While CBS’ Jeff Goodman confirms that ex-Xavier guard Mark Lyons plans on visiting Kentucky, Kansas and Arizona — seems murky as to whether Lyons would be eligible to play immediately at UK — there is more reason to wonder if the starter on the Muskies’ Sweet 16 team would be a good fit in Lexington.
We have this take this morning from Cincinnati Enquirer columnist Paul Daugherty:
Because I spent Jan. and Feb. writing a book and March covering UC, OSU and UK, I mostly saw Xavier on TV. What I saw from Lyons on occasion was selfishness. I saw him come out of a game, Brad Redford come in to replace him and Lyons ignore Redford’s attempt at a fist pound. A big deal? Of course not. A metaphor for Lyons? Yep.
I even heard Bill Raftery rip him, for a stupid and costly foul late in a close game. Bill Raftery never rips anyone. He is the Joe Nuxhall of quasi-am TV guys.
Lyons’ role in the X-town Punchout was understated. Tu Holloway took all the heat. But Lyons’ jawing at UC’s bench played a big role. Referees will tell you they can’t talk to him.
For a coach to wave goodbye to his top returning scorer, in a year when he’s already losing his best player (Holloway) says a lot about what the coach’s relationship was with that top returning scorer.
John Calipari has taken players in past with questionable reputations and coached them into flying right. Considering the consensus opinion was that last year’s national title Cats enjoyed an unusual togetherness, however, do you risk taking a player who apparently had problems in his former home?