Spurs-Owned Austin Toros Acquire 2010 NCAA Leading Scorer Aubrey Coleman
Coleman, a 6-foot-4 shooting guard, was the NCAA's leading scorer last season as a senior at the University of Houston with a scoring average of 25.6 points per game. Lyons, a 6-foot-9 power forward, helped lead Mizzou to an Elite Eight appearance in the 2009 NCAA tournament alongside current Memphis Grizzlies forward DeMarre Carroll.
Both players began this season in Europe as Coleman recently returned from Aliaga in Turkey, while Lyons comes from Galil Gilboa in Israel after playing well in the Las Vegas Summer League.
In Vegas, Coleman averaged 11.4 points and 3.0 rebounds while shooting 52 percent from the field with the New Orleans Hornets, while Lyons averaged 10.5 points and 3.3 rebounds in four games off the bench for the New York Knicks.
Though both are legitimate big league prospects, the development of Coleman will probably be more closely scrutinized by NBA scouts. As Draft Express noted in April, Coleman developed his style in the streets as opposed to the AAU circuit, giving the Houston native a reputation of not being able to play in a team setting. His shooting was also a known issue in college, though Coleman has seemingly been working on that.
"My first year people were sagging off me because they knew I was a driver so (Houston head coach Tom Penders) told me there's going to come a point and time where you need to develop that 3-pointer jumper in order to keep them honest, so that's what I spent the whole summer working on. I worked at pulling up off the dribble, shooting from the outside and just getting comfortable with that," Coleman told Draft Express. "That needed the most work, because I knew I could get to the basket, but this made it harder to guard me. Defenders had to play up on me and that makes it that much easier to get them off the dribble."
Coleman showed off his improved jump shot with the Hornets this summer, hitting 5 of his 10 attempts from beyond the arc. With that added facet, he's made himself that much more difficult to defend -- and that much more valuable to an NBA team as he's already known to be a capable defender and above-average rebounder for his position.
Coleman has footsteps to follow in, too. Reggie Williams, last year's Cinderella story after earning a call-up from the D-League, led the NCAA in scoring in 2008 at VMI and is now earning spot starts with the Golden State Warriors.
The Toros will face off with the Vipers on Friday, January 7 and Saturday, January 8 at Rio Grande Valley with both games being broadcast live on NBA Futurecast.