Tyler Roberson is putting all the pieces together at the right time

first_imgST. LOUIS – For almost 10 minutes in the second half, the player who had anchored Syracuse down low for the past 70 sat on the bench. Tyler Roberson wore his white long-sleeved warmup shirt in between assistants Adrian Autry and Mike Hopkins, a water bottle sitting between his legs as he watched Syracuse put away a game that he wasn’t a part of anymore.Right before he exited with 12:05 remaining in the second half, Roberson’s head collided with the floor after Tyler Lydon inadvertently mounted him when both contested a rebound. Roberson fell to his chest, turned over and winced while clutching his head.“Possibly, I mean I don’t know really,” Roberson said of why he sat for half of the second stanza, a smile spreading across his face. “…I’m good.”Even with the game well past decided in the waning minutes, Roberson re-entered with 2:45 on the clock and proceeded to finish a thunderous two-handed alley-oop. Less than a minute remained and his stat line was once again filled, the demands from Jim Boeheim for more consistency from the junior satisfied.His 12 points and nine rebounds in Sunday night’s 75-50 win against No. 15 seed Middle Tennessee State (25-10, 13-5 Conference USA) that helped propel No. 10 seed Syracuse (21-13, 9-9 Atlantic Coast) to the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 followed a 10-point, 18-rebound domination from two days prior. All of a sudden, the player thrown in the doghouse by Boeheim less than a month ago has emphatically emerged from it.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“When he plays like that, with that energy, we’re just a different team,” assistant coach Mike Hopkins said.Roberson picked up where he left off to start Sunday’s game, hitting all three of his shots in the first half and grabbing eight rebounds. His boards came in a variety of ways – one tipping a ball to himself at the peak of a scrum, one chasing after a loose ball by himself, one mounting Middle Tennessee’s Aldonis Foote before holding onto the ball with one hand and untangling the other.His makes also came of varying flavors, a left-handed tip-in, a pump-fake-and-lay-in and a mid-range jumper. He showcased versatility on both ends while manning the paint for the majority of a 20-minute span for the third consecutive half.“He’s capable of doing this night in and night out,” Tyler Lydon said.Roberson even hit all four of his free throws, the ball gently spinning off the edge of his fingertips and through the hoop each time. He was the only player on the team to make all of his attempts from the charity stripe on a night when Syracuse shot an abysmal 59 percent from the line.Since the offseason, Roberson has emphasized expanding his perimeter game. Check. Boeheim wanted more consistency on the glass. Check. After a 1-for-8 performance from the foul line against St. John’s in Syracuse’s worst loss of the season, he had to improve. Check.Roberson’s entire arsenal is materializing at just the right time on just the right stage. He’s had all these tools at his disposal, but he’s finally putting them to use all at once.“These last two games, that’s what we need out of him,” assistant coach Adrian Autry said. “That’s what we know he can do pretty consistently.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on March 20, 2016 at 11:26 pm Contact Matt: mcschnei@syr.edu | @matt_schneidmanlast_img read more