College basketball season starts several months from now, but the hype train on Syracuse Orange forward Tyler Lydon already appears to be off and running. Hop aboard before it's too late!
Today, the Big Lead named the standout sophomore the ninth-best (!!!) player in the country for 2016-17. This is astounding because a) when's the last time a Syracuse player came into a season regarded this highly? And b) there isn't a single mention of Rico as the reason for/against his success.
Despite the fact that the article says Syracuse "only" made the Elite 8 last season, it also seems to believe that Lydon's going to put up something close to 18 points and 10 rebounds this year. That's a little bold for a player that average just over 10 and six in 2015-16, but not out of the realm of possibility. It's also a plateau few Syracuse players have ever reached. The last one to do it? Carmelo Anthony in 2002-03, who put up 22.2 and 10. Before him, Derrick Coleman (17.9 and 12.1) and Billy Owens (23.2 and 11.6) are the only other players to put up an 18 and 10 season in the Jim Boeheim era.
Lydon was the only Syracuse player included in the top 50, though several Orange players were on the honorable mention list. Forward Tyler Roberson and guard Tyus Battle both got nods there, as did potential transfer addition (and former Nebraska guard) Andrew White.
Also, if you want to frustrate yourself, former Syracuse target Thomas Bryant ranks sixth overall. Imagine THAT team...
Plenty more to digest on the list, from a non-Orange perspective. Any additional thoughts? Have at it in the comments.