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.