Villanova’s second straight New Jersey recruiting miss was Syracuse’s second big win in the state.
After losing targeted power forward Austin Colbert (Gladstone, NJ) to Illinois, Jay Wright and his staff struck out on another high school forward out of the Garden State, this time getting beat to the punch by Jim Boeheim and Big East rival Syracuse.
Roberson, a longtime SU lean and top-40 senior power forward, chose Syracuse over Villanova and Kansas on Friday. He plans to sign his national letter of intent before the end of the early signing period, which closes next Wednesday.
A rangy, 6-foot-8 combo forward, Roberson possesses the physical tools befitting of a Syracuse frontcourt player and has a strong face-up game to boot. With his long arms, developing mid-range game and a high release point on his shot, the Roselle Catholic star can play the pinch post as a face-up 4 or roam the perimeter in a small forward capacity. Roberson is a good outside shooter and could segue rather seamlessly to the 3 on offense in certain lineups and sets.
Roberson credits Syracuse’s forthcoming move to the ACC as a major factor for choosing the Orange.
“[Syracuse is] going into the ACC next year which is a really good conference,” Roberson said on ESPNU as he pulled out a Syracuse shirt. “And coach Boeheim is one of the best coaches in college basketball and they’re just a really good college team.”
With the addition of Roberson, Syracuse now owns a strong, five-man recruiting class. Roberson joins St. Benedict’s Prep star Tyler Ennis, Philly small forward B.J. Johnson, Rochester center Chinonso Obokoh and Brewster Academy shooting guard Ron Patterson, a former Indiana pledge.
Roberson and Ennis, the top high school point guard in New Jersey, are two of the top three hoops prospects in the state of New Jersey. Sparta (NJ) power forward Jermaine Lawrence had also been considering Syracuse, but is no longer in the school’s plans.
Barring a transfer or early departure [to the NBA], Syracuse is out of scholarships for the 2013-14 season. That means Dakari Johnson, the top center in the 2013 class, is now a long-shot for the Orange. Syracuse and Florida have been the two frontrunners for Johnson, who recently reclassified from the 2014 class.