Once Syracuse landed four star point guard Kaleb Joseph, the Orange closed the book on the 2014 class and turned their focus to 2015. The class is loaded with talent and Syracuse is in on many of the elite prospects.
They landed an early commitment from one of those prospects in New Hampton (N.H.) power forward Tyler Lydon on Thursday.
Syracuse is a national brand when it comes to recruiting and is a selector school. So they have success recruiting all over the country. That said, the Orange have done a fantastic job at locking down the northeast's elite over the last decade plus.
When Syracuse targets a prospect, they have a very high rate of success. Lydon was a prime target who was identified early. When they saw him in person at the elite camp, they extended the offer.
Landing Lydon makes it three years in a row (and four of the last five) where Syracuse has plucked someone from the New England area. Michael Carter-Williams came from Rhode Island, Ron Patterson attended Brewster Academy in New Hampshire as does Chris McCullough (though he committed prior to that), and Kaleb Joseph is from Massachusetts.
If there is an elite prospect in the northeast, Syracuse will be involved.
With C.J. Fair and Baye Keita in their senior seasons, Rakeem Christmas graduating after the 2014-15 campaign and the possibility of Jerami Grant and/or DaJuan Coleman leaving early, front court help was imperative for Syracuse in 2015.
Picking up an early commitment from Lydon gives Syracuse one of their top targets at a key position and allows them to shift their focus to their other priority prospects. It gives Syracuse a big body with the length and athleticism to fit into the backline of the zone.
Lydon also is not likely a one and done type, meaning he should stay in the program for a few years. That gives the Orange talent and stability at the position going forward.
Where Does Syracuse Go From Here?
The obvious question with the addition of Lydon is how does this impact Syracuse's interest in Thomas Bryant. The simple answer is not at all. Bryant is one of the best players in the 2015 class, and arguably the top frontcourt prospect. The Orange will continue to pursue Bryant as one of their top targets.
This class has the potential to be four or five deep. In a perfect world, Syracuse would like 2015 to include Lydon, Bryant, five star small forward Derrick Jones, five star center Cheick Diallo and at least one guard. That could be Malachi Richardson, Isaiah Briscoe or Franklin Howard.
Rumor Mill: Derrick Jones has been seen in some recent videos sporting Syracuse gear (shirts, socks, etc). The general feeling is that Syracuse and Kentucky are out front, with the Orange considered the leader. If Syracuse were to get another early 2015 commitment, Jones seems the most likely candidate.
Chris Silva is still on the radar up front, but could take a back seat to the aforementioned Thomas Bryant. Bryant and Jones are the top targets going forward with Diallo slightly behind.
Don't expect an early commitment from Bryant or Diallo, however. Both will likely take their time with the process.
Regardless, Syracuse will continue to be involved in elite prospects and will put together one of the top classes in 2015.
Lydon is a talented prospect with upside. He is the type of player that fits in perfectly with the Orange. A talented, athletic and long frontcourt player who will be with the program for a few years. Syracuse is one of the best at identifying players who fit their system and will be program guys that will contribute for a few years. That trend only continues with their latest addition.
Lydon will need to bulk up a bit to be able to handle the physical play at the next level, but his inside/outside game gives the Orange a dynamic threat in the front court.