- Andy Katz, ESPN Senior Writer
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1. Mark Lyons, a senior transfer from Xavier, is hungry to prove he can be a leader, a good teammate and a winner, according to Arizona coach Sean Miller. Lyons is eligible immediately for the Wildcats through the graduate transfer waiver. Lyons and Xavier needed a change after Lyons’ season was marred by his role in the brawl with Cincinnati last December. Lyons still averaged 15.5 points and 2.7 assists as the Musketeers reached the Sweet 16 before losing to Baylor. Miller pointed out that Lyons went to the Sweet 16 when he was a partial qualifier as a freshman (Miller’s last season at Xavier); reached the Sweet 16 as a sophomore and then again last season as a junior. “His quickness, toughness and experience in big games is invaluable to our team, especially our younger guys,’’ Miller said. “He’s a great defender, great competitor and fuels a competitive environment in our summer practices already.’’
2. Arizona State coach Herb Sendek is showing tremendous loyalty to three former Sun Devils. Sendek said he has game tickets and is heading to London on Monday to watch USA (James Harden), Great Britain (Eric Boateng) and Nigeria (Ike Diogu) compete in the Olympics. Sendek said he will be watching games Tuesday (USA vs. Tunisia; Great Britain vs. Brazil; Lithuania vs. Nigeria) and Thursday (USA vs. Nigeria; Spain vs. Great Britain). Meanwhile, Sendek is getting good news back on campus with the play of sophomore Jahii Carson, the most heralded guard Sendek signed since Harden. Carson was ineligible last season and the Sun Devils finished 10-21 (6-12 in the Pac-12). “Jahii is fast and quick with the ball,’’ Sendek said. “He shoots it well.’’
3. Boise State coach Leon Rice said recruits haven’t bothered to ask once about what conference the Broncos will be playing in 2013. Rice doesn’t know for sure, but assumes he’ll be in the Big West, assuming the league finally goes through with the invitation. The Broncos are still technically headed to the WAC. But so far it has no bearing on Boise State recruiting. The Broncos are trying to get the top player they can, regardless of conference affiliation.