Mark Lyons, a 6-foot, 180-pound point guard, spent his spring break away from the ocean and the parties. Instead, the South Kent (Conn.) junior took a visit to an Atlantic 10 school on his time off and found a place to call home for college.
The three-star guard verbally committed to Xavier shortly after a visit to the Cincinnati school. Lyons told Rivals.com that he felt Sean Miller's program had all of the components he was looking for.
"The campus, the players, the students, everything was nice," Lyons said, "but the number one thing was the coaches. I really like the coaches. Coach Miller gets it. Coach (Chris) Mack gets it. They have everything I wanted. They have the number one graduation rate in the country and they've been to the NCAA tournament six of the last seven years. They win."
The connection between Miller and Lyons helped in the decision, the class of 2008 prospect said.
"Some coaches rely on big men but because coach Miller was a point guard himself, he knows what I'll be going through and he knows how to help me with my mistakes," Lyons said. "He wants to make me a better player. When you go on visits, you can tell coaches aren't being straight with you but (Miller) looked me right in my eyes and you knew he was being straight."
Lyons had a strong junior year at South Kent and showed off great quickness, a knack for scoring and refined his overall point guard skills. Filling the shoes of Andrew Lavendar won't be an easy task, he says, but he's ready for that challenge.
"They are all leaving when I get there so I know the shoes will be big but I feel like I can come in there and help them right from the start," Lyons said.
Lyons, a Schenectady, N.Y. native, said he also had interest from Clemson, Dayton, Fordham, Seton Hall, South Florida, St. John's, UMass, UNLV and Washington.