At last night's NBA Draft, the Syracuse Orange extended its streak of first-round picks to a program-best five consecutive seasons. Malachi Richardson went 22nd overall to the Sacramento Kings (via trade with the Charlotte Hornets). Michael Gbinije was also selected in the second round, 49th overall to the Detroit Pistons.
With 2016 over, however, teams (and blogs) are already getting focused in on who the top prospects could be when 2017's selections roll around. Not surprisingly, Orange forward Tyler Lydon's pretty high on lists:
Bleacher Report: 11th
Draft Express: 21st
SB Nation: 22nd
USA Today: Top 12
This wouldn't be the first time the forward was on draft radars, either. Following an impressive performance at the Battle 4 Atlantis last year, Lydon jumped into shouting range of the 2016 lottery in some projections, and was largely seen as the most likely Orange player to get drafted. By season's end that changed, but it won't stop the hype following his highly-anticipated sophomore year.
With Syracuse's top three scorers from 2015-16 gone, Lydon becomes the de facto leader in that department for the upcoming season. The 6-foot-8 forward will likely split time at the three- and four-spots, depending on the lineup around him. He averaged 10 points and over six rebounds per game coming off the bench last year, while shooting 40 percent from three-point range.
Obviously there's plenty of movement left for Lydon and all the 2017 prospects before draft day one year from now. While Lydon is the assumed attention-grabbing player for Syracuse, guys like Tyler Roberson and Tyus Battle could also find themselves shooting up the boards come next spring.