Lyons was recruited out of high school by Sean Miller, and it was their prior relationship that led to his decision to take his talents to Tucson.
One of the challenges that the 6'1" senior faces is moving from primarily playing SG for the first three years of his college career to becoming the floor leader for his first and final year at U of A.
Lyons' initial public opportunity to demonstrate his playmaking and team leadership skills came this past weekend in Las Vegas at the LeBron James Skills Academy, a great place for instruction and high-level competition.
From a variety of comments made, Lyons passed his first PG test.
Pras Murthy of Pointguardu.com observed:
"Mark Lyons continued to be very vocal, always talking on the court. Anytime a teammate got an open look, you could hear Lyons yelling "good shot." Lyons is a floor general and will have no problem telling players where they need to be or what they need to do. Lyons was mostly a facilitator today, as his teammates were finishing and his team was winning."
NBEBasketball.com's Raphielle Johnson says
"If this weekend is any indication Arizona should be in good hands with Mark Lyons running the show."
But the real work has just begun.
The next steps towards Lyons' progress will come through Arizona's pre-season trip to the Bahamas next month.
Lyons and the team, under NCAA rules, get to practice ten times leading up to the trip.
This will give him a chance to jell with the team and continue the transition.
ESPN's Andy Katz states that
"Lyons has to prove to the staff, the returning players and a top five recruiting class that he can be a true leader. A number of other teams are taking trips, but I'm not sure there is a player that has to show his ability to be a trusted teammate as much as Lyons does on this trip."