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Tyler Roberson keeps Syracuse defense afloat with 12 rebounds in win

first_imgTyler Roberson untucked his jersey and sauntered toward the bench, his face dripping with sweat. Less than five minutes remained in the game and Roberson had 12 rebounds. The next-highest total on the team was five.But at that point, with SU leading St. Bonaventure by six, Roberson’s night was over after he picked up a fifth foul. The group on the floor that had been dominated by the Bonnies on the glass was left to patch together a back line of the 2-3 zone that Roberson held intact.“I think all of my fouls were just like going after the ball,” Roberson said. “I think I got a lot of rebounds going after it and it happens sometimes.”Despite its only consistent threat on the boards heading to the sideline, Syracuse (2-0) held firm against SBU (1-1) in a 79-66 win inside the Carrier Dome on Tuesday night. In a game where Syracuse was outrebounded by 10, Roberson was a relief valve from St. Bonaventure’s second- and third-chance opportunities that helped it stay within striking distance until late.Roberson corralled 12 of the Orange’s 33 rebounds and was the lone player on both teams to reach double digits on the glass. SU head coach Jim Boeheim still doesn’t think Roberson is near the level he needs to be with his all-around game, but the junior’s strongest facet bailed SU out in an area it struggled mightily in.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“He was helping us on defense and I thought he was getting going,” Boeheim said, “he’s still not playing where I think he has to for us.”SU’s head coach pinpointed a gaffe when Roberson and Malachi Richardson both went up for a rebound in open space. It touched Richardson’s hands, but Roberson knocked it away and out of bounds with no Bonnies in the vicinity.The 6-foot-8 forward put both his hands on his head and Nelson Kaputo hit a 3-pointer on St. Bonaventure’s ensuing possession.“There would be years if he kept playing like this,” Boeheim said, “that he wouldn’t play.”Roberson knows his flaws. He noted a couple missed free throws and shots he normally doesn’t miss. His game still needs fine-tuning and Boeheim let it be known.But on a night when Dajuan Coleman only played 14 minutes and Chinonso Obokoh played a meager one, Roberson shouldered the majority of the load down low with Tyler Lydon.“I’m pretty happy with the way I rebounded the ball,” Roberson said.With just over two minutes left in the first half, Roberson grabbed a defensive rebound after being nudged in the back while leaving the ground. He dished the ball off and sprinted down the floor with his right hand raised in the air. The ball didn’t come, but he ended up with it in a scuffle under the basket moments later and found Richardson at the top of the key.Before the clock reached a minute and a half, he had deftly thread a pass through traffic to Lydon and picked up an offensive rebound before drawing a foul on the next sequence.“Roberson’s one of the most athletic guys in the country really,” Trevor Cooney said. “He could go out there every single night and grab 10-plus boards.”Roberson finished a game he helped keep Syracuse afloat in watching from the bench. Coleman subbed in and picked up three rebounds the rest of the way as the Orange stretched its lead to 13 by the final buzzer.He’s not an indispensable piece and by Boeheim’s estimation, isn’t close to being one yet. But Tuesday night showed why the strongest branch of his game is one Syracuse certainly needs. Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on November 17, 2015 at 11:11 pm Contact Matt: [email protected] | @matt_schneidmanlast_img

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