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