Win number two is in the books.
The Syracuse Orange easily took care of business against the Holy Cross Crusaders in a 90-46 dominating win. The Orange were hot from the get go and let that strong shooting continue all the way to a 57.9% shooting performance. Tyler Lydon finally found his game again, and with the missing piece finally in place, the Orange are ready to roll.
Lydon’s shooting performance was the talk of the Dome, as he finished with 17 points on six of seven shooting and two of three from long range. This is the Tyler Lydon Syracuse fans are used to, and if things stay steady, the star forward should be in for a fun year.
“He got on the boards early, that was the difference,” coach Jim Boeheim said on Lydon’s breakthrough. “He got two easy baskets early, and against a zone that’s where your going to get position.”
Seeing his shot go was all Lydon needed to return to form, as scoring, his specialty, has been nowhere to be found in the young season. “Any time you can see the ball go through the hoop it definitely helps your confidence,” the 6-foot-9 forward said on finally delivering the kind of game he’s expected.
Lydon was one of many players to showcase their talents as John Gillon played as complete a game a point guard can play in only 18 minutes. The six-foot point guard finished with 15 points and nine assists, as he set up play after play for his teammates, while also looking for his own.
“I take just as much pride as scoring and playmaking as I do passing,” Gillon said on his complete game. “Getting my bigs involved and seeing them happy, I think is a very important part of the game.”
This team is budding with chemistry early, and with point guard play like this, everyone should be happy when the buzzer sounds. Gillon mentioned making his bigs happy, and one big who should be pleased with his performance is Paschal Chukwu.
The 7’2” center impacted the game without even taking a shot. Chukwu finished with 3 blocks, and when he was manning the middle of the zone, Crusader guards looked scared to bring the ball inside. Not much is being asked of Chukwu, but if he can make his size known, which, at 7’2”, is hard not to do, then the game will be just that much easier for the big man.
“The main thing I’ve learned is that I need to be a defensive presence, and that’s what I tried to do today,” Chukwu said on his evolving mindset. “Fortunately for me I was able to block a couple shots and make a couple defensive plays.”
Boeheim has stressed the importance of patience for the big man, and after tonight, it’s clear we should trust the veteran head coach.
“It was an improvement over the first game,” coach Boeheim said on the second victory. Improvement is all the Orange are looking for this early, and if they can continue to improve every day, games will be that much easier and more fun.