Byars is Vanderbilt's highest NBA draft choice since the Milwaukee Bucks picked Frank Kornet 30th overall in the 1989 draft. The highest Vanderbilt pick ever was Clyde Lee who was selected No. 3 overall by San Francisco in 1966.
Many draft analysts projected Byars to go late in the first round. The second round pick could possibly be attributed to an influx of foreign players into the draft as eight foreign players were drafted before Byars.
During his senior season Byars started every game for Vanderbilt. He averaged a career-high 17.0 points per game and scored 20 or more points 11 times, including a 32 points in a win over South Carolina, which was his career high. Byars had 17 points and five assists in Sweet 16 loss to Georgetown and scored 27 points in second-round double overtime win over Washington State in the NCAA Tournament at Sacramento, California. During the 2006-07 season Byars had two double-doubles, including an 18-point, 12-rebound performance against Wake Forest.
Following his senior season Byars was named Honorable Mention All-America by The Associated Press as a senior. The 6-foot-7 220 pound guard/forward was also named First Team All-SEC by the AP. Byars completed his career at Vanderbilt after spending his first two seasons at Virginia. He sat out the 2004-05 season under NCAA rules for transfering.