Tyler Lydon impresses by doing the little things in college debut

first_imgTyler Lydon’s college basketball career was four minutes and 55 seconds old before Jim Boeheim threw him into an unnatural role.After Dajuan Coleman picked up his second foul on a driving Austin Price, Lydon dashed to the scorer’s table and a wave from the referee made him the first center off the bench of Syracuse’s season. All 6 feet 8 inches and 210 pounds of him were called on to man the center of the Orange’s 2-3 zone. Playing him there, as the “big man” of a three-forward lineup, was discussed as an option heading into the season.But no one, starting with Lydon, thought it’d happen so soon.“If you told me this probably in the summer I would have been like, ‘No way, you’re crazy,’” Lydon said of playing center before forward. “But after getting here and stuff, I’ve been playing a lot in practice and getting used to it. I’m feeling pretty comfortable in there.”On Friday, Lydon looked as much as Syracuse (1-0) opened its season with a 57-47 win over Lehigh (0-1) in the Carrier Dome. The freshman first filled in for Coleman, then played the wing, then shifted back to center, then back to the wing, and so on. Coleman finished with four fouls and just 13 minutes played. Lydon finished his college debut with four points, 11 rebounds — making him the only SU player to grab more than six boards — two blocks and three steals in 28 minutes.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThe Orange sprinted ahead of the Mountain Hawks in the first half before fighting off a strong comeback in the second, and Lydon’s unrelenting effort was effective throughout the game.“A lot of energy,” SU point guard Michael Gbinije said of Lydon. “… He did a good job of blocking shots and rebounding today. He’s definitely going to be big for us.” Logan Reidsma | Photo Editor Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on November 13, 2015 at 11:12 pm Contact Jesse: jcdoug01@syr.edu | @dougherty_jessecenter_img Less than a minute after coming off the bench, Lydon slid to the short corner and blocked a floater attempt by Lehigh forward Jesse Chuku. The ball floated out of bounds but Lydon toed the baseline, leapt in front of the first row of fans and flipped a save behind his back to start Syracuse’s offense the other way.Less than a minute after coming off the bench, Lydon slid to the short corner and blocked a floater attempt by Lehigh forward Jesse Chuku. The ball floated out of bounds but Lydon toed the baseline, leapt in front of the first row of fans and flipped a save behind his back to start Syracuse’s offense the other way.Less than a minute after coming off the bench, Lydon slid to the short corner and blocked a floater attempt by Lehigh forward Jesse Chuku. The ball floated out of bounds but Lydon toed the baseline, leapt in front of the first row of fans and flipped a save behind his back to start Syracuse’s offense the other way.After a Syracuse timeout at the 12:50 mark of the first half, Lydon sprinted back on defense, stole a pass intended for a cutter and found Trevor Cooney who raced down the court for an uncontested layup. A play later, Lydon reached his arms out to steal another pass and Malachi Richardson hit a mid-range jumper on the other end.Lehigh called a timeout to stop the mini run. Lydon bounced toward the Syracuse bench with a smile stretching across his face. Cooney ran to meet him close to half court and Lydon yelled “Let’s go” as the two exchanged a high-five.“Tyler was great on defense in the first half,” Boeheim said. “He made some great defensive plays out of the center position.”On the other end, Lydon mostly facilitated out of the high post and was hesitant to shoot his jump shot. With five minutes left in the first half, he caught the ball wide-open and awkwardly pump faked twice. The defender caught up to him and he traveled before swishing a 3 after the whistle.Boeheim said Lydon should shoot more confidently and added that Syracuse’s centers didn’t play as well in the second half. Lydon said that he didn’t slide as well defensively and could, less than a half hour after the game, already think of two or three plays that he messed up on. He also admitted he was nervous when he first entered the game and that that probably contributed to the small mistakes.But for a forward who began his career at center, nerves were more than warranted.“I’m not too surprised by anything anymore,” Lydon said. “It was good to get out there.” Comments Related Stories Gallery: Syracuse tops Lehigh in season-opening winWhat we learned from Syracuse’s season-opening win over LehighChinonso Obokoh rises for 4 blocks in Syracuse’s 57-47 win over LehighSyracuse couples 1st-half defense with late offensive push to topple LehighFast reaction: 3 takeaways from Syracuse’s season-opening win vs. Lehighlast_img

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