The one bright spot in Syracuse’s Christmas-ruining 78-71 loss against Georgetown was Tyler Lydon.
Lydon had a career high 29 points on 12-13 shooting and nine rebounds. Though it wasn’t enough for a win, SU saw a player it had seen in fits and starts last season.
“That was just a glimpse of what he can do,” Syracuse point guard John Gillon said. “It [the career scoring performance] was bound to happen and I think that confidence he just got from this game is going to snowball.”
While Lydon has certainly earned the praise, the rest of the team, however, doesn’t have a whole lot to brag about. The Orange struggled on both sides of the ball, got outrebounded by more than 10 rebounds yet again, and the guards were unable to capitalize on fast breaks and sustain any momentum.
“We’re just not playing well at the guard spot […] at all,” Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said, adding that the team isn’t “doing enough things right to win right now.”
This wasn’t lost on the players.
Gillon said that he and the other guards “obviously didn’t do [their] job.”
Lydon added that even though he shot the ball well he missed some free throws—he shot 2-5 from the line—including several crucial ones in crunch time
“I just worry about whether we won or lost. At the end of the day, ‘OK I played fine,’ but we didn’t win,” Lydon said. “And that’s what it’s about. We need to win games in order to keep moving forward and we didn’t do it. So I mean, my career day or whatever you want to call it doesn’t really mean much to me because we didn’t win.”
Still, Lydon having a break-out game bodes well for the rest of the season. He will be a critical player should SU eventually make an NCAA Tournament push.
Lydon and freshman Taurean Thompson proved to be critical in breaking down Georgetown’s zone.
“I think we’re our best when we get in the middle. Because when we get in the middle shooters open up every single possession and we can score in the middle too,” Thompson said. “Sometimes we get caught up with the three-point line and going side to side instead of forward and back but once we started doing that then we’ll be real hard to stop.”
Then again, it’s still December, and Syracuse’s season is far from over.
“We just played like eight, nine games, we’re not even halfway done,” Thompson said. “We’ve still got a lot of work to do, so I’m not worried about it.”