As for how this may affect Coleman's minutes, "I just think he has to keep working, especially now with Hop coaching for nine games. He loves DC, so hopefully this will be the push he needs to get over the hump. The more he plays and the more touches he gets, I think he will drastically improve."
"He just has to go out there and be the star that we all know he can be."