When programs lose scholarships as part of NCAA sanctions the top-end talent isn’t impacted all that much, especially in the case of a program such as Syracuse’s men’s basketball. Where the impact is felt is in recruiting, where there’s far less room for misevaluations of talent, and in depth.
Issues such as foul trouble and injuries, which in most instances can be navigated with a full allotment of scholarships, become a greater problem when working with fewer than 13 athletic grants-in-aid.
This makes the play of players such as versatile 6-foot-9 freshman forward Tyler Lydon of high importance for the Orange, as they look to contend in the ACC in 2015-16. Lydon’s ability to play a variety of roles in the front court will be key for Syracuse this season, as noted by Mike Waters of the Syracuse Post-Standard.
Whether or not Lydon starts, he will play. A lot. Not just because he’s good (he is), but also because he’s so versatile.
He could be the small forward in a lineup with returning power forward Tyler Roberson and junior center Dajuan Coleman. He could be a stretch four in a smaller lineup. And it’s possible that he could become the center when SU coach Jim Boeheim decides to go with a three-forward look.
With Rakeem Christman and Chris McCullough in the NBA and Moustapha Diagne not being cleared to enroll, Syracuse isn’t all that deep in the front court. And with DaJuan Coleman having dealt with injuries throughout his career, it remains to be seen just how much he can give the Orange in 2015-16.
Junior Tyler Roberson is the known commodity at this time, as he accounted for 8.3 points and 7.3 rebounds per contest last season. Who else steps forward alongside Roberson will have a major impact on Syracuse’s fortunes. Lydon is the one front court player with the skill and versatility needed to help the Orange in multiple roles.
Syracuse landed a quartet of four-star recruits for its Class of 2015. Even after Friday afternoon’s events, it looks like the Orange will get all four on campus this fall.
On Friday, the NCAA announced penalties for rule violations committed by the Syracuse football and basketball teams. The sanctions included 108 vacated wins, a nine-game suspension for Jim Boeheim a five-year probation and the most impactful punishment: a loss of 12 scholarships over a four year span.
Donna Ditota and Mike Waters, Syracuse beat writers for the Post-Standard, tracked down the four Syracuse signees and all reaffirmed their commitments.
Malachi Richardson, No. 31 in Rivals150: “Nothing has changed,” Richardson’s mother, Jacqui said via text. “Malachi is still committed to Syracuse.”
Tyler Lydon, No. 66 in Rivals150: “In our opinion,” Lydon’s parents said, “we don’t think he’s going to leave. He’s never expressed anything even remotely to us that he would think about it.”
Moustapha Diange, No. 69 in Rivals150: “This doesn’t affect anything,” Diange’s Pope John XXII (New Jersey) coach, Jason Hasson said via text.
Franklin Howard, No. 82 in Rivals150: “Oh yes, for sure,” said Gloria Howard, Frank’s mom, told Syracuse.com. “We’re definitely still there. No changes.”
At the moment, Syracuse is set to have 13 scholarship players for next season with another commit, Matthew Moyer, committed to play for the Orange in 2016. He also pledged his loyalty to the program.
Raphielle Johnson broke down what the scholarship restrictions mean for Syracuse’s future here.
Syracuse’s season will end on Saturday afternoon at N.C. State. The Orange announced a self-imposed postseason ban back in February.
Sunday’s action represented the final day of pool play at the U18 FIBA Americas Championships in Colorado Springs, with the United States U18 team taking on an Argentina squad that was also 2-0 in pool play. Yet while there was no separation in the records there was in the skill level, with Billy Donovan’s team reaching the 100-point mark for the third consecutive game as they rolled to a 118-64 victory.
As a result of the victory the United States has now locked up a spot in next summer’s U19 World Championships.
2015 five-star point guard Jalen Brunson led six Americans in double figures with 16 points, and as a team the United States shot 54% from the field. The United States scored 62 of its 118 points in the paint, and they also converted 16 Argentina turnovers into 27 points. They never trailed Sunday, with a 16-2 run in the middle of the first quarter establishing a margin that proved to be too much for Argentina to overcome.
Joining Brunson in double figures were Syracuse signee Tyler Lydon (14 points; 12 in the first half), Duke signee Justise Winslow (13), 2015 five-star guard Allonzo Trier (13), 2015 five-star forward Jaylen Brown (ten) and 2015 Duke commit Luke Kennard (ten). Kennard and Winslow also led a balanced effort on the glass with nine and eight rebounds, respectively, and Texas signee Myles Turner accounted for four of the team’s ten blocked shots.
Also of note for the United States was their improvement in the turnover department. After committing 15 turnovers in their 100-46 win over Mexico on Saturday, the Americans committed just eight against Argentina and assisted on 21 of their 45 made field goals. Brunson (six assists) and Duke signee Tyus Jones (nine) combined for 15 of those assists, committing just one turnover apiece.
Next up for the United States is a semifinal matchup with the Dominican Republic on Monday evening, with Canada and Argentina meeting in the first semifinal. The Dominican Republic went 2-1 in Group A, with their lone defeat being a 79-67 result against Canada.