The possibility of Cliff Alexander and JaQuan Lyle playing together in college appears to be gaining steam.
The two are talking package now as seriously as Jahlil Okafor and Tyus Jones — if not for as long as those two have — with Kansas and Memphis among the schools that could land the dynamic duo.
“[Cliff’s] been telling me that him and JaQuan Lyle are going to play together,” Alexander’s mother, Latillia, told SNY.tv Monday evening. “That’s the reason JaQuan Lyle decommitted.”
Asked what schools the duo was considering, she said. “We’re not sure yet, we’re not sure yet. I’m thinking wherever Cliff goes, JaQuan Lyle is going to go.”
The two will trip together to Memphis Oct. 18, but won’t take the same visit to Kansas.
“Clifton just told me, ‘Yeah, they’re going together [to Memphis],'” Latillia told SNY.tv.
Alexander will visit Kansas for “Late Night in the Phog” Oct. 4, but sources said Kansas will bring Lyle in on a later date.
Kansas appears to be a possibility for both players, as Lyle put a picture of both he and Alexander on Instagram with the “KU” logo attached.
“We’re going to Kansas on the 4th of October, Memphis on the 18th of October and Illinois on the 26th of October,” Alexander’s mom said of his visits. “It might be a good idea if JaQuan Lyle goes as well [to Memphis].”
Lyle announced his decommitment from Louisville on Friday and over the weekend Alexander Tweeted that the two would play together in college.
Since then, Lyle set visits to UConn this weekend, along with Canadian forward Ray Kasongo and possibly JUCO point guard Jeff Newberry. Lyle said he will trip to Arizona Oct. 11 for the Red-Blue Game, but sources confirmed to SNY.tv that Arizona is not recruiting Lyle. That was first reported by Evan Daniels of Scout.
The 6-foot-9 Alexander just visited Arizona this past weekend for an official, as did California wing Stanley Johnson.
“Reason I have 4 visits set up already is because I wanna play w/ @humblekid11 and he had had the Kansas, Zona, and Memphis,” Lyle Tweeted.
He added: “I wasn’t communicating w/ any school or coach while I was committed.” He also Tweeted: “I wasn’t communicating w/ any school or coach while I was committed.”
Alexander is also considering Kentucky, Michigan State and Illinois, among others, but as of now Lyle isn’t visiting those schools.
“Everybody’s kind of equal,” Alexander’s mother said of Cliff’s schools.
As for what she’ll be looking for, Alexander’s mother said, “The academics is very important, that’s how they’re going to be a success. And the coaching staff and how they treat the players. And who’s going to make me feel like I’m at home when I get there, make me feel comfortable.”
She said Cliff was targeting a fall decision, but could potentially wait.
“I’m not really sure what he’s going to do,” she said. “At this point he has me confused. But it’s all up to him. I have my opinion, but it’s all about him. He’s going to play ball and not me so he has to be the one who feels comfortable.”
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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.