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Syracuse basketball: Tyler Lydon declares for the 2017 NBA Draft

Some more tough news for Syracuse Orange fans this week.

NCAA Basketball: Duke at Syracuse
Tyler Lydon’s career comes to an end as he declares for the 2017 NBA Draft.
Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Well, this is unfortunate.

Tyler Lydon has decided to declare for the 2017 draft, as news broke this afternoon that the sophomore forward will be signing with an agent.

Lydon’s departure had been uncertain throughout the rollercoaster ride the Syracuse Orange had this year, but the opportunity to enter the NBA was too much to pass up this time around.

Lydon averaged 13.2 points and 8.6 rebounds per game this season, a slight upgrade from his freshman year numbers. His slow start to the season derailed the Orange in the beginning, but his play improved as his shot reappeared and his defense became more present over the course of the year.

Lydon helped the Orange make a Final Four run last year, and his success prompted him to be named to the top 50 Wooden Award preseason list. His early struggles diminished those odds, but without Lydon’s improvement, the Orange would have had no place in the bubble at the end of the season.

NCAA Basketball: ACC Conference Tournament-Syracuse vs Miami
Maybe Tyler Lydon won’t have to play the entire game in the NBA.
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Draft Express’s most recent mock draft has the 6’9” forward going 23rd overall to the Orlando Magic. Lydon’s stretch four ability could bode well for him with the NBA trending towards a more fast paced tempo with shooters ranging in all sizes.

Lydon’s career wasn't the longest, but his contributions to the Final Four run last year cannot go unnoticed. The Orange now have a whole to fill at the forward spot, so hopefully Taurean Thompson can fill the void that Lydon will leave.

Thanks for your efforts in Orange, Tyler. We’ll always remember that shot you took with one shoe (and Rico, of course).

UPDATE: Also worth a mention...