University of Arizona men's basketball coach Sean Miller announced this week that Matt Korcheck, Mark Lyons and T.J. McConnell have signed paperwork to attend the school and play basketball.
Korcheck, a 6-foot-9, 218-pound sophomore forward from Tucson, Ariz., averaged 14.7 points, 6.5 rebounds and 1.6 blocked shots per game for Cochise College in 2011-12, leading the Apaches to a 25-6 record and the Arizona Community College Athletic Conference (ACCAC) championship. He connected on 57.8 percent (182-of-315) of his field goal attempts and added 45 assists and 24 steals in earning second-team all-conference and all-region honors for coach Jerry Carrillo.
As a freshman at Cochise, Korcheck (pronounced Core-check) averaged 8.3 points, 6.0 rebounds and 0.7 assists per game in 32 appearances, connecting on 63.9 percent (117-of-183) of his field goal attempts. He made an early splash by breaking a backboard in the annual ACCAC Jamboree in the fall of 2010 at Phoenix College.
A 2010 graduate of Tucson's Sabino High School, Korcheck averaged 16.2 points, 9.0 rebounds and 3.4 blocks per game as a senior in earning first team all-4A-I Sonoran Region honors, second-team all-Southern Arizona kudos and was a member of the tucsoncitizen.com 2010 boys' basketball high school all-star team.
Korcheck will be just the 13th Tucson product to open the season on an Arizona roster since the school joined the Pac-12 Conference in 1978-79 and the first recruited junior college player on scholarship from the city since Troy Cooke, who joined the program in 1982.
He will have two seasons of eligibility remaining.
Lyons, a 6-foot-1, 188-pound guard from Schenectady, N.Y., averaged 15.1 points, 3.2 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.3 steals per game for Xavier University, helping the Musketeers to a 23-13 record and a berth in the NCAA South Regional semifinal. He connected on 42.5 percent (176-of-414) of his field goal attempts, including 39.2 percent (58-of-148) from three-point range, and knocked down 76.1 percent of his free throws (102-of-134) in earning third-team all-Atlantic 10 Conference honors. His 58 treys led Xavier in 2011-12, while Lyons ranked second on the team in scoring, assists and steals.
As a sophomore in 2010-11, Lyons was a third-team all-Atlantic 10 pick after averaging 13.6 points, 3.1 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game in 32 appearances (31 starts), connecting on 40.8 percent (144-of-353) of his field goal attempts and 33.6 percent (47-of-140) of attempts from behind the arc. Xavier posted a 24-8 record, won the Atlantic 10 regular-season championship and advanced to the 2011 NCAA Tournament.
A sociology major who will earn his degree from Xavier, Lyons tallied 1,194 points during his three-year career, a figure that ranks 28th in XU's record books. He saw action in 98 career games (66 starts), helping the Musketeers to a 73-29 (.716) record in that span, including two A-10 regular-season championships and three NCAA Tournament appearances. He averaged 6.0 points and 2.6 assists in seven career NCAA Tournament appearances.
Lyons is the first player to graduate from a four-year school and transfer into the program. He will be eligible to play in 2012-13 and will have one season of eligibility remaining.
McConnell, a 6-foot-1, 185-pound guard from Pittsburgh, Pa., averaged 11.4 points, 4.4 rebounds, 5.5 assists and 2.8 steals per game for Duquesne University, helping the Dukes to a 16-15 record. He connected on 50.9 percent (135-of-265) of his field goal attempts, including 43.2 percent (38-of-88) from three-point range, and knocked down 83.6 percent of his free throws (46-of-55) in earning third-team all-Atlantic 10 Conference honors and a spot on the A-10 all-defensive team. He ranked third nationally in steals per game and tied for 31st nationally in assists per game in 2011-12.
As a freshman in 2010-11, McConnell averaged 10.8 points, 3.8 rebounds, 4.4 assists and 2.8 steals per game in 32 appearances (30 starts), connecting on 49.8 percent (132-of-265) of his field goal attempts and 40.2 percent (39-of-97) of attempts from behind the arc in earning 2011 Atlantic 10 Conference Rookie-of-the-Year honors. He ranked fourth nationally in steals in 2010-11 and his 2.50 assist:turnover ratio was the sixth-highest ratio for a freshman in NCAA history entering this season.
A 2010 graduate of Chartiers Valley High School in Bridgeville, Pa., McConnell averaged 34.2 points, 8.2 rebounds and 9.1 assists per game as a senior in earning first team all-state honors and was the Pennsylvania Class 3A Player of the Year according to the Associated Press, and was the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette male high school athlete of the year (all sports). McConnell, who played for his father Tim in high school, led the Colts to a 29-2 record, the WPIAL championship, and a berth in the Class 3A state championship game.
McConnell is the first player from a four-year school to transfer into the program since Luke Recker in 1999-2000. He will have to sit out the 2012-13 season due to NCAA transfer rules, and will have two seasons of eligibility remaining.
Korcheck, Lyons and McConnell are the fifth, sixth and seventh student-athletes to sign with Miller and the Wildcats in 2011-12. Brandon Ashley, Grant Jerrett, Kaleb Tarczewski and Gabe York each signed National Letters-of-Intent with Arizona in November.
Both ESPN.com and rivals.com have the UA's recruiting class ranked No. 3 nationally. Arizona is one of six schools nationally (Kentucky, North Carolina, Michigan State, Texas, UCLA) to have four players listed in the ESPNU Top-100 rankings.