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Kentucky Basketball: Former Musketeer Lyons is a Wildcat, but the Wrong Kind

Mark Lyons, formerly of Xavier, is now an Arizona Wildcat.
Mark Lyons, formerly of Xavier, is now an Arizona Wildcat.

Just got word that Mark Lyons has decided to transfer to Arizona, which was very much expected, since the coach that recruited him to Xavier in the first place is now the coach of the Arizona Wildcats via Evan Daniels of

No, this shouldn't be a major surprise to anyone. While Lyons did visit Kentucky, he was transferring as a senior, which would have put him afoul of this SEC rule:

14.1.15 Two-Year Eligibility. A student-athlete who, upon enrollment at the certifying institution, has less than two years of eligibility remaining, is not eligible for financial aid, practice or competition at the member institution. A member institution may request a waiver from the Conference office for a student-athlete transferring from an institution discontinuing a sport, provided that the student-athlete cannot complete his or her eligibility at the institution discontinuing the sport, or for a student-athlete transferring for the purpose of enrolling in an academic program not offered at the institution from which he or she is transferring. [Adopted 6/3/93; effective for those student-athletes matriculating to the certifying institution subsequent to August 1, 1994; Revised 6/3/05; Revised 6/2/06; Revised 6/1/07; Clarified/Conformed/Revised 6/1/11]

So Calipari would have had to request a wavier for Lyons, which given his situation, looks problematic to me. However, Coach Cal wouldn't have wasted his time if he didn't think it could get done, or so I suppose. has more:

Mark Lyons will be the starting point guard in Tucson for the 2012-2013 season. The former Xavier guard, who originally committed to Sean Miller in what would be his final season coaching at XU, gave his pledge to the Arizona Wildcats on Sunday morning following his visit to campus.

He also visited John Calipari and the University of Kentucky earlier in the week, although Arizona was considered the heavy favorite throughout. A trip to Kansas was expected but never took place.

Nobody should be surprised at this news, and I expect nobody is.