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Try to stop Jordan
by Andrew Force, Future150 (5:17 PM CT, Fri January 30, 2015)
Lyons has been undeniable
Lyons has been undeniable
Andrew Force
Andrew Force:

Future150 National Analyst. Covering High and Middle School basketball.

PEACHTREE CITY, GA (Future150) -- With a name suggestive of scoring prowess, Jordan Lyons continues to proudly lead his McIntosh Chiefs (22-0) towards an undefeated regular season. 

Countless high school teams plan the undefeated campaign, but realizing that dream requires exceptional talent at the top and driven role players.

We expected a lot this season because Jordan and point guard Will Washington have been starting since their freshmen year," said father Elliott Lyons.  "We had the bar very high, but nobody expected them to be undefeated at this point."

MHS knocked off a couple of 6A teams and owns a win over a North Carolina team.

"There have been several games this year that we would have lost that game, but this year we won," said Elliott Lyons.  "It was like that against Drew.  We were down nine at halftime.  We were down at least double digits against Hillgrove."

Hillgrove was a real challenge.

It took a challenged triple from Phillip Vinson, off a nifty tip pass by Chase Walter to create any separation.  And MHS needed four late Lyons free throws to clench.  Lyons drew a charge from emerging talent Collin Sexton in the waning seconds.

December 30th, MHS concluded the tournament with a 60-55 victory over Alatoona.

Winning the Wellstar Lake City Classic turned the calendar, as the victorious Chiefs shrouded themselves in confidence.

"The boys believe that they will win," said Lyons.  "Last year, as good as they were, the maturity level wasn't there."

Individual excellence

For followers in the Georgia region, Jordan Lyons is not a revelation for he has been playing heavy high school minutes for years.

"He is having a phenomenal year, phenomenal year," said Mr. Lyons.  "They are ranked 22-0.  Jordan is averaging just under 25 points a game.  His high is 38.  He is leading the state in free throw percentage.  His three point percentage is over 40%."

Lyons expects to score and frankly his team needs the output much like they need strong contributions from every starter.

"At the beginning of the season they made a commitment to be the best at what they do," said Lyons.  "Will said he would focus on assists.  Will is sitting there leading the state in assists."

Washington III is also hearing from college recruiters. 

"Jordan and I talked about it," said Lyons.  "Everybody recognized he was the leading scorer.  Dishon (Lowery) and his dad talked about him trying to get 20 rebounds every game.  He might not get that, but he is going to try."

As a number one scoring option, Lyons is not just granted more shot attempts.  He has to score when the opposing defense is most focused.  He has to look to shoot when the game is on the line.  The burdens of being one of the leaders is heavy, but understood.

"What has changed is that he understands, I believe he understands what it all means," said Lyons.  "He is the leader out there.  Tuesday night they were at the game.  Afterwards one of the coaches said, 'He wanted the ball.  He wanted to make it happen.'  He is willing to take the downside of missing that big shot." 

Too small?

The only conceivable reason for Lyons' recruitment to be lacking in SEC and ACC offers has to be perceived size disadvantage.  Standing 5'10" Lyons plays off the ball for McIntosh.  He projects as a guard for college scouts. 

His handle and defensive commitment suggest that he could comfortably play either guard position.

"It is what it is," said Elliott Lyons.  "This boy can score.  His range is limitless.  He is playing so physical that you almost can't stop him going to the basket.  There is a premium for folks that can score."

College recruiters generally have an idea of what a typical college guard looks like.  And judging by their rosters most envision of 6'0" point guard accompanied by a 6'3" shooting guard. 

But conventional wisdom is slowly changing.  The top team in the nation, Kentucky Wildcats, feature 5'9" Tyler Ullis.  Locally in Atlanta, Pebblebrook's Jared Harper (5'8") is destined for high major basketball.

As long as the shorter guards have strength and/or explosive hops they can compensate for their lack in height.

"He can leap," said Lyons.  "It is what it is.  I challenge anybody to show me a better scorer in this state."

Target of their affection

Current offers include: Troy, Old Dominion, Liberty, Middle Tennessee, Tennessee Tech.

"It seems like every week more colleges are calling, requesting film," said Lyons.

Just like the aforementioned colleges demonstrated early effort, Lyons' family has put in the leg work too.

"We visited Troy University," said Elliott Lyons.  "We visited Middle Tennessee, Tennessee Tech.  We have been to Vanderbilt and Clemson."

Though Vandy and Clemson do not currently represent offers they have been really recruiting him hard.

"The only school that offered that we haven't visited yet is Old Dominion," said Lyons.  "Once the season started we sort of had to curtail it a bit.  We were able to get to Troy for one of their games.  We went up to Tennessee Tech on an off Saturday."

Tennessee Tech has a few nice, veteran guards, but their college careers will end by the time Lyons would arrive.

"Troy said they want him today," said Lyons.  "They want him right now.  We liked that.  They said Jordan could play for their team right now.

Any top list of colleges is a tad premature though because Lyons' stock is justifiably climbing.  Winning and scoring makes noise.

"A couple of schools were at the game on Tuesday night and he poured in 31 points,' said Lyons.  "We played the #10 team in the state.  It was a dogfight.  He was not going to let McIntosh lose that game." 

Like any champion, Jordan will get the opposition's best swing every night. 

Every coach knows he is going to score. 

Just try to stop Jordan.

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