New Hampton (N.H.) junior forward Tyler Lydon has verbally committed to Syracuse University for the 2015-16 season, he announced tonight via Twitter.
The 6-foot-8 Lydon, a Pine Plains, N.Y. native, is ranked a four-star recruit and the No. 14 overall power forward in the 2015 class by ESPNU. He chose the Orange over a slew of offers that included Boston College, Boston University, Fairfield, Iowa, Iowa State, James Madison, Maryland, Minnesota, Notre Dame, Providence, Siena, UAB and Virginia Tech.
ESPN's Adam Finkelstein, who was first to report the news, has more on Lydon's commitment on Basketball RecruitingNation, which you can find in full HERE (Insider only).
Why he committed: While the timing of Lydon's announcement might seem early, the reality was that he already had earned his choice of high-major programs, with offers having come in from various national championship winners. The bottom line here is that Syracuse is almost impossible to beat for kids who grow up in upstate New York, and that's something we've seen time and time again in recent years with the likes of Brandon Triche, DaJuan Coleman, Chinonso Obokoh and others.
What he brings: Here's the most important part -- Lydon is just scratching the surface of his potential and was trending up as rapidly as almost any 2015 prospect on the East Coast. He's already a long and rangy athlete, but he actually might still be growing and certainly isn't anywhere close to maxing out his frame yet. He's very skilled on the perimeter, already capable of knocking down 3s and pull-ups alike and also a threat to score over smaller defenders from the mid-range area and in. He has a high basketball IQ and is a very good passer from either forward position. He's mobile for his size with a very active floor game that allows him to get his hands on a lot of balls, both defensively and coming off the glass.
Scouts Inc.'s current evaluation of Lydon raves about his versatility. You can read his full evaluation HERE (Insider only).
His niche is his ability to shoot the ball from long range and stretch opposing defenses from the four position, but he's more versatile than he appears at first glance with deceptive bounce and surprising effectiveness on the glass. His strength and conditioning has come a long way in the last year, which has been a major asset to his developing rebounding prowess. He's also skilled enough to put the ball on the floor with both hands.
While he's gotten noticeably stronger in the last year, his physical development is still a work in progress and he'll need to continue adding muscle in order to play through contact on a full time basis. Consistency is also a key, as his production has come more in spurts, during his first EYBL season. A big part of that is finding ways to get easy points on the offensive end, either by finding a couple of lay-ups per game or getting himself to the free-throw line with more frequency.
He's got an immediate niche because he's a perimeter forward who can really shoot the ball, but his deceptive versatility makes him far more than a one-trick pony.