Tyler Roberson leans against a basket stanchion inside the Carmelo K. Anthony Basketball Center 17 days from Syracuse’s season opener. He just dribbled a ball off his right foot, got it back and traveled before missing a left-handed hook shot while being fouled.Assistant coach Adrian Autry yells at Roberson twice to “play defense” after freshman wing Malachi Richardson scores on him. Roberson walks to the sideline, wipes the sweat off his nose with a white towel and returns. Freshman forward Tyler Lydon hits a mid-range jumper in his face on the next play.Throughout the drill, Roberson is inaudible and his facial expression remains stoic. Lydon screams in frustration after one miscue and Richardson flips his palms up at his sides, mumbling under his breath after another. But the junior forward keeps his mouth slightly agape, watching from under the hoop when he’s not on the court.Tyler has always been, even since he was a child and he used to play, he’s always been very reserved. He constantly observes. He’s very cerebral and that’s what he’s doing.Carla RobersonRoberson’s momIn watching the two freshmen face off, Roberson is observing a mix of what he’s strived to become, a player big enough to bang in the low post and one who makes his living on the perimeter. It’s what the expanding role of the power forward demands in today’s game. This offseason, Roberson methodically managed his diet and lived in the gym and weight room, inching closer to that prototype.Unlike last year when he began games observing from the bench to start the season, Roberson will be Syracuse’s primary four in 2015-16. His reserved nature masks the breakout year some expect him to have, but at the same time defines a player sometimes misunderstood.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text,“When he was playing in high school, there were some people, from what I understood, that tended to take his disposition as being, because he was so quiet, maybe he’s arrogant or maybe he’s this and maybe he’s that,” Carla said. “…He’s always going to be who he is. He can’t fake it. This is Tyler.”Roberson started every day this summer with a bowl of oatmeal topped with cinnamon and vanilla. Two hours later, he’d have the same thing, sometimes accompanied by chicken sausage and pancakes.For lunch, Roberson ate pasta and vegetables, straying away from fatty foods. He went to the gym at 2 p.m., worked mainly on his jump shot and returned to the house around 6 p.m. before lifting weights with his oldest brother. He came back for the night around 11 p.m. and after eating again, had totaled six or seven meals on the day.When Roberson returned home after his freshman year, he struggled to maintain the weight he’d gained at Syracuse. Cuse.com listed him at 212 pounds heading into both his freshman and sophomore years. Now, he’s at 226.“I think he’s stronger, more physical,” SU head coach Jim Boeheim said. “He’s a very strong, physical player and that’s what he is, that’s what he does.”,Before practice on Oct. 27, Autry set up three cones in a small triangular formation in different spots just inside the 3-point arc. He threw sharp underhand passes to both Roberson and Lydon, forcing the forwards to stay inside the cones when they shot from mid-range. Last year, Roberson released from the center part of his chest, his father, Edmon Roberson said. This year, he’s catching and shooting more toward the right side of his body, allowing for a quicker release.He’s even shown flashes of improved passing from the outside, threading a no-look bullet through traffic to a streaking Lydon, who finished the open layup during a half-court drill last Tuesday.“I think I’ll be able to expand out a little more toward the perimeter,” Roberson said. “That’s one thing I really focused on improving this offseason.”Roberson continues to flesh out his game all while staying contained. He softly makes two layups during a post-up drill while Lydon throws down two slams. Trevor Cooney pounds his chest and screams after a layup-line dunk, while Roberson finger-rolls the ball off the backboard before jogging to the back of the line.His family suggests to pump up his teammates and show more emotion. He acknowledges them with an “OK,” but when they watch him on TV, it’s still the same.He smiles more than he did, I can tell you that.Mike HopkinsSU assistant coachRoberson has a tendency to stand out in the spotlight – he held top 2015 NBA Draft pick Karl-Anthony Towns to six points in a high school game and posted 19 points and 10 rebounds against Duke in the Carrier Dome last season. He’s flashed his potential; it just may not be noticed.He dives after a lose ball in practice, falling on top of walk-on guard Christian White before the play is blown dead. Assistant coach Gerry McNamara screams “Good tackle, Ro-Ro” and as Roberson walks back to his spot, he grins ear to ear.It’s about all he’ll show, but that’s just who he is.“Inside I’m fired up … but it doesn’t show,” Roberson said. “That’s always been me.” Comments Published on November 12, 2015 at 7:53 am Contact Matt: [email protected] | @matt_schneidman,Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.