Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Xavier transfer to set campus visits


College basketball notebook. ...

Former Xavier University point guard Mark Lyons, who recently said he will transfer to Kansas University, Arizona or Kentucky, is concentrating on final exams this week as he completes work on his undergraduate degree.

If the 6-foot-1 junior graduates, he’ll be free to play at any college next season. If not, he’ll have to sit out a season in accordance with NCAA transfer rules.

Lyons told he’s in the process of setting up campus visits.

“I’m going into this with open eyes and see what the programs provide and see what they’ve got,” Lyons said.

Lyons, who averaged 15.1 points and 2.8 assists per game last season, was initially recruited to Xavier by current Arizona coach Sean Miller. He said that did not make U of A the leader.

“I’m gonna do whatever my team (needs) me to do,” Lyons told Zagsblog. “Provide energy, get everybody involved and play defense.”

Lyons was suspended two games last season for his role in a brawl in a game against Cincinnati.

“Xavier coach Chris Mack won’t say anything more about Mark Lyons,” ESPN’s Andy Katz wrote Thursday. “But the Musketeers did need to move on from this crew. They excelled to get to the Sweet 16 in Atlanta. But the time was now to sever the relationships from last season’s team. Xavier is too proud, too strong a program to be tainted by that one incident; having a fresh start with the main combatants gone allows for a new era.”

Turner to SMU?: New SMU coach Larry Brown is about to land high-profile transfer Josiah Turner, Zagsblog reports.

“Josiah will land at SMU as long as the recent arrest (suspicion of DUI) doesn’t turn coach Brown and others off at the University,” a source told Turner, who chose Arizona over KU and others, was suspended two times last season for violations of team rules.

He did not make his visit to St. John’s last weekend as originally planned.’s Jeff Goodman says Turner will visit SMU on Wednesday.

Harris to visit KU, Florida: Damontre Harris, a 6-9, 215-pound sophomore who has said he will transfer from South Carolina to KU, Florida, VCU or Marquette, told the Fayetteville (N.C.) Observer he plans to visit KU and Florida in coming weeks.

However, according to Carey Rich of, Harris may be reconsidering his decision to leave SC and may play for former Kansas State coach Frank Martin after all. Harris averaged 6.8 points and 5.5 boards per game a year ago.

Barnstorming: KU basketball’s annual Barnstorming Tour continues, with exhibition games at Humboldt High on Friday (6 p.m. autographs, game to follow), Pratt High (5 p.m., autographs) on Saturday and Colby High (3 p.m., autographs) on Sunday.

There will be a final Barnstorming game held on May 12 at a yet-to-be-determined time and place — somewhere in the Kansas City area. KU senior Tyshawn Taylor will join seniors Jordan Juenemann and Conner Teahan in that final game. He’s preparing for the NBA Draft and will not be playing this weekend.


jaybate 10 years ago

•If Xavier were too proud and strong to be tainted by the brawl, then Lyons would be coming back to Xavier. Katz doing damage control PR for Chris Mack suggests Katz and Mack have an underlying relationship that needs exploring.


• Turner to LB. Larry gets to work through his Allen Iverson Dynamic again.

• Barnstorming? How 1930s. I know the economy is entering the third downturn of the Great Depression 2.0, but unless the guys are wing-walking on bi-planes, how about something from the 21st Century, like Gym Jamming Tour?

• April is the cruelest recruiting month, breeding lilac transfers out of the dead land, mixing memory and desires for slams, stirring dull hopes with spring sizzle.--T.S. jaybate, The Basketball Wasteland.

• Dribbles echo in the memory...

Keith Kienzle 10 years ago

"Dribbles echo in the memory..." +1

Martin Rosenblum 10 years ago

I guess Barry Hinson won't be there to tie the racoon tail on the antenna of the old wood panelled team bus from which calls of "twenty three skidoo" ring out while girls in long skirts and sweaters hang on the running boards while their pony tails fly behind them in the wind. Rah Rah Sis Boom Ba! Why, Andy Hardy (Tyshawn Taylor), you're the cat's meow!

kerbyd 10 years ago

I always wondered what Barry Hinson's job consisted of...besides bbq.

KGphoto 10 years ago

"Watch Coach Self punch out a ref!"


There is no limit to what I would pay!

Michael Bratisax 10 years ago

HCLB and Iverson did make it to to the NBA finals.

BarnstormingL: Tis but thy name, would a rose by any other name smell as sweet?

April recruiting period: Darrell Arthur, Alex Galindo, CJ Giles, Brandon Rush, Mario Chalmers, Micah Downs, Tyshawn Taylor, Xavier Henry, Josh Selby, Royce Woolridge, Ben McLemore, Jamari Traylor and Zach Peters. Okay.. some did wait until May but April overall has been a pretty good month for Kansas.

Memories - Light the corners of my mind - Misty watercolor memories - Of the way we were Scattered pictures - Of the smiles we left behind - Smiles we gave to one another For the way we were

Ben Kane 10 years ago

where are all the comments about BS's inability to recruit and need to be replaced?

a basketball article during spring football talk... what has this university become?

Martin Rosenblum 10 years ago

Let's conjugate the word "recruit":





HCBS has done it all and doesn't have to look back over his shoulder or dread opening mail from the NCAA like some other coaches.

Alex Berger 10 years ago

Here you go! Self can't recruit! He can't get anyone of significance!

Except for Ellis... and White... and Frankamp... and Greene... and all those players that have made us conference champs for 8str8 years...

Jack Wilson 10 years ago

chuck: Is that a strawman now? Who is saying he can't recruit .. other than a few random posts?

Curtis Stutz 10 years ago

I think there was some recent bickering about losing out on some in-state guys like Cauley, in general I think everyone realizes Self is getting what he needs to compete. It's always going to be a little bit of a sore spot for KU fans, don't know that KU has ever been the dominant recruiting power in cbb for a good stretch the way UK is right now or the way UNC has been in the past. Bottom line is a bundle of big recruits doesn't always get you where you want to be. Heck sometimes I worry about too much depth keeping the team from full synergy. As long as KU has Bill Self there is a chance of landing any individual recruit/transfer and the biggest reason we won't land 3-5 top10 guys is 'cause our returning roster is always solid.

Jack Wilson 10 years ago

That's a good point on the Cauley thing .. not a can't recruit so much as maybe questioning decision making in recruiting. Like putting so much in the recruit of Tarc.

Michael Bratisax 10 years ago

Only a few people really know what happened with Willie Cauley. Was he bitter that Kansas never recruited him or did he state that he had no interest in Kansas? Kansas State recruited him, as did Missouri.

I'm not sure it raised to the level of bickering, at least for me, but I was interested in why we never made any official contact. I'm willing to take the word of those who said that he never wanted to go to Kansas.

And I agree completely with HEM that we spent and wasted too much time on Tarc. Maybe we can sign him after he transfers from Arizona.

Ben Simonett 10 years ago

Roy was pulling in talent like crazy. and that was while only while recruiting half of the country.

Self went on a streak of top 5 recruiting classes for like 3-4 years in a row.

KU can be a recruiting powerhouse, but for whatever reason, it hasn't been lately

Michael Bratisax 10 years ago

Everyone knows HCBS is a great recruiter and even better coach. I would put him in the top 10 for recruiting and top 3 for coaching.

Ben Simonett 10 years ago

thats a sad statement,

when self first got here it was the other way around, everyone was saying "yeah hes a great recruiter, but can the man really coach?" (people actually questioned his half court offense lol)

He pulled in crazy talent to Illinois, thats what got him the KU job. then he lit it up on the recruiting trail his first 5-6 years here.

he's really only fallen from top 3 recruiter to top 10 recruiter recently, and i can't figure out why.

Michael Bratisax 10 years ago

Didn't mean for it to be taken that way but your points are hard to argue with. Still..we played in the last game of the 2012 season because of great coaching and good recruiting.

With all the incoming talent plus BMac and Traylor and already 2 great signings in 2013, I see us as serious contenders for the next 2 years and if they develop as most players do under Self..I predict a NCAA Championship in 2014.

Ron Franklin 10 years ago

How do I get barnsrtrmimg tix for Humboldt ¿

Bville Hawk 10 years ago

If it was me I would be wary of this Lyons kid. I mean, I don't mind these transfers in football because we are in such dire straits and they can only help. But a point guard I have to wonder what his motivation is. I'm guessing he wants to get to the next level so he's thinking he has to go somewhere to get exposure and put up big numbers. Since he's a point guard the ball is going to be in his hands every possession and I have to think it's going to be a lot more about him than about team a lot of the time.

I think you only offer him if you are 100% convinced that he buys into the "team first" concept.

Chris Shaw 10 years ago

Hey Konkey, completely non basketball related, but have you seen the documentary "King of Kong"? I believe that is the title about the Donkey Kong video arcade game.

If you haven't seen it, absolutely hilarious!

REHawk 10 years ago

The kid has a chance to dig his way out of a pit, play for a coach and squad which can lead him to a Final Four. That said, I give a +1 to your concluding sentence. The last thing we need is a player who will crack emotionally under the weight of sudden calamity.

Michael Bratisax 10 years ago

I would like to see us land him. If there is one concern for next season, I think it's at the point guard position. I'm not saying that EJ couldn't handle the job but he is definitely better at the 2. Let him stroke the three next season.

KGphoto 10 years ago

Certainly we must be last on his list. He knows Miller from way back, and The Squid will let him run wild. Why would a kid with obvious maturity issues decide to come to KU and play for a defensive minded disciplinarian?

I'll say one thing, if he does choose Kansas, I'll be behind him 100% because he'll be choosing something completely out of his comfort zone and deciding to take on that challenge.

1:3 it's Arizona.

RJ King 10 years ago

I was not a fan of offering Lyons. But I hadn't thought about the fact that at age 22(?) he would most likely be choosing with his eyes wide open - at least wider than many 17-18 yr olds. So, I find myself shifting to the sentiment expressed in your 2nd paragraph.

I'm also fine with just EJ and Tharpe. If Anrio qualifies, I'd just as soon NOT have Lyons. If Anrio doesn't make it, then - DUH - it would be nice to have Lyons for a year.

AsadZ 10 years ago

Landen Lucas interview at the time of his signing with KU. He seems to be a good kid with a good head between his shoulders.

RJ King 10 years ago

Thanks for the link. Let's hope that Lucas' head is actually resting on his shoulders so that all that chest bumping doesn't take its toll. Just teasin' ya (off season is boring).

John Randall 10 years ago

from the video, it seems his neck keeps the head above his shoulders . . . :-)

jdhawk1988 10 years ago

To me it is obvious, if you have only one year left of college ball to not only win but rebuild your reputation do you go to schools led by freshman or one with veterans? The knock on him last year was he was greedy and didn't play team ball. Would that change as U of A, no but if he tried that here he would be at the end of the bench. TT is going to be a first round pick and he is very simular. I would put U of A in the rear and Us and UK at the top.

Tony Bandle 10 years ago

Arizona needs a point guard. Kentucky needs a point guard. Does Kansas really need a point guard more than the other two schools?

Best personal situation - Arizona Best chance to make a big splash - Kentucky Best option to be challenged and improve - Kansas

You all decide which one he'll choose!!

jaybate 10 years ago

Aridzona? Rejoin a guy who bailed on him once already and left him with Mack? Is he going there, because they've got need, and to see what the going rate is from the "not the right way" guys? Maybe. Aridzona seems a long shot, though by putting Aridzona first, it gives Lyon's a chance to sweat Sean Squatty Body the longest; that suggests something about their relationship right there.

Kentucky? More "not the right way" going rate assessment? Maybe. I could see UK, because the play book is thin, he would like the dribble drive for a show case season, and UK would have a need, if last season's OAD really does jump. But who thinks UK's PG from last season is a first round draft choice? Maybe he is. Maybe he's already declared. I haven't checked. But based on what I saw, for him to be a first round draft choice, that would mean Tyshawn would have to to be a first round choice, too, maybe a lottery pick, and the word is iffy on Tyshawn being a first rounder. So: I reckon UK's PG stays a second season and Lyons doesn't go to UK, unless the cupboard is really bare at Dyslexington.

KU? At first, KU seems a bad fit for Lyons. He wants to be a PG. Self has already played an OAD (Selby) at the 3, because he wouldn't commit to two seasons. But then there is EJ's knee to consider. Self might toss EJ a medical rouge smoking jacket, if there were any doubts about EJ's knee situation for next season in order to make sure EJ gets a great last go round as a Jayhawk. But even if EJ's knee were green lighted, Self could easily promise Lyon's first back up at all three perimeter positions for a grand total of 30-35 mpg on a team picked in the top 5 next season.

So: back to the "brawlier from Xavier." Lyons is a New Yorker, if I've got his story straight. Norm Roberts likely recruited Lyons for years, when Norm was at St. Johns. Norm has to be the reason Lyons is even considering KU. The KU angle has to be: you've tried it with the "not the right way guys" already. It got ugly. As a slim chance NBA guard and a big chance Euro pro, wouldn't you rather connect with the highly stable KU fraternity of NBA and Euro pro players and be with the "right way guys" for the rest of your life?" And actually improve your last season under Self, rather than just dribble drive in Dyslexinton.

Lyons has the work ethic to have graduated in three years, though to be honest it is hard to say how much a jock graduating in 3 years from Xavier really means. What if its Xavier Online? But let's assume it means Lyons is driven. Lyons also appears to have the courage and character and swagger to walk away from the known at Xavier, so he has the courage, character, swagger and work ethic to be a Self Baller even if for only a year, despite the uncertainties of how the KU PT at the PG will play out (i.e., not the quantity so much, but which positions will be played).

And remember: Self is addicted to "swagger."

jdhawk1988 10 years ago

Ummm no, they have a transfer from NC State who supposedly tore up teagues all season long and that is part of the reason he went pro.

UK's Point Guard situation is the most stable and loked up of the three.

RJ King 10 years ago

Lyons is a red-shirt junior, so it sounds like he has had four years to get his degree.

jaybate 10 years ago

Add in that Jesse Newell did a "preparation piece" readying fans for Self signing a kid with the brawl-taint, and its seems 90% that Lyons will come to KU. IMHO, there would have been no reason to do that prep piece, if it were improbable Lyons would be signed. We don't see similar prep pieces being done on the other improbables--even the improbables that seem probable for a time by we outsiders and last-to-knows.

Probably part of what is causing Lyons to hedge is Lyons and Self want to be absolutely sure what condition EJ's knee is going to be in before Self promises Lyons what the situation will be.

Lyons would be a dope to come to KU and sit behind EJ and the other positions, if Sean Squatty Body and Cal will give him the point full time. But will they?

And Lyons, at 6-1, does not seem like the kind of guy that is going to move BenMac off the 2, or Travis off the 3, at least as a starter.

But, again, what Self does have to offer Lyons is first backup at all three perimeter positions and so a combined PT of about 30-35 mpg. Or at least the promise of same, if Lyons can learn the play book that fast.

Clearly, Lyons sees the opps at all schools.

He faces a character decision regardless.

But it is going to be shaped by how EJ looks after a month or so of rehab; this much we can be pretty confident about.

justanotherfan 10 years ago

Depending on how you feel about Naadir Tharpe, Kansas may need a point guard.

Every championship caliber team needs at least 2 guys on the roster that are comfortable being the primary ball handler. Elijah Johnson is one. If Naadir is the other, then KU is fine. If not, though, then KU will need another guy that can handle the basketball and get us into our offense.

I'd say right now Lyons probably picks Arizona because of his relationship with Miller. However, if he wants a shot at a title, then its down to KU and UK. Both teams could use another ball handler, so it will all depend on what he wants to do, because he's good enough to play at either school.

Joe Baker 10 years ago

I'm perfectly happy with EJ and Tharpe, next? Either way, I trust Self and CO. They get the big bucks for making these decisions.

Joe Baker 10 years ago

At this point Tarc will be running the point for Miller.

justanotherfan 10 years ago


Two things going on here.

One, clearly you don't know the DDM offense. It is an EXTREMELY difficult offense to learn. It involves elements of the traditional motion, the pick and roll, the Princeton offense and the weave.

The DDM requires precise spacing. If the spacing is poor, driving lanes are cut off. Not only that, it requires ALL FIVE guys to be involved in that spacing. If one perimeter guy doesn't space the floor properly (get out wide beyond the three point line) his defender can clog the lane. If the post doesn't position himself properly he won't be open for the dump offs from the penetration.

The DDM also requires precise decision making. The passes have to be made to the open shooters/ drivers on time. The decision shooting or passing has to be made crisply.

Second, the DDM isn't the only offense Calipari runs. If you watch Kentucky, they aren't in a true DDM set almost half the time. Part of this is because teams use zones and other defenses against them. The DDM is most effective against man defenses.

Another factor was having interior players like DeMarcus Cousins, Patrick Patterson, Josh Harrelson, Terrence Jones and Anthony Davis the last few years. In the traditional DDM, an inside player isn't used at all to post up. However, there were many times where UK ran high-low or a more traditional motion set (rather than DDM) to give those guys post up opportunities.

justanotherfan 10 years ago


Not here to argue, but whatever.

Anyway, the reason the DD is used by most middle schools and high schools is not the ease with which it could be learned or not. The reason is the personnel requirements.

The DD doesn't require any true post players to run effectively. That means that schools that do not have any size can run this offense at a high level. You can't really run the Princeton offense without at least one big guy that can pass the ball well. You can't run high low without two good post players. Most high schools (and middle schools) don't have the luxury of having skilled big players. Because of that, they run an offense that takes advantage of smaller players.

Not to mention that UK doesn't run the DDM about half the time. Whether you think the DDM is complicated or not, they don't run that set all the time. They run some high-low. They run some basic motion. They run some pick and roll.

I know that everyone wants to say oh, UK is a sham because they just recruit the most talent and then run simple offenses, or, UK cheats, or whatever. That's fine, you are entitled to that.

But this year's UK team, like them or not, played great basketball and, whether you like it or not, in all truth resembled the 2008 KU team in a lot of ways in that they shared the ball, played fierce defense and just generally played basketball the right way.

Sam Constance 10 years ago

No, UKALLDay, I think he's saying that Cal's offense allows his players' athletic ability to win games by avoiding a steep learning curve.

Gloat "ALL Day" about Kentucky doing that twice, then remember the average recruit ranking of the two rosters and come back to Earth.

Or did you forget that NBA-roster Kentucky team scored a piddly 26 points in the second half of that title game? Seems like Coach Self's defense ended up figuring out the middle-school offense, but that the athletic firepower was just too much to overcome.

Jack Wilson 10 years ago

I agree .. EJ and Tharpe are fine. But if one of them has an injury, then we have only one true ball handler. We skated by this season with our thin position (4/5) escaping injuries. We do need another competent ball handler on our roster.

If Adams actually comes, while not perfect, it would be a better depth situation in case of emergency.

Michael Bratisax 10 years ago

Agree..And one of Self's decisions is to go after Lyons.

Sam Constance 10 years ago

A few thoughts about Mark Lyons, etc...

The word on him not being a team player comes from his childish, getting-his-parting-shots-in head coach, Chris Mack. The fact that Mack would stoop to taking pot shots at a 20-year-old who wants to leave the school after GRADUATING says everything you would want to infer about that relationship. No surprise he's leaving if Mack's comments are at all reflective of his conduct as a coach.

I still don't know why almost every KU fan is penciling EJ in at the point. There are almost more unknowns for having EJ at the point then having Lyons play that position, the first of which is his potential knee concerns. But more to the point, it's a terrible idea to extrapolate EJ's ability to be a 25-30 mpg point guard based on him covering ballhandling duties for the 9 minutes or so that Tyshawn was getting some rest on the bench. He wasn't a PG out of HS, and he played it very sparingly last year. It wasn't until late in the season, and then the tournament, that he really started taking on that role with any competence (no offense to EJ)

The one thing I do like about EJ at the point is some of his comments post-championship game. He mentioned that one of the more important things he would have to do next year as a leader was to make sure the team loved and cared about each other. Now THAT is spoken like a true leader, PG or not.

The thing I like the best about bringing Lyons in is that he would give Coach Self two guys at the 1 and 2 slots that are basically combo guards. The two of them would likely split PG duties and we'd see Self return to a setup much more like what he had with Chalmers and Robinson in 2007 and 2008, with no true PG. The Sherronatron/Tyshawnatron mode of having a primary ballhandler at almost all times is a fairly recent phenomenon for Self's teams.

Sam Constance 10 years ago

Everything else I posted still applies, so no, I don't think it's a foregone conclusion.

Sam Constance 10 years ago

Much obliged :-)

I should have just taken the 2 minutes to look it up.

Lazy. sigh

Redlandsjhawk 10 years ago

Glad to hear someone else talk about Tharpe. My prediction is that he will be the most improved player next season. At the beginning of the season he was a walking turnover. When he came in the game you knew what was going to happen. Near the end of the season he seemed to slow himself down a half a step and played under control. He made some very impressive passes to an interior player that usually resulted in points. That was the flashes you speak of. I am excited for him next season and expect him to be a star. You heard it here first! (ok second, Ralster was first, but I've been thinking that for a long time!)

RJ King 10 years ago

Agree all. Was there a certain chemistry between EJ and Withey this year? Granted Withey missed a couple of signals, but in general it seemed they were an effective pair, while TT and T-Robb had more of a connection. (Or were the guards simply in position to pass more to strong side/weak side?)

One of our more entertaining teams was '02 when we could push it up the floor and score at will with Miles, Boshee, and Hinrich. Nice to have quality guards - whether combo or point. (It didn't hurt to have Gooden and Collison in the paint either!)

Michael Bratisax 10 years ago

Well Tharpe clearly has the most room to improve.

Tony Bandle 10 years ago

Thanks, everyone.....outstanding responses by all. No doubt in my mind that this site and KU Posting Nation has the most sophisticated, knowledgeable fans in America.

And, man oh man, can we write!!!! Great stuff!!

Tony Bandle 10 years ago

Next question..if the world was going to explode unless you ate one of these two foods, which would you eat;

Pickled beets with head cheese or kidney pie with brussel sprouts??

jaybate 10 years ago

With enough Bernaise sauce, I could eat both in an omlette and save the space-time continuum for another question by Oak. :-)

Martin Rosenblum 10 years ago

I think either choice would yield an inordinate amount of methane that would endanger the earth's ozone layer. The earth would be saved from the immenent danger but, it would be closer to doom for the choice.

KUDUDE 10 years ago


JayHawkFanToo 10 years ago

My question is: Is this the type of players HCBS wants?

Does HCBS ever hand the "keys to the car" to anyone? Do we want a player that comes because is the better "business decision"? At 6'1" Lyons can only play PG in the NBA. He is looking for a place where he can "play a major role," i.e. run the show, get extensive playing time, and showcase his talent for NBA scouts. I don't believe KU is that place.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.