Mark Lyons not returning to Xavier

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.