Coach Jim Boeheim and the Syracuse Orange continued their recent success on the recruiting trail with another major commitment Friday, as New Jersey forward Tyler Roberson announced his intent to play for the upstate New York program.
Roberson, a 6-7, 200-pound forward from Roselle Catholic (N.J.), is a multitalented and athletic forward who becomes the fifth member of Boeheim’s 2013 class.
He joins point guard Tyler Ennis, guard Ron Patterson, forward B.J. Johnson, and center Chinonso Obokoh.
Roberson is a player with a good deal of upside, part of the reason he is ranked in the top 40 of his class, but will have to continue to develop to see minutes with the Orange.
In the fall of 2011, Roberson had a memorable match-up with now-Indiana commit Noah Vonleh, where the two went head-to-head. In a back-and-forth battle, Roberson played perhaps the best basketball I have personally seen him play, using both the face-up game and attacking instinct to score offensively.
The 6-foot-3 guard averaged 10.3 points per game, while shooting 42 percent from three, as a freshman. He, along with Malcolm Hill and Michael Thorne Jr., is one of three returning players who averaged double figures last season.
This could prove to be a make-or-break year for John Groce, who enters his fifth season at the helm. He guided the Illini to an NCAA Tournament in his first season, but hasn’t been back since.
The key for the Illini is health. Abrams gives them experience and leadership, but it won’t be a surprise if there’s some rust in his game after spending the past two seasons on the sideline. Having a healthy Coleman-Lands will help stabilize the backcourt, while Hill, an all-conference caliber forward, and Thorne anchor the frontcourt.
Like Alkins, Jones was a sought-after scorer. The 6-foot-4 two-guard was rated No. 69 overall in the Class of 2016 by Rivals. He picked Indiana over offers from Cal, Cincinnati, Georgetown and more than a dozen other high-major programs.
Jeter, the 6-foot-10, played in a reserve role as a freshman, averaging 1.9 points and 1.9 rebounds per game last season. He will be part of a loaded frontline that includes heralded freshmen Harry Giles and Marques Bolden, as well as redshirt senior Amile Jefferson, who returns to the lineup following a foot injury.
The greatest player in Auburn program history will honored with a statue outside of the team’s home arena.
The university announced that Charles Barkley, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer, will be the fourth athlete to be given a statue, joining Heisman Trophy winners Bo Jackson, Pat Sullivan and Cam Newton.
“It just means a great deal to me,” Barkley said in a statement. “Being a kid from Alabama, going to Auburn. I think everybody knows what Auburn means to me. It’s going to be pretty cool.”
Barkley, currently working as an analyst for TNT, was the SEC Player of the Year in 1984, as well as a second team All-American. He averaged 14.1 points and 9.6 rebounds per game in 84 appearances for the Tigers.