Possibly the most athletic player on this list, from a physical perspective there is plenty to like about Terrence Roberts. Standing a solid 6-9 with an excellent modern day power forwards frame, complete with a great wingspan, Roberts is just about as explosive a player as youll find at his position in the NCAA. He has superb quickness, a phenomenal vertical leap, and he gets off his feet in the blink of an eye to complete highlight reel plays almost every single game.
In terms of strengths, Roberts has a few that are impossible to teach. Hes very physical, is a terror in transition, and will dunk anything and everything that comes his way from seemingly anywhere in the paint. Hes capable of dominating the glass when he puts his mind to it, particularly on the offensive end where he grabs nearly 40% of his rebounds. His length, quickness and explosiveness allow him to go well out his area to come away with some very impressive boards, and he is just as adept and content to sky in for a monster putback jam that will get the crowd up on its feet. These same tools allow him to come up with a few blocks and steals every single game in Syracuses zone, and hes usually the first one to get out in transition where hell fly down the floor and beg for a lob anywhere in the remote area of the rim for him to hammer home.
On occasion, Roberts will even show some sparks of being able to do more than that. A nice drive here, a pull-up mid-range jumper there; he tantalizes you from time to time with the kind of moves that few big men in the country are able to execute thanks to his tools. The problem is that these highlight reel moves are usually mixed in with some horrible head-scratching plays as well, and usually you get more of the bad than of the good unfortunately. Roberts is an incredibly inconsistent player going into his senior year, and the way he floats around aimlessly at times makes you wonder if the light bulb will ever truly come on for him.
Besides his sheer athleticism, Roberts still has a long ways to go in terms of his actual skill level. While his shooting mechanics are actually surprisingly good, he shoots a pathetic 42% from the free throw line. His touch is almost nonexistent, whether from the 3-point line, mid-range, or even from 3-4 feet out at times, just heaving the ball at the basket from close range and hoping that it somehow sticks. His ball-handing skills are poor, as he too often drives with his head down, travels and picks up foolish charges. His phenomenal first step leaves a glimmer of hope in this regard as it could be a wonderful tool to exploit down the road. At this point he also has little to no footwork or post moves, so unless hes being consistently fed coming off cuts, in transition or offensive rebounds, there really isnt all that much he can do offensively. As a passer, Roberts is equally bad, confirming the notion from watching him that his feel for the game is just extremely poor.
Defensively, Roberts shows great sparks at times, but you cant help hoping for more considering the tools he has at his disposal. His activity level isnt consistently there; giving up position too easily, blowing assignments and relying too much on his athleticism to bail him out rather than playing fundamentally sound. The same goes for his rebounding, where he would hit double-digits every game if he really committed himself.
All in all there are some very specific things to like out of Roberts as a draft prospect. Should a team with the right type of system be able to live with his shortcomings and commit to just letting him run the floor in transition and teach him how to better use his tools on the other end of the floor, he could possibly even land in the first round. If the light bulb ever truly comes on for him (there is still some hope for that) he could certainly play a role as a rotation player in the NBA. It wouldnt shock at all to see him light it up in a few private workouts and rise up draft boards in late June.