Colorado Springs News, Sports & Business

Gazette Premium Content Falcons need Lyons to grow up fast

JAKE SCHALLER Updated: December 7, 2009 at 12:00 am

For Air Force freshman guard Michael Lyons, the Falcons’ film session after their game against Charleston Southern was an awakening.

He watched one play when he passed the ball and then cut through the lane “real slow,” he said. And there was another time, when Air Force was getting back on defense, that Lyons was “kind of jogging,” he said.

One of the biggest adjustments for freshmen, according to coach Jeff Reynolds, is learning to play with maximum effort for extended periods of time.

“I think every one of our freshmen is experiencing that,” Reynolds said. “I think they play hard, but they don’t realize the length of time and how you have to sustain it.”

Lyons admits he didn’t realize it – “until I watched myself on film,” he said.

Lyons has increased his effort, and it showed Saturday at Missouri State, Reynolds said. Now the Falcons, who host Prairie View A&M tonight, need Lyons to pick up his scoring. Lyons led the prep school in scoring at 17.5 points last year, but since scoring seven in the opener he’s scored just 19 in their past five games. Lyons blames the slump on confidence.

“I have a tendency to shoot a couple shots, and if they don’t go in, I might question the rest of my shots,” he said. “But I need to have confidence and think I can fulfill that role.”

Reynolds said Lyons is “going to have to” fulfill that role if the Falcons are to have success. And Reynolds believes Lyons – who is smooth and athletic with a rangy 6-foot-6 frame – can.

“He can score the ball,” Reynolds said. “He had a couple of open looks (against Missouri State) where he was not quite ready to shoot it. He’s got to be more action-ready in his shot prep.”

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