On Monday, DraftExpress.com updated its 2017 NBA mock draft and there was some significant movement from a Syracuse Orange perspective.
Tyler Lydon, who has been hovering around the No. 20 pick in the draft, slipped two spots to the Toronto Raptors at No. 22. Lydon is averaging 13.4 points and 8.3 rebounds per game this season.
Andrew White, the fifth-year graduate transfer from Nebraska, went for a career-high 40 points on Saturday against Georgia Tech and now has found himself in the newest mock draft.
White, who hasn’t been featured on a DraftExpress mock yet this season, came into the March 6 edition at No. 59 overall to the San Antonio Spurs. He’s averaging a team-best 17.9 points per game this season for the Orange.
Also making his first appearance is freshman Tyus Battle, who has been a consistent scorer all season for the Orange this season. Although he’s not projected to be picked in the 2017 draft, Battle comes in at No. 38 overall in the 2018 NBA draft.
Battle’s recent surge has given the worry to some fans that he could bolt after this season — similar to Malachi Richardson last year. Tyus reportedly said after Saturday’s game he’s coming back next season, but Malachi said similar things at this time last year, too. For Richardson, it was his strong play in the NCAA Tournament that ended up propelling him into the first round of the draft.
If Battle can replicate Malachi’s performance in this year’s NCAAs, we might be okay with the (well-earned) departure... though recruiting would be its own set of NEW issues as a result.
Obviously, Andrew will pursue his professional career after this season since he’s out of eligibility. But Tyler Lydon is still publicly undecided on his future. We’ll see what the next week (or more?) bring before we have to face what his decision dictates for SU.