Syracuse fans can only hope that social distancing sanctions are lifted in time for The Basketball Tournament this summer because Boeheim’s Army has a new addition to its roster.
Former Syracuse forward Tyler Lydon is joining the alumni team for the winner take all tournament in July. Lydon was clutch for the Orange as a freshman during the 2016 Final Four run. As a sophomore, he averaged 13.2 points, 8.6 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game. That led to him being selected with the 24th pick of the 2017 NBA Draft. The Elizaville, NY native spent two seasons as a two way player in the NBA with the Nuggets. Lydon is sitting out this year, waiting for his next opportunity.
While his professional career is on hold, Lydon is a perfect fit for Boeheim’s Army. Just as he was with Syracuse, Lydon will be a versatile player capable of playing the wing and middle of the zone. He will also give the alumni squad interior scoring with his 6’10” frame along with an NBA-caliber three point stroke. Lydon shot 40% from range as a collegiate and professional player.
Lydon is just the second player General Manager Kevin Belbey inked for the 2020 tournament. The sharpshooter joins Eric Devendorf who has played for Boeheim’s Army every year since 2015. Aside from the X’s and O’s Lydon fits the Boeheim’s Army mold because of the nostalgia he brings. That’s what this tournament is all about. When Boeheim’s Army fans watch Eric Devendorf, they are supposed to think back to the buzzer beater that never was against UConn in the six overtime thriller. When John Gillon pulled up for a shot last year, fans were supposed to hope for a bank every time just as he did at the buzzer against Duke in the Dome. This season, fans will think back to the 2016 Elite Eight against Virginia when Lydon buried a three with one shoe.
Boeheim’s Army is hosting one of the regions this year at SRC Arena on the campus of Onondaga County Community College. It’s a 64 team single elimination tournament. The winning team splits the $2 million prize. Boeheim’s Army, a one-seed, was upset in the regional final last year.