When Tyler Lydon stops hesitating, Syracuse basketball is more successful

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Related Stories Syracuse basketball opponent preview: Visual breakdown of No. 20 DukeBeat writers predict mixed outcomes for Syracuse’s matchup with No. 20 DukeSyracuse basketball opponent preview: What to know about No. 20 DukeTyler Lydon uses shooting stroke to provide versatility for Syracuse as freshmanHow well did Syracuse shoot from 3 in Atlantis? Probably even better than you think Published on January 18, 2016 at 10:52 am Contact Sam: sblum@syr.edu | @SamBlum3center_img WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Tyler Lydon never hesitated as he set an off-ball screen, rolled to the top of the key and swished a 3-pointer.One of Syracuse’s best long-ball shooters at 42.6 percent, the stretch-forward had become hesitant to fire away. In nine straight games before Saturday’s contest against Wake Forest, Lydon had failed to hit more than one 3-pointer. His seven makes over that stretch matched the seven he connected on during the three-day Battle 4 Atlantis tournament in November.But on Saturday, Lydon’s willingness to pull the trigger returned. His first make turned into two more. His successful day turned into a tempered smile after the game, when he told reporters that his confidence was back.“I was going through a little bit of a slump there,” Lydon said. “I was just putting in the work throughout the week with coach (Adrian) Autry. Just getting shots up made me feel a lot better. It’s just going a lot better for me.”Lydon played just 18 minutes due to foul trouble on Saturday, but took nine shots. The 0.5 shots per minute well surpassed his season average of 0.21. He scored 11 points and made 3-of-4 from long range. In the Bahamas, SU (12-7, 2-4 Atlantic Coast) head coach Jim Boeheim boldly proclaimed that the freshman did things that seniors have yet to figure out. But now, after a recent cold stretch, Lydon has begun to find his shot again, and his offense will be sorely needed against No. 20 Duke (14-4, 3-2) on Monday at 7 p.m. in Cameron Indoor Arena.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“I thought the biggest thing with Tyler was that he didn’t hesitate tonight,” Boeheim said. “He stepped out and hit the first 3 and that’s what he did in the Bahamas. He hasn’t done that, he’s been hesitating a little bit.”Trevor Cooney said many of his teammates have pulled Lydon aside to tell him that he was open and that he could be more trigger-happy with the basketball. Many times when he’s open with the basketball, he’s either passed, or pump-faked in open space.He did it on his second 3-pointer of the Wake Forest game just under four minutes after his first make. He begged for a pass, raising his arms up from the left corner. And when he got it, he pump-faked and took one step in the 3-point line with no defender in sight. Then he stepped back and hit another shot.“We want him to be aggressive and make plays and make shots and take those 3s,” Cooney said. “He does it in practice and it was good to see him do it in the game.”When Syracuse had its best stretch of the season from Nov. 25-27, it was Lydon that hit 7-of-10 from behind the arc. Syracuse won by out-shooting its opponents, and Lydon burst onto the scene by proving he could be the catalyst.When Syracuse has struggled, so too has Lydon. According to Kenpom.com, he is used on only 14.4 percent of Syracuse’s possessions when on the court, which is fewer than benchwarmer Kaleb Joseph.Against Duke, a team that has scored at least 80 points in every home game this season, Lydon’s offense will be needed. And he feels as though he’s hit his stride at the right time.“Just not seeing the ball go through the net, sometimes it’s a little frustrating. You lose a little bit of confidence,” Lydon said. “But to see it go back through feels good.” Commentslast_img