Missouri's Lyons to announce decision on NBA Draft

Leo Lyons will announce Thursday afternoon whether he will enter his name in the NBA Draft without hiring an agent.

That much was confirmed Wednesday night to The Kansas City Star by Dave Reiter, sports information officer for the Missouri men’s basketball program.

If Lyons, a 6-9 junior, does not sign with an agent he can withdraw from the process and return to Missouri for his senior year.

MU assistant Matt Zimmerman, in an interview with The Star earlier Wednesday, left no doubt that the MU coaches would welcome back the player whose 13.1 points per game led the team (following Stefhon Hannah’s dismissal) and whose 5.7 rebounding average was second to DeMarre Carroll’s 6.7 a game.

“Coach (Mike Anderson) has met with both Miss Georgia (Lyons’ mother) and with Leo,” Zimmerman said. “We sure want him here. That’s obvious.

“But he’s got to do what is best for him. If he comes back and has a great year, I think he’s got a really good chance to do something (in the draft).

“We need him. I sure hope he doesn’t go.”

Lyons first told The Star toward the end of the regular season that he would consider leaving early if his draft status were projected high enough. However, he has never said publicly that he would leave prior to his senior season.

Lyons averaged 14.3 points and 6.5 rebounds in Big 12 Conference play and scored in double figures in 20 games. That included 20 of Missouri’s final 24 games.

Reiter said Lyons’ decision would likely be revealed in a statement through the athletic department, possibly early on Thursday afternoon.

Anderson is scheduled to be in St. Joseph on Thursday night as part of a fan caravan.