Men's Basketball

Roberson sees more playing time in Syracuse’s win over Virginia Tech

BLACKSBURG, Va. — Just three days after failing to get on the court at all against Miami, Syracuse freshman forward Tyler Roberson had to wait less than eight minutes to find the Cassell Coliseum floor against Virginia Tech on Tuesday.

Roberson, whose playing time typically varies from nonexistent to sparing, didn’t foster any hard feelings toward head coach Jim Boeheim about his lack of time against Miami (Fla.). He was going to get his chances.

“He told me to keep my head up and keep working hard,” Roberson said. “Get ready for this next game.”

Roberson played 13 minutes in No. 2 Syracuse’s (15-0, 2-0 Atlantic Coast) 72-52 win against VT (8-6, 1-1) on Tuesday, including eight in the first half with forwards C.J. Fair and Rakeem Christmas in foul trouble. Roberson made just one shot — the first one he took — but finished with four points and three rebounds.

“I thought Tyler was better, more comfortable out there,” Boeheim said. “I thought he gave us some really good minutes.”

Moments after Roberson checked into the game, he found himself alone with the ball on the left wing. After a brief hesitation, he pulled up and dropped in a mid-range jumper.

“I was open,” Roberson said, “so I was just confident.”

Roberson missed the only other shot he took and went 2-for-4 from the free-throw line, but Tuesday was still another sign of progress for the promising young forward.

Boeheim said that Roberson has been better in practice. The only reason he didn’t play against the Hurricanes was because they were using a matchup zone, which didn’t play to Roberson’s skill set.

When Virginia Tech used a variety of defenses, it meant Roberson was likely going to get a chance, but jump shots like the one he hit could make him a more versatile weapon in the Orange’s deep offensive arsenal.

“I know I haven’t been making too many of them, but I know it’s a shot that I can make a lot,” Roberson said, “so I’ll keep taking them.”

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