News broke Sunday that Xavier guard Mark Lyons, who would've been a senior next season, won't be playing another game for the Musketeers.
He and Xavier coach Chris Mack met last week, and it reportedly was decided that it would be in the best interest of both parties if Lyons – who was Xavier's second-leading scorer last season – moved on.
Regardless of the off- and on-court issues Lyons has had, his departure hurts. Xavier also is losing three seniors, guard Tu Holloway, center Kenny Frease and forward Andre Walker, from a Sweet 16 team; that means Xavier is losing four of its top five scorers.
Because Lyons is on track to graduate this summer, he would be eligible immediately at his new school. Though there is a chance he could declare for the NBA draft, the assumption is he will transfer.
Here are other players who would've had a big impact for their teams next season but instead have transferred. They are listed alphabetically. Monday, we'll look at transfers who should play a big role for their new teams next season.
F Perris Blackwell
Former school: San Francisco
12.7 ppg, 57.5 FG%, 6.1 rpg
Buzz: Blackwell was the Dons' leading rebounder and second-leading scorer, and his departure means San Francisco loses its top three scorers and rebounders. He has transferred to Washington and will be eligible in 2013-14; he should add toughness to a team that lacked that trait this season.
G Tony Chennault
Former school: Wake Forest
9.0 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 2.8 apg
Wake struggled this season, and Chennault's decision to leave definitely hurts. He led the Demon Deacons in assists, though his shooting needs a world of improvement. He's a Philadelphia native who is expected to transfer home to finish his career.
G Jordan Clarkson
Former school: Tulsa
16.5 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 2.5 apg
Clarkson's decision to leave is a blow to new coach Danny Manning, as Clarkson was the Golden Hurricane's leading scorer and one of the better players in Conference USA. Tulsa has limited his transfer options, and Clarkson, a Texas native, has appealed that decision.
G Gerard Coleman
Former school: Providence
13.2 ppg, 5.0 rpg
Coleman was the Friars' fourth-leading scorer and second-leading rebounder. But as productive as he was, Providence should absorb his loss easily because of an excellent group of incoming recruits. Coleman is a left-hander who isn't necessarily a good shooter but finds ways to score. He had five 20-point outings this past season, including a 30-point outburst in a narrow loss to West Virginia. Coleman is a Boston native who could end up at a school closer to home.
G Dylan Ennis
Former school: Rice
Key stats: 8.5 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 4.1 apg
Ennis, the Owls' starting point guard, was second on the team in rebounding and first in assists as a freshman. His departure hurts a team that lacks depth and talent. He had 15 games with at least five assists, including two with at least 10. Ennis, a Canadian, could end up in the ACC or Big East.
G Derrick Gordon
Former school: Western Kentucky
11.8 ppg, 6.7 rpg
The physical Gordon led the Hilltoppers, a surprise NCAA tourney entrant, in scoring and rebounding as a true freshman. Had he stayed, Western would've returned all five starters. Gordon is 6 feet 3, but he still had five games with at least 10 rebounds. He is a New Jersey native and a former Rivals150 member who says he will transfer to a school closer to home.
F/G Rodney Hood
Former school: Mississippi State
10.3 ppg, 4.8 rpg
Hood was a five-star freshman but had a slightly disappointing season. Then again, so did the Bulldogs as a whole. His decision to leave means Mississippi State is losing its top four scorers. Had Hood remained in Starkville, he likely would've been the centerpiece of the team for new coach Rick Ray, who was hired earlier this month after Rick Stansbury "retired." Hood will be in high demand as a transfer.
G Trent Luckett
Former school: Arizona State
Key stats: 13.0 ppg, 41.2 3-pt FG%, 5.8 rpg
Buzz: The Sun Devils won just 10 games this past season, and the departure of Lockett, who was their most talented player, bodes ill for the future. He's a physical guard who rebounds extremely well. His mother has been diagnosed with cancer, and Lockett is transferring to be closer to her; because of circumstances, he likely will be eligible immediately at his new school.
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G T.J. McConnell
Former school: Duquesne
Key stats: 11.4 ppg, 51.1 FG%, 43.2 3-pt FG%, 83.6 FT%, 5.5 apg, 4.4 rpg, 2.8 spg
McConnell's departure for Arizona is a huge blow to the Dukes; he was one of the nation's top stat-sheet stuffers and one of the steadiest players in the Atlantic 10. O'Connell isn't that big (6-1/185), but he's a tough kid who does a little bit of everything. He will sit out next season and fill the Wildcats' point guard void in 2013-14.
F/C Alex Oriakhi
Former school: Connecticut
Key stats: 6.7 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 1.3 bpg
Buzz: Oriakhi had a disappointing junior season for the Huskies; he and freshman big man Andre Drummond never seemed to find a comfort level with each other on the court. Oriakhi will be eligible immediately at Missouri because of UConn's 2013 postseason ban. He gives the Tigers an experienced big man, a needed element as they move into the SEC because Ricardo Ratliffe was a senior. Oriakhi never is going to be a prolific scorer, but his rebound totals should increase dramatically next season.
G Rayvonte Rice
Former school: Drake
16.8 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 1.9 spg
Rice was one of the better players in the Missouri Valley Conference, and he was one of just two Drake players who averaged in double figures this past season. His loss is a big blow to the Bulldogs. Rice, a physical player who is from Champaign, Ill., is said to be considering hometown Illinois as a landing spot.
F Evan Smotrycz
Former school: Michigan
Key stats: 7.7 ppg, 43.5 3-pt FG%, 4.9 rpg
Buzz: Smotrycz was an important role player for the Wolverines this past season, but his role would have lessened with the arrival of highly touted freshman big man Mitch McGary. Smotrycz, whose production tailed off in the second half of the season, has transferred to Maryland.
C Matt Stainbrook
Former school: Western Michigan
11.4 ppg, 58.0 FG%, 6.8 rpg
Stainbrook is a big man (6-9/290) who was the Broncos' second-leading scorer and best rebounder. He looks to have run out of gas in the second half of the season, but he is a huge body in the low post and should fit nicely into Xavier's offense when he becomes eligible in 2013-14.
G Josiah Turner
Former school: Arizona
Key stats: 6.8 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 2.4 apg, 1.1 spg
Buzz: As talented as Turner is (he was a five-star recruit out of high school), his departure might be a case of addition by subtraction. While he is a skilled player, he never seemed to get in sync with coach Sean Miller. Still, had he blossomed into the player most expect him to be, next season's Arizona team would've been loaded. As it is now, the Wildcats will be looking for a point guard.
G Trey Zeigler
Former school: Central Michigan
Key stats: 15.8 ppg, 6.7 rpg
Buzz: It's not surprising he's leaving CMU, given that his dad, Ernie, was fired as the Chippewas' coach after the season. Zeigler was a top-50 player out of high school, and when he becomes eligible at Pitt in 2013-14, he should fit nicely into the Panthers' backcourt rotation. Still, he needs to become a much better outside shooter (he hit less than 50 percent of his free throws this season).
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