NCAA BK

Mark Lyons not returning to Xavier

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CINCINNATI (AP)

Redshirt junior guard Mark Lyons won't return to Xavier, which is now missing four of its starters from the team that reached the round of 16 in the NCAA tournament last season.

Coach Chris Mack announced the mutual decision on Monday, after they'd talked about how the shooting guard needed to change. Mack and Lyons were at odds during the season, when the guard repeatedly tried to take over games by driving into crowds of defenders or taking long shots.

Lyons averaged 15.1 points last season, second to point guard Tu Holloway. He lost his starting job for several games midway through the season because Mack was unhappy with how he practiced.

''After our end-of-the-season meeting with Mark, it became apparent that a change for both parties was the right thing moving forward,'' Mack said in a statement. ''During our meeting, expectations were outlined for his fifth and final season, areas in which I believe needed improvement.

''Mark did not recognize these expectations as being important, and ultimately it was decided that a change of scenery would be in his best interest. I wish Mark well.''

Lyons got a two-game suspension for his part in a brawl with Cincinnati in December, which resulted in four players from each team suspended.

The Musketeers have to replace four of their five starters from last season. Holloway, center Kenny Frease and forward Andre Walker - a graduate student last season - will leave after getting their degrees. Freshman forward Dez Wells is the only returning starter.

Tagged: Xavier, Tu Holloway, Mark Lyons

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