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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.

Gonzaga’s NCAA tournament chances take a major blow in loss to No. 16 SMU

SMU guard Nic Moore (11) shoots over Gonzaga forward Kyle Wiltjer (33) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Jim Cowsert)
(AP Photo/Jim Cowsert)
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Nic Moore scored 18 of his 25 points in the second half and added 11 assists as No. 16 SMU knocked off Gonzaga in Moody Coliseum on Saturday night, 69-60.

The Zags got 20 points and 16 boards from Domantas Sabonis, but Kyle Wiltjer scored just four points and shot 2-for-17 from the floor.

It wasn’t pretty.

And it may have been the end of Gonzaga’s NCAA tournament hopes.

Entering Saturday, the Zags had an RPI in the mid-60s, enough to keep them in the bubble conversation but not enough to make them anything more than a team that will be projected to end up on the cut-line.

The issue is a complete lack of quality wins on their résumé. Gonzaga beat UConn in the Bahamas. That’s a borderline top 50 win. They beat Washington, another borderline top 50 win. Beyond that? They swept Pepperdine, beat Tennessee and own a win over Montana. None of those are top 100 wins, and that’s why the SMU game was such a big deal. The Mustangs are a top 25 team. This was a road game. This win was the kind of thing that the Zags could pin at the top of their profile.

But Wiltjer didn’t show up, the Zags had no answer for Moore and they’ll head back to Spokane needing, in all likelihood, to win the WCC’s automatic bid if they want to dance.

POSTERIZED: Cal’s Jaylen Brown has his dunk contest entry

California's Jaylen Brown lays up a shot against Oregon State in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016, in Berkeley, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
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Cal picked up a big win over Oregon State in Haas Pavilion on Saturday night, and the exclamation point was this emphatic dunk from Jaylen Brown: