What kind of senior season will Tyler Roberson have at Syracuse?

RobersonMD

Roberson is in his final season at SU

How will senior forward Tyler Roberson do in his senior season? To answer this question, I looked back to comparable players in their senior seasons from the last 15 years.

After digging through some old rosters, there are four players with Roberson’s kind of skill set that played into their senior seasons at Syracuse: Terrence Roberts. Hakim Warrick. Rakeem Christmas. And Rick Jackson.

To be sure, there are other wing players that Syracuse has graduated such as Josh Pace, Kris Joseph, CJ Fair and James Southerland. But that trio fits more under the bill of shooting forwards, where as Warrick, Christmas, Roberts and Jackson did most of their damage inside.

So with that in mind, let’s move chronologically forward, starting with Warrick’s 2004 and 2005 seasons:

Season PPG RPG
Junior 19.8 8.5
Senior 21.4 8.6
+/- +1.6 +0.1

Warrick’s junior and senior seasons are mostly indistinguishable because he had already made “the leap” by that point and was already a focal point of the offense.

Next up is Roberts from 2006 and then 2007:

Season PPG RPG
Junior 10.7 7.6
Senior 8.9 8.1
+/- -1.8 +0.5

If you remember, Roberts was supposed to make his leap in his senior season, but hurt his knee against Drexel and was never quite the same after that game. Still, Roberts managed to grab a half a rebound more per game.

» Related: Will Syracuse forward Tyler Roberson get drafted?

Jackson played mostly at center his senior season when his statistics drastically improved, but he also spent most of his first three years at Syracuse playing wing, so it’s worth at least looking at 2010 and 2011:

Season PPG RPG
Junior 9.7 7.0
Senior 13.1 10.3
+/- +3.4 +3.3

Now, this should be what Syracuse fans are hoping for in Roberson, especially in the rebounding category.

And finally, Christmas:

Season PPG RPG
Junior 5.8 5.1
Senior 17.5 9.1
+/- +11.7 +4.0

Of course, this would be the most ideal situation for Roberson, but also the most unlikely. Christmas became the go-to offensive player for Syracuse in his senior season. That’s simply not going to happen with Roberson given the offensive talent around him (Andrew White, Tyler Lydon, Tyus Battle).

If you average out the improvement from junior to senior years for these four players, you come up with an improvement of 3.7 points per game and 2.0 rebounds per game.

Season PPG RPG
Junior 8.8 8.5
Projected Senior 12.5 10.5

Those numbers are strikingly similar to Jackson’s senior season, and given what Roberson’s role on the 2016-17 team will be, seems plausible.

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Wes Cheng

About Wes Cheng

Wes has worked for Rivals.com covering the New York Knicks, as well as for Scout.com covering Syracuse athletics. Wes has also worked for the South China Morning Post (Hong Kong) and reported on the NBA and MLB for the New York Sportscene. A native of Long Island, New York, Wes graduated from Syracuse University in 2005. Follow him on Twitter @ChengWes.
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