Serving as an analyst on NBA Draft night, former Indiana coach Tom Crean was particularly critical of Syracuse's Tyler Lydon and how his skillset would translate to the NBA. Now, a little over a week since the event, Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim has fired back candidly at Crean -- and he didn't mince words in his response.
"He's an idiot," Boeheim said, via Syracuse.com. "He said he's not a good shooter. Freshman, sophomore year he shoots 40 percent from 3. That's pretty good for a young player. I think he had the best shooting statistics at the combine, I think, of all the big guys. He shoots it. That's what he does. It just shows the ignorance and not doing the work, the research, the background check. He's athletic and can do a lot of other things but he can really shoot."
Although Crean's colleagues on The Vertical's draft set were high on Lydon and his landing spot in Denver at No. 24 overall, Crean was less optimistic and laid out his concerns about Lydon as a professional rather bluntly.
"I don't think he's that good," Crean said, adding that he wasn't sold on his mobility or defensive talent would translate well to the NBA. "I shouldn't say he's not that good. The whole strength is supposed to be the shooting, things like. ... I think he plays hard, I think he tries hard, I don't think he's soft. But I don't think the shot is there. I don't think the mobility. Guys like him, who are they going to guard? And who are they going to separate from?"
Lydon spent just two seasons at Syracuse before making the leap to the NBA. In his sophomore season, he averaged 13.2 points and 8.6 rebounds in a disappointing overall season that ended with the Orange missing the NCAA Tournament altogether. Still, going from a sub-70 rated recruit to a first round draft pick is something worth celebrating, Boeheim notes.
"You go from being the 77th rated player out of high school and you're a Top 25 pick in the NBA Draft? That's a tribute to his work ethic and our program helping him," Boeheim said.
Something tells me Crean might think twice before providing criticism of players from Syracuse next time around.