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Syracuse Basketball: Tyler Lydon's Return Official, Malachi Richardson Moving Up Mock Drafts

With the release of the NBA early entry list, we can officially say that Tyler Lydon is 100 percent returning next year. As for Malachi Richardson, the jury is still out.

Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

No one wanted Tyler Lydon to leave the Syracuse Orange for the NBA, nor do we want to break beer bottles over his head, so this metaphor doesn't quite lock up 100%, but now that the official NBA early entry list is set and his name isn't on it, I can't help but think that Jim Boeheim just locked the Melo Center door and told Tyler, "Now yous can't leave."

Obviously we knew Lydon wasn't going to even test the NBA Draft waters but we've also heard plenty of underclassmen say they're not going only to then turn around and go. So anytime we can say definitively that a guy is coming back (who wants to come back), it's a good thing and we can move forward.

Also obviously, Malachi Richardson's name was on the 162-name list. Mali is going to see what the expectations are without signing with an agent (for now). Early indications seem to be that he's not lottery material but could be a late first-rounder, at least according to ESPN's Chad Ford. Richardson was just outside of Ford's Top 30 prospects.

Other mocks have Richardson going as high as 24th overall and some have him not even being selected at all (which seems strange).

The next step in the process is finding out if NBA executives have invited him to the NBA's pre-draft combine in Chicago on May 10-15. If not, it's an indication that they might not be taking his draftability seriously. If they do invite him, it means there's some solid interest. Last year only 61 players were invited so it's a pretty exclusive club.