Tyler Lydon looking to add weight, garner high-major attention with New Hampton transfer

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PHILADELPHIA — After finishing his junior season at Pine Plains HS (NY), most analysts believed that 6-foot-8 forward Tyler Lydon had mid-major recruit written all over him.

But after a successful spring that followed up on a decision to reclassify into the
Class of 2015, Lydon has started to college offers from a number of high-major programs, including teams that appear to be tournament-bound. He listed offers from Iowa, Iowa State, Providence, Boston College, Virginia Tech, Boston U, and Penn State, while noting that Virginia, Syracuse, Georgia Tech and Stanford had been inquiring of late.

“To be honest, I want to get like five more offers from bigger schools,” Lydon said of his goals heading into the summer’s open period. “I want to compete against the best.”

He’ll have a chance to do that for the rest of his high school career, as his decision to reclassify went hand-in-hand with a transfer to New Hampton Prep (NH). Notre Dame’s Zach Auguste, Boston College’s Olivier Hanlan and Indiana’s Noah Vonleh have all graced New Hampton’s roster in recent seasons.

“I can’t wait,” Lydon said. “Some of my teammates, we’re starting to get real close and I’m just looking forward to getting out there and playing. It’s the best competition in the country.”

Lydon may be competing against the best, but if Rivals No. 93 player in the Class of 2015 is going to be one of the best, the biggest improvement that he can make is to had some muscle to his 190 pound frame. Lydon may check in at 6-foot-8, but he’s still more of a perimeter option than he is a post presence, and while some of that has to do with his lack of size, much of it is because he’s an excellent shooter that’s more comfortable on the perimeter.

Think former Notre Dame wing Tim Abromaitis.

“My strength, obviously, I’m too skinny,” Lydon said of what he needs to improve on. “I want to work on my ball-handling and shooting, but I want to improve on everything right now, so I’m just going to be in the gym all day working at it.”

You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.

As good as they’ve been, No. 3 Michigan State has yet to play their best

Bryn Forbes, Ryan Fazekas
Associated Press
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Sunday night’s Wooden Legacy title game matchup between No. 3 Michigan State and Providence was billed as a matchup of the nation’s two best players, and rightfully so. Michigan State senior Denzel Valentine (17 points, six rebounds, five assists), who already has two triple-doubles to his credit this season, and Providence redshirt junior Kris Dunn (21 points, five rebounds, seven assists) have more than lived up to the preseason expectations and more of the same was expected in Anaheim.

And while both had their moments, it was Michigan State’s supporting cast that made the difference in their 77-64 victory. The scary thing for future opponents on Michigan State’s schedule is that Tom Izzo’s team is nowhere near being a finished product.

With Valentine dealing with first-half foul trouble Bryn Forbes stepped up, scoring 13 of his 18 points to help the Spartans take a two-point lead into the half. As for the 11-0 run that Michigan State produced to take control of the game late, a host of players stepped forward in regards to scoring, rebounding and defending.

Freshmen Deyonta Davis and Matt McQuaid combined to score nine points over the final 5:32, with transfer guard Eron Harris adding six of his 12 points during that stretch. The Spartans outscored the Friars, who aren’t as deep, 22-7 during that stretch to close out the game, hunting for quality shots and hitting the offensive glass while making things difficult for Providence on the other end of the floor.

The end result was a final margin that does not indicate just how close the game was. While Providence seemed to run out of steam Michigan State received contributions from multiple players, which is undoubtedly a good sign for this group moving forward.

The Spartans will return the currently injured Gavin Schilling later this season, giving them another big man alongside Davis, Matt Costello and Colby Wollenman. He was a player they missed Sunday night, as he can defend opposing big men both in the post and on the perimeter. His absence was a main reason Michigan State didn’t have an answer for Providence’s Ben Bentil (20 points, seven rebounds) defensively.

The key for this group is going to end up being role definition, which is especially true in the case of Harris. A transfer from West Virginia, Harris came to East Lansing with the reputation of being a big time scorer. He’s struggled through the first two weeks of the season, but he got on a roll on Sunday night, finishing with 12 points, three boards and three assists. He showed he’s capable of doing a variety of things on the perimeter, and fitting into a “Swiss army knife” kind of role would make Michigan State that much more dangerous.

There’s no denying that Michigan State has been one of the nation’s best teams thus far.

But there’s also no denying that the Spartans have yet to hit their ceiling, which is definitely a positive moving forward.

Wichita State’s Anton Grady returns home with team

AP Photo/Willie J. Allen Jr.
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Wichita State forward Anton Grady was released from a hospital in Orlando on Sunday afternoon in time to return home with his Shocker teammates.

Grady suffered a spinal corn concussion on Friday when he collided head-first with an Alabama defender, snapping his head sharply to the side. He lay on the court motionless for 10 minutes after the injury and was taken off the floor on a stretcher.

[RELATED: Can WSU still make tourney?]

“I want to send out a big thank you to Shocker Nation and all of my friends and family for of the love and encouragement that I have received the past few days,” Grady said in a statement on Sunday morning. “I’ve been reading your tweets and posts and appreciate every last one of them. I have a lot of work to do to get back on the court, but with the help of such a great support system, I’m ready for the challenge.”

By Friday night, Grady had feeling in all of his extremities, but he has a long road of rehab ahead of him.