USA Today

Tyler Lydon will return for his sophomore year; Malachi Richardson declines comment

Syracuse's two standout freshmen will have a major decision in the upcoming days regarding their future.

Minutes after Syracuse's 83-66 loss to top-seeded North Carolina in the national semifinal, Malachi Richardson and Tyler Lydon were asked the inevitable.

"Where do you go from here? Will you be returning to Syracuse next year?"

"I definietly plan on staying," Lydon told the media after the game. "I plan on staying. I haven't really thought too much about it," he continued.

Lydon, a 6-foot-8 forward, played out of position most of the year at center. Next year, assuming he does return, he will move back to his natural position of small forward/power forward. 

He finished the 2015-16 season averaging 10.1 points, 6.3 rebounds and a team-high 1.8 blocks per game. His career-high 21 points came on February 21st against Pitt.

Malachi Richardson, who is arguably the better NBA prospect at this moment, declined comment regarding the NBA after his 17-point performance.

"I'm not answering any questions about going into the NBA Draft yet," he said after the game. 

Despite declining comment about his future, the 6-foot-6 New Jersey native discussed how good the Orange will be next season.

"We're going to be good and it's going to be scary," Richardson said. "We're going to come back next year and we're going to be ready."

So, if you're trying to get a read on what Richardson will do, it's anybody's guess right now. Personally, I think he'll declare for the NBA Draft, but ultimately return for his sophomore season, which is possible now due to the new rule change by the NCAA. 

One aspect of Richardson's stock to keep in mind is his age. He isn't your typical freshman, as he turned 20 during the season.

He finished the season with 13.4 points per game, but made a name for himself in the NCAA Tournament. Malachi's 21-point second-half performance vs. Virginia powered the Orange into the Final Four. He was named the Midwest region's Most Outstanding Player last weekend.


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