It's been an interesting last few days for the Xavier men's basketball program.
Although it was long rumored that redshirt junior guard Mark Lyons would not return to the team, it was officially announced today. Head coach Chris Mack stated in a press release that the guidelines he laid out for Lyons were not accepted by the player.
According to his prep school head coach, Brewster Academy's Jason Smith, UCLA, Kentucky, Kansas, and Arizona have shown preliminary interest in the sweet-shooting guard. He'll be able to play right away provided his finishes his academic studies this summer.
Now, another piece to the puzzle is going to be heading out of town. Rasheen Davis, an elite recruiter, will be leaving the Xavier staff.
Davis was the lead recruiter on an important recent commit -- Chris Thomas.
It'll be interesting to see if Thomas' commitment sticks, but you'd have to think that it will be hard to keep him in the Queen City.
So where do the Musketeers go from here? It's important to keep things in perspective. Xavier has been the model of consistency in the Atlantic 10 for many years and has made Sweet Sixteen appearances in four of the last five seasons.
Head coach Chris Mack still maintains not only a lot of important relationships with potential recruits, but has a solid nucleus coming in for the 2012 season. Dee Davis has reportedly been exceptional in offseason workouts, and along with Dez Wells and Semaj Christon, the Muskies have the backcourt settled for several years to come.
It sure hasn't been an easy last couple of days, but it's paramount to understand the situation as it pertains to the future.
Xavier has built itself into one of the nation's most respected programs, regardless of the fact that the Atlantic 10 is not considered a "BCS" school.
Will Lyons' departure and more importantly Davis' departure hurt? Undoubtedly.
With the talent that the 2012 team will have and the coaching staff in Cincinnati, I'm confident that Xavier won't lose its stature as one of the most successful programs in the Midwest.
Disappointing as it is for members of the Xavier University community, big picture -- you'll be just fine.