Arizona Basketball: 5 Reasons That Mark Lyons Will Help Arizona Win the Pac-12
Mark Lyons is transferring to Arizona, as reported by Sportingnews.com Sunday afternoon.
Because he is a graduate transfer, Lyons will be eligible to play immediately and will fill a key role next season in Sean Miller's lineup at point guard.
Here are five ways that Mark Lyons will help Arizona win the Pac-12 in 2012-13
5. Lyons Has a Lot on the Line
What Mark Lyons does in this upcoming season will determine if he is going to play in the NBA or not.
Lyons needs to show the world (especially NBA Scouts) that he can play point guard.
At Xavier, Lyons played mostly shooting guard and was not asked to do much in terms of running the offense and looking for open teammates. He was expected to shoot the ball and score points.
He proved that he could do those things very well. Even when playing the point for Arizona, Lyons will still be counted on to be a serious scoring threat for the Wildcats.
He will have the perfect opportunity to show that he can lead a team by doing more than just score.
He will be handed the keys to Arizona's team and will be counted on to be more than a one-man show.
Because he has a lot on the line, you would think that he would be very receptive to what Sean Miller has to teach him.
4. Lyons Knows What Winning Is Like
Lyons played three seasons at Xavier where the Musketeers put up a combined record of 73-30. XU made it to the NCAA Tournament in each of these three years, advancing twice to the Sweet 16.
During his time at Xavier, the Musketeers won the Atlantic 10 conference twice.
Because winning begets winning, it is one more benefit that Lyons brings to the table.
3. Lyons Already Has a Relationship with Miller and the Arizona Coaching Staff
For a situation like this to work well, everyone has to be on the same page from the very beginning.
Fortunately for all parties involved, Lyons already has a relationship with Sean Miller (pictured) and his Arizona coaching staff.
Four years ago, Miller (as Xavier's head coach) recruited Lyons out of Hempstead, NY as a point guard.
"The coaching staff has always been great to me, since I was in high school," Lyons told Sporting News. "I've got a lot of trust in these guys. They're a confident group of coaches that knows how to keep a team together and guide the team."
An equally important issue is the confidence level that Miller is likely to already have in Lyons.
2. Lyons Brings an Edge
Lyons plays the game with a high level of effort, energy and on-the-court toughness.
These are all traits that Sean Miller played with when he was a gritty point guard at Pitt.
These are all traits that he values as a coach at Arizona.
As the point guard, Lyons will have the chance to influence the attitude that the Cats play with this coming season.
For the rest of the Wildcats' stellar 2012 recruiting class to play up to their potential as freshmen, they will need to have someone with a little moxie and a little resolve directing the traffic on the court.
1. With Lyons, Arizona Matches Up Very Favorably with the Rest of the Pac-12
There is no opponent in the Pac-12 that should scare the Wildcats in 2012-13.
In terms of talent and depth, Arizona is as good as anyone in the conference.
With Lyons, Miller will have a ton of options in both the backcourt (with Nick Johnson, Kevin Parrom, Jordin Mayes and Gabe York) and frontcourt (Solomon Hill, Kaleb Tarczewski, Grant Jerrett and Angelo Chol).
If all the pieces fit together, this could be a very exciting season for the Zona Zoo.
UCLA should be very good; Stanford is back too; Colorado is not ready to concede anything.
But with Lyons running the point, the Wildcats will win the conference championship this coming season.
You heard it here first!