Every Tuesday throughout the regular season, CBS Sports will name its Freshman of the Week in men’s basketball. Starting next Tuesday, we’ll again be tracking the national Freshman of the Year race, too. Feel free to submit notes, stories and stats to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Freshman of the Week for Nov. 24-30: Syracuse’s Tyler Lydon
Syracuse is now, undoubtedly, looking like a top-20 team.
It’s been a surprising blast out of the gate for the Orange. The group is is 6-0 and awaiting Wisconsin to come to the Carrier Dome on Wednesday night as part of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. SU will be favored in that game, and if it wins, a tempting Saturday rivalry revival matchup at Georgetown on Saturday awaits.
Now, a big reason Syracuse’s sweet start is Lydon, a freshman forward with a lot of skill and a guy who looks like he one day could have a shot in the NBA. He’s CBS Sports’ Freshman of the Week because he was the primary catalyst over the course of three games in three days to lead Syracuse to the Battle 4 Atlantis championship.
Lydon put up 15.7 points, 9.3 rebounds and 2.0 blocks in just over 30 minutes per game in SU’s wins against Charlotte, UConn and Texas A&M. He was 7-for-10 from 3-point range in that span.
He’s not come from nowhere; Lydon was a four-star, top-100 recruit who was considered a big part of this year’s Orange class. No doubt about it. But no one though Lydon would see this much playing time so early — and to show so much promise through the first two weeks of the season. That’s part of the fun of college hoops. Syracuse looks like an ACC contender, and without Lydon, I’m doubting that would be the case.
We shouldn’t expect him to keep this pace up, but for Jim Boeheim, who has had a number of superb freshmen come down the pike over the decades, Lydon — even more than fellow first-year player Malachi Richardson — could be the latest to bloom right off the bat.
Previous winners this season of the CBS Sports Freshman of the Week:
Week 1: Ben Simmons, LSU