first_img Published on November 9, 2015 at 9:44 pm Contact Sam: [email protected] | @SamBlum3 With Syracuse basketball tipping off its regular season on Friday, The Daily Orange profiles each of the three scholarship freshmen on the team. Now up is big man Tyler Lydon, followed by guard Frank Howard.Tyler Lydon was always the brother that listened to his mother’s advice on proper shooting form. Whether it was making sure he was shooting from over his head, forcing his elbow between his eyes or practicing a follow through, Susan Lydon passed down what she knew.It’s a form that Lydon has carried with him from days of playing Around the World with his mother in their backyard to his role as a contributor for Syracuse. Susan — a former college basketball player — never knew how tall Tyler would be or how much he’d rely on his shooting ability, but his stroke dates back to her wisdom.“I really think it did stem from what we would teach him at home,” Susan said. “The high school coaches, I haven’t seen any of them teach any of my kids any kind of form. I guess I’m going to take the credit for it.”Standing at 6 feet, 9 inches, Lydon’s shooting stroke is what helps define his versatility as he gets set to start his freshman season. He can play small forward, stretch the floor at power forward and has the size to contribute to a center position that lacks depth.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textAfter transferring high schools to help boost his level of competition, Lydon got on college coaches’ maps. But he still hopes to exceed the expectations placed on him.“He’s been a guy you can pick-and-pop with, and a guy who can go to the corner and really space out and get driving lanes … teams have to respect it,” senior guard Trevor Cooney said. “Defensively and offensively, he’s been really good for us and he’s definitely a lot more athletic than most people think he is.”Lydon transferred to New Hampton Prep School in New Hampshire and he said it opened him up to a new level of competition that he’d never faced before. He gained 25 pounds after developing a stronger workout regimen. He was playing against guys who were also destined for high-major Division-I basketball.His mom said Lydon would have transferred a year earlier had it been feasible. His Albany City Rocks coach, Jim Hart, said that his experience at New Hampton helped him mentally as much as it did physically.“Tyler, you know, if you tell him this many and you’ll get here, he’ll go out and do twice as many and you almost have to stop him,” Hart said.He wants to make his shot his “perfection.” Every day before practice, he’ll be hoisting up shots in the Carmelo K. Anthony Basketball Center with assistant coach Adrian Autry.He doesn’t know what the drills will be before his early arrival to practice. He just knows they’ll involve shooting. His ability to score from the outside changes the dimension of his game and how opponents defend a Syracuse team that has made a point of being more 3-point happy this season.“He’s not a one-position-type kid,” Susan said. “I mean, if you worked with him a little bit more, he could probably be your point guard.”Syracuse won’t ever need him to be that playmaker. They won’t need him to be anything he can’t. But for Lydon, the things he can’t do are few and far between.Lydon said a personal goal would be to win ACC Rookie of the Year. There are 14 other players in the Class of 2015 in the conference that appeared higher than him on the ESPN recruiting rankings, including teammate Malachi Richardson. It’s a steep goal for a player that was hardly considered an elite prospect.“I feel like a lot of other guys that are 6-9 aren’t able to do the things that I can do,” Lydon said. “That definitely gives me an advantage.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img

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