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: [email protected] | @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 read more

Lakers’ Lonzo Ball continues to sit with ankle sprain

first_imgUnder ordinary circumstances, it might seem a silly degree of concern for an ankle sprain. But Ball is no ordinary rookie. On the night of the injury, Walton stressed the need to keep Ball on the floor to ensure the Lakers could continue to grow around him.Without Ball, the Lakers have continued to put in more elements of their offense, putting pressure on Ball to learn more from the sidelines.“We’re still working on just getting familiar with the different reads, with the different options,” Walton said. “We’re putting in an offense that has play calls to it right now but eventually we’d like it to just be reads for the players.”Ball’s injury, minor though it initially seemed, has been a setback for the Lakers, disrupting their preseason strategy and delaying their timeline.There is not, however, much of anything that can be done about that.“He played in the first couple games,” Walton said. “When he’s healthy, the training staff will give us the clear and he’ll get ready to go.”DEFENSE IMPROVING?After allowing an average of 116 points over the first three games of the preseason, and earning a tongue-lashing from Walton following a 128-107 loss to Denver on Oct. 4, the Lakers seem to have figured out a couple of things defensively.After rewatching the 105-99 loss against Utah, Walton said, “We found a lot of good half-court defensive stuff we did again. Which obviously we’re thrilled about.”Of course, there were things Walton did not care for. Transition defense, once again, was suspect. They fouled too much at the rim.“Those were the kind of focal points in the film room on the defensive end,” Walton said. “But on the whole we were very happy with how we defended last night.”After the Lakers did not show early signs of improvement, some began to fear they would once again be among the league’s worst defensive teams. Those concerns have been temporarily put to rest.“I am 100 percent sure that we are going to be better than last year,” veteran Corey Brewer said. “We are not going to be 30th, come on now. That’s horrible. You can see that we have shown signs that we can really do it and I think we will do it.”Brewer, one of the Lakers’ best wing defenders, went so far as to say, “we should be a top-five offensive team and a top-10 defensive team.” EL SEGUNDO — Sitting on the sidelines in shower shoes and a crisp white Big Baller Brand hoodie, Lonzo Ball watched as another day of Lakers basketball rolled on without him.The prized rookie continues to sit out with a sprained ankle that was initially labeled as mild, but has proved to be anything but.Enlisted as the new face of a team whose offensive philosophy was constructed around him, Ball has been limited to light drills since suffering the injury on Oct. 2.The highly anticipated start to Ball’s Lakers career has sputtered out of the gates. He has missed three consecutive preseason games and is listed as questionable for Friday’s exhibition finale against the Clippers. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorcenter_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with PackersCoach Luke Walton said he was hoping Ball could play, but did not sound especially confident it would happen.“Do I plan on him playing?” Walton said. “No. We’re going about coaching this with the guys that we know are available.”Ball worked out before Tuesday’s loss to Utah with assistant coach Miles Simon, and did so again before practice on Wednesday, Walton said. The Lakers would like to see him complete a practice before playing in a game, but that could be either Thursday or in an extended shootaround Friday.On Wednesday, Walton acknowledged the injury has been trickier than he initially expected.“I didn’t think he would miss the whole preseason,” Walton said, “but you try not to really think like that. They’re injuries, you can’t and you don’t want to rush players back.”last_img read more

Whicker: Dwight Howard takes flight again as Lakers shake off Charlotte

first_img How athletes protesting the national anthem has evolved over 17 years Lakers, Clippers schedules set for first round of NBA playoffs PreviousCharlotte Hornets guard Dwayne Bacon, left, and Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard battle for the rebound during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019. The Lakers won 120-101. (AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo)Charlotte Hornets guard Dwayne Bacon, left, and Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard battle for the rebound during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019. The Lakers won 120-101. (AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo) SoundThe gallery will resume insecondsCharlotte Hornets forward Cody Zeller, right, shoots while Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard, center, defends as Kentavious Caldwell-Pope looks on during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019. The Lakers won 120-101. (AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo)Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard, left, speaks with David Beckham prior to an NBA basketball game against the Charlotte Hornets in Los Angeles, Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019. (AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo)Charlotte Hornets guard Dwayne Bacon, right, and Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard battle for the rebound during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019. The Lakers won 120-101. (AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo)Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard, center, goes up for a shot while Charlotte Hornets guard Malik Monk, right, and PJ Washington defend during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019. The Lakers won 120-101. (AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo)Charlotte Hornets guard Terry Rozier, right, goes up for a shot while Los Angeles Lakers center JaVale McGee, left, and Anthony Davis defend during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019. (AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo)Charlotte Hornets guard Devonte’ Graham, right, loses the ball while Los Angeles Lakers guard Quinn Cook defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019. (AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo)Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis, right, drives to the basket while Charlotte Hornets forward Cody Zeller defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019. (AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo)Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis, right, is fouled by Charlotte Hornets guard Terry Rozier while driving to the basket during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019. (AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo)Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis (3) dunks the ball while Charlotte Hornets forward Miles Bridges (0) looks on during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019. (AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo)Charlotte Hornets forward Miles Bridges, front, dunks the ball past Los Angeles Lakers guard Avery Bradley, left, and JaVale McGee during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019. (AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo)Los Angeles Lakers guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, left, steals the ball away from Charlotte Hornets guard Terry Rozier during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019. (AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo)Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James, center, goes up for a shot past Charlotte Hornets guard Dwayne Bacon, left, during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019. (AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo)Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis, right, speaks with head coach Frank Vogel during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Charlotte Hornets in Los Angeles, Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019. (AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo)Charlotte Hornets guard Dwayne Bacon, left, and Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard battle for the rebound during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019. The Lakers won 120-101. (AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo)NextShow Caption1 of 15Charlotte Hornets guard Dwayne Bacon, left, and Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard battle for the rebound during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019. The Lakers won 120-101. (AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo)ExpandLOS ANGELES — If he plays this way against all his former teams, that’s seven victories right there.Dwight Howard was the puddle-jumper version of Superman Sunday night. He hit all eight shots, got 10 rebounds, blocked four shots and scored 16 points in not quite 23 minutes for the Lakers against Charlotte, which was Superman’s next-to-last stop on what looked like a farewell tour.He was reduced to a return to the Lakers, cape in hand, and he had to promise that he would stay in a narrowly defined lane, and keep in mind that other Lakers were in charge of the flight plan.Few groups are louder than Laker fans scorned, but the peevish booing they hurled at Howard has now turned to rejoicing. He did exactly what he was supposed to do and nothing more Sunday night. “All of that stuff before, the way I played and the way I used to act, that’s not me anymore,” Howard said. “I kept telling myself that if it was 30 seconds, two minutes, 15 minutes, I was going to do whatever it took to help my team win.”“He scored the way we wanted him to score,” Vogel said. “He was crashing, going to the basket, but defensively was where he was dominant. He was getting that above-everybody-else types of rebounds. He has shown bursts throughout camp. Tonight he was off the charts.”The Lakers were shoddy defensively, particularly in transition, for much of the game, against a team that has a seat reserved at the 2020 lottery table. They didn’t guard the 3-pointer well, and they missed 20 of 31 three-pointers, with Danny Green going 1 for 5.But they have a lot of Plan Bs, and a very reliable AD. Anthony Davis had 29 points and 14 rebounds, beat people off the dribble, swished 3-pointers, brought the ball downcourt, blocked shots, and kept the Lakers afloat in the first half. No matter how good you thought Davis was, he is better than that. To see him stretch himself amid all this other help, particularly when Kyle Kuzma returns, will be revelatory.Caruso, the G League veteran and the sacrificial point guard in so many what’s-the-point Lakers games last year, had a major effect for the second consecutive game. He came into the third quarter, and somehow the Lakers started flowing. If you like plus-minus, he was plus-17 in 13 minutes.“He is creating good problems for me,” Vogel said, smiling.Related Articles Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Lakers practice early hoping to answer all questions center_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with Packers“He was a star in his role,” coach Frank Vogel said.“I told him at one point that we needed more energy from him,” Alex Caruso said, “and he said he knew it, and he went out there and gave it to us. We see him every day. He’s dunking like he is 21 again.”The Lakers needed Howard, and a late punch from Caruso, and a solid fourth quarter from LeBron James to dispose of the Hornets, 120-101. They only led by a point going into the fourth quarter, but they shot 62 percent the rest of the way, and that’s when Howard got three of his blocks.Howard would be far from the first bounce-back star to win an NBA championship, but few have been asked to overcome such revulsion. In Houston, he and James Harden could barely fit into the same arena. He passed through Atlanta, Charlotte and Washington, where he missed all but nine games with a bad back that needed surgery.Before that, of course, he was a towering figure with Orlando, having led the Magic to the 2009 NBA Finals. Eight times he was an NBA All-Star, and his rebounding and blocked-shot numbers are better than many Hall of Fame residents. But he was damaged goods, and not just physically. Trail Blazers, Grizzlies advance to NBA play-in game; Suns, Spurs see playoff dreams dashed But Howard put the buzz in the building Sunday.“The fans and I have been through a lot,” he said brightly. “I’m trying to keep the fans up with the hype at this point. I’m the hype man.“The joy comes from being out on the court after missing the whole year with back injuries, and not being able to do nothing but be in the bed. I’m going to express it the best I can. But in order for us to win, we have to play that fourth quarter in every quarter. We can’t play around with teams like this. You saw what happened with the Clippers and Phoenix last night. They didn’t take the game as seriously as they should, I didn’t think, and they lost.”At some point a player sees that he’s closer to the descent than the takeoff.“Every moment counts,” Howard said. “It counts from the weight room to the training room to everywhere else. If I do my job 100 percent every night, it will put us in a good position.” Trail Blazers beat Grizzlies in play-in, earn first-round series with the Lakers last_img read more