Not only Leo Lyons but teammate DeMarre Carroll as well will test their worth in the NBA Draft process. Neither Missouri junior forward will sign with an agent, leaving each the option of withdrawing from the draft by June 16 and returning to the Tigers.
“This rule is specifically in place to allow these young men to go out and gather information about their professional options,” MU Coach Mike Anderson said as Lyons and Carroll made their announcements in a press statement released near mid-afternoon.
“It’s an opportunity to compete against some of the best players at their position and get some great advice from folks around the professional game.”
Lyons had discussed taking advantage of the no-agent option near the end of the season. Carroll’s joining him was something of a surprise.
Carroll, 6-8, was picked Newcomer of the Year in the Big 12 Conference after leading MU with 6.7 rebounds a game. He finished second in scoring (after Stefhon Hannah was dismissed from the team) with 13 points per game.
Carroll, hampered much of the season by an ankle injury that virtually tied him to the floor, still wound up fourth in the Big 12 in field goal percentage (.536), ninth in rebounding and 17th in scoring. He scored in figures 22 times, including four 20-point efforts. He scored a career-high 26 points in a double-overtime victory over Iowa State.
“Like anyone, I want to see how I stack up,” Carroll said. “I want to see where I can improve my game and how I can become the best player possible, whether that’s here at Missouri or on a professional level.” Lyons, 6-9, led Mizzou is scoring (13.1) a scoring and led the Big 12 in shooting (.583). In the league Lyons averaged 14.3 points and 6.5 rebounds.
He scored 20 or more six times last season and averaged 16.1 points and 8 rebounds his last 6 games, including a career-high 27 points and 18 rebounds against Oklahoma State.
“Playing in the NBA has always been a dream of mine, so this is just another step in pursuing that dream,” Lyons said. “The rules allow me to compete against some of the best players in the world, in front of professional organizations, without jeopardizing my eligibility at Missouri.”