Mark Lyons the 5th year senior transfer from Xavier has been the biggest difference on this year’s University of Arizona Basketball team from last year to this year. While there is a plethora of new players, Lyons is the only player with experience that has been a consistent factor particularly since he is the Wildcats ball handler.
The Lyons Experiment that started off with a run of 14 consecutive wins has since been 9-6 after dropping a game to Oregon. The signs were there early with Lyons assist numbers sporadic at best and his many turnovers, but the Cats were also stringing along wins. After the Florida win in which Lyons made a last second shot to seal the victory, the fans, coaches, and players saw no flaws in Lyons game. The problem is the other players, especially the freshmen were not developing and it may be directly related to a lack of involvement.
Lyons departure from Xavier was no fairy tale; he left last season amidst a fight he instigated between Xavier and Cincinnati. There were also coaching problems that made Chris Mack essentially force Lyons out. While this season Arizona fans haven’t experienced any serious issues with Lyons his past history shouldn’t be forgotten either.
Possibly Lyons can decide to distribute the ball and take better shots. Too many times Lyons is jacking up shots and ignoring the rest of the team. While Lyons does not have the offensive capability to carry this team against March caliber competition, he can as part of a team offense be the dagger.
There is still time for Lyons and the team to get on the right track as Arizona has its last regular season game against ASU on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. But the key lies with Lyons and if he is ready to respond then the team still has a chance to be special or else the Wildcats could be in for a quick ending.