Syracuse men’s basketball roundtable: The Orange’s best lineup, Dajuan Coleman’s emergence and Tyler Lydon’s position

first_img Published on December 9, 2016 at 10:45 pm After starting out 4-0, Syracuse (5-3) has lost three of its last four games. In that span the Orange has mustered only 50 points in two different games and changed its starting lineup.Our beat writers Connor Grossman, Matt Schneidman and Paul Schwedelson answer three questions surrounding the Orange.1. How would you assess Syracuse’s new starting lineup with Tyus Battle, and without Tyler Roberson?Connor Grossman: According to Jim Boeheim, “it wasn’t even a decision” to bench Roberson in favor of the freshman. Looking at Roberson’s offensive blackout, it’s hard to disagree. What did Boeheim have to lose? Admittedly, it was a bit of a defensive concession, specifically on the boards. But Andrew White is now playing the 3, a position he’s more comfortable in, and Tyler Lydon is around the basket more on offense as a 4, where Boeheim said he’s more effective offensively. What’s more is Battle, in theory, brings a new jolt of life to Syracuse’s offense. He showed in his starting debut against North Florida with 19 points, and immediately hit a 3 to get SU going early against UConn. There’s not much for the Orange to be overly confident about right now, but I think this lineup is worth sticking with.Matt Schneidman: I definitely agree that Battle brings a spark to this offense, and it’s a spark Syracuse desperately needs. If the Orange was struggling defensively, Jim Boeheim might be better suited to stick with Roberson but like you said Connor, White and Lydon shifting down a spot isn’t hurting the defense. Battle is one of the top two or three 3-point shooters on the team and he’s flashed some promise from deep in the last two games. If he can continue that for the rest of SU’s nonconference schedule, then this is a new lineup Syracuse should eventually reap the benefits of.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textJacob Greenfeld | Asst. Photo Editor2. What’s gotten into Dajuan Coleman lately? Is everything finally coming together for the big man on both sides of the ball, and can we expect it to continue?C.G.: After losing to South Carolina, Boeheim said his best team was with Lydon at center. Coleman and Paschal Chukwu were “not ready to play at this level.” Specific to Coleman, the response has been remarkable. In the three games since he’s averaged 29 minutes per game after averaging 14 through five games. He’s unveiled somewhat of an unexpected jump shot that he’s always had, he said, but he’s now provided Syracuse with 37 points over the last three games. The capper was a double-double against UConn on Monday when he collected 16 rebounds. I’m not sure it’s reasonable to expect him to keep up with this pace, but it would be a hell of a boost for SU while it sorts out other woes.Paul Schwedelson: I agree with you that it doesn’t make sense to “expect” Coleman’s success to continue since this is the first time in his career that his jumper has been this good. This will be fascinating to track throughout the rest of the nonconference schedule. If it continues into conference play, it’s fair to say I would be shocked. For a player to add an entirely new dimension to his game as a fifth-year senior is rather remarkable. After SU faced South Carolina, Boeheim said he needed to see “something” from Coleman, implying he hadn’t seen anything yet to that point. He’s played extremely well since, but the law of averages says this won’t continue. But this is why we love sports, no?Jacob Greenfeld | Asst. Photo Editor3. Boeheim said SU’s best offensive lineup is with Tyler Lydon at center, not the 3. Now in the new starting lineup, he’s playing the 4. Where does he fit best?M.S.: Lydon, in my opinion, is best as a stretch-4. There, he factors into SU’s best offensive lineup with Frank Howard, Battle, White and Coleman surrounding him. I agree that it doesn’t matter where he as an individual plays on offense because he’s still going to strive to be multi-dimensional even if his shot isn’t falling now. It’s a matter of where his position allows others to slide into the lineup and right now, Lydon playing power forward gives the Orange the best chance to win in terms of where the other four slide in.P.S.: If you were to describe a prototypical stretch-4, you would say a 6-foot-9, 220-pound shooter who could score from anywhere on the court and also grab some occasional rebounds. That’s essentially what Lydon is. His ability to shoot allows SU to space the floor when he plays the 4. When he’s at the 3, he’s not around the basket enough to get rebounds and easy putbacks. One of the most important aspects of Coleman’s breakout has been that he gives SU production from the center position. Without an effective center, Lydon has to be relied upon at that spot. But his natural spot is as a stretch-4. Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more