Tyler Lydon: Junior Primer

Face-up fours are all the rage, at both the college and NBA levels, and Lydon fits that prototype to a tee.

Tyler Lydon seized his advantage in 2013. He entered the spring as a mid-major prospect and emerged as a high-major priority. The travel circuit proved extraordinarily beneficial for his career, and he hasn't taken a backward step since his national breakout.

Lydon's performances during the April live period netted quick offers from Iowa, Providence and Boston College. Young for his class, he suddenly grew into his body and began to assert himself impressively as a scorer.

His summer play further enhanced his image with college coaches, who began to view him as a safe commodity. He attended the Syracuse team camp in September and drew an offer from Jim Boeheim's program, and six weeks later he converted that offer into a commitment.

He may need a full year of physical development before he's ready to become a rotation regular, but Lydon's future with the Orange appears highly promising. He plays with a stretch forward style that's ideally suited for the modern game. One look at his jump shot form — without even knowing if he made the shot — is all one needs to see to know that he's a marksman from deep.

Lydon's shot looks effortless from as deep as 23 feet, and his follow-through is textbook. Even better, his release is fairly quick and thus he's able to fire away versus aggressive close-outs. Moreover, he's comfortable from the elbow and short baseline, areas that are foreign to many other stretch fourmen. That versatility will make him an effective scorer as a cutter.

He's also very mobile. I wouldn't categorize Lydon as explosive, but he does run with fluidity and possesses some bounce to finish in traffic. His primary obstacle to overcome — and if I'm right, the reason he may not play as much as a freshman — is a severe lack of strength.

He gets pushed around now by players his age, and in college he'll compete against athletes who've undertaken multiple years of world class strength and conditioning. To hold his own defensively and on the glass, he'll need time in the developmental chamber himself.

But otherwise, he's a great and safe get for the Orange. A 6-9 player with a pure stroke and range almost definitely will find a way to contribute, and on top of that Lydon's mobility grants him an even more discernable edge. With proper development, an NBA future may even exist for him down the road.

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