By JEREMY WOOSpecial to ZAGSBLOGFORT WAYNE, IN. — As one of the most sought-after guard prospects in the 2014 class, naturally JaQuan Lyle has some tough recruiting decisions to make.
As his senior season approaches, he’s finally started on them.
The 6-foot-5 Lyle out of Evansville (IN) Bosse has finalized his list at seven schools — Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Louisville, Ohio State, Tennessee and UCLA. An adept scorer and smooth combo guard who went off for 44 points here for Spiece Indy Heat Saturday, Lyle will soon take the next step in his recruitment process.
“I take my SAT on June 8,” Lyle told SNY.tv. “After that I’m going to start planning my official visits. Everyone’s recruiting me pretty equally, everybody’s hard on me right now.”
Lyle wouldn’t play favorites, not giving much away about his eventual landing spot. He plans to use all five of his official visits to make sure he’s comfortable.
He’s mentioned the possibility of playing with AAU teammate Trey Lyles — and if you’re counting at home, that points to Florida, Louisville and UCLA.
To the chagrin of coaches and fans, he’s kept his process very much a secret.
But what’s no secret is his talent.
Lyle stood out among the best guards in the Spiece Run N Slam field this past weekend. His Spiece Indy Heat AAU squad went 6-1 on the weekend, falling in the semifinals to a tough All Ohio Red squad, 83-80, whom it will face next weekend at the Dallas EYBL session.
Spiece was down by double digits midway through the game, but battled back behind Indiana commit James Blackmon’s huge second half. Lyle’s deep 3-pointer to tie it may have rimmed out at the buzzer, but his postgame attitude remained positive.
“I think I played really well this weekend,” he said. “[In the semifinal] we shouldn’t have let them get up that big—we should have played the way we did in the second half the whole game.”
Most notably, Lyle and Spiece faced off against the Eric Gordon All-Stars Saturday evening. In a game where both Blackmon and touted big man Lyles sat out to rest injuries, Lyle went off for 44 points, scoring every which way and then some.
Lyle went head-to-head with 2016 star Eron Gordon, younger brother of the New Orleans Hornets’ Eric Gordon, trading barbs and buckets the whole game. Gordon scored 30 points of his own in one of the best games of the weekend.
“I’m going to take my time and enjoy the process,” Lyle said of his recruitment, clearly in no hurry.
He appears to be enjoying himself on the court as well.
Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.