It might have been on the opposite side of the country and in different jerseys, but Mark Lyons can finally say he topped Larry Drew.
The former Pac-12 point guards are participating in the Portsmouth (Virginia) Invitational, a tournament that showcases 64 of college basketball’s best seniors in front of NBA scouts from every team.
On Friday night, Lyons led K&D Roundscaping to the championship game of the tournament, as he scored 10 points and came out with the dagger steal to an 82-79 victory over Drew and Portsmouth Partnership.
“I thought I played well,” said Lyons afterwards. “I got my teammates involved, I ran my team, and we got the win.”
Lyons connected on 4-11 attempts but commanded the court with verbal leadership and unselfish play. Nonetheless, Lyons was also responsible for two highlight reel finishes: a crossover followed by a ferocious slam that received a roar from the crowd, as did a second half put-back dunk.
The All-Pac-12 First Team selection also played tight defense, coming up with three steals and limiting Drew to a single point.
The two chatted before and after the game, perhaps reminiscing over the now-infamous Pac-12 Tournament meeting. “He is one of my good friends now and we’ve played seven times,” said Lyons. “We’ve got that on-court chemistry every time so I was looking forward to it.”
While both guards took their college teams to the NCAA Tournament and proved invaluable, it’s to be decided whether he either has the talent and size to get picked in the upcoming NBA Draft.
Lyons will have one more opportunity to impress scouts when his team faces a loaded opponent – Tony Woods, Travis Releford, Dexter Strickland, and Chase Tapley among others – in the championship game Saturday night.
Once the tournament concludes, Lyons will return to Tucson where he will work out and condition for the next couple months.