Q & A: Jaquan Lyle talks improvement, Indiana and his hair

Jaquan Lyle’s play last season at Evansville Bosse and with the Eric Gordon All-Stars this spring helped solidify a top 15 national ranking in the 2014 class by ESPN.com and offers from Indiana, Illinois, Purdue and Xavier.

The 6-foot-4, 187-pound guard recently made the switch to Spiece prior to the July evaluation period. Inside the Hall caught up with Lyle at the GRBA National Championships for a Q & A:

Playing with the Spiece Indy Heat 16′s the last couple of tournaments, how has that been? What’s your relationship with James Blackmon Jr. and how’s that growing?

“Me and Blackmon, our relationship is good. We’re starting to get a real relationship like brothers. I’ve been at his house the past two weeks ever since the Best of the Midwest. We’ved bonded real good.”

What are you doing specifically to work on your game this summer? Obviously a game like you just played, winning by 40 points, you’re not really getting the high level of competition.

“Games like this I just try my best to find my teammates. Because in the clutch games, they’re going have to look up to me to step up, take that role and do scoring. So I try find them as much as I can during these type of 40-point blowouts. To work on my game, shooting the shots I need to shoot, passing the ball, handling it a lot better, that’s basically it.”

Do you notice any coaches here watching you today at all or do you try not to pay attention to that?

“Yeah, I noticed them today. It was (Tom) Izzo, (Tom) Crean, a Purdue assistant. I notice them at these type of games. It’s a 40-point blowout. You’re focused on the game, but you’re not really focused on the game like it’s a close one.”

Most important question of the day, what happened to the hair?

“Oh, man. Me and James made a bet. We played downstairs in the basement because he has a court in house. So we played downstairs in his basement and he said if he beat me, I had to get it cut off. He beat me by two, so I had to get it cut off.”

Decision wise, have you thought at all about a timeline or is that something you’re really not thinking about?

“Probably after next AAU season.”

Any new schools this summer watching you or calling about you so far?

“A lot of schools have called my high school coach and Todd (Hensley) and AAU coach. The only schools I really know of are Ohio State, Michigan State and West Virginia.”

What have the coaches that have been watching you this summer told you they like about your game?

“They say I always compete and I’m not a ball hog. I know how to take my shots, shot selection. They just say I just like to go at it and I don’t like losing.”

Are there any schools that are standing out that you like?

“Everybody’s equal. I gotta take a lot of visits before school starts. After that, I’ll know what schools are really, really liking me.”

How much will it mean to you the schools that started recruiting you first? Indiana was the first school to offer you. In the end, when it comes down to making a decision, is that something that will be important to you?

“Yeah more than likely. Schools that recruited me at the beginning, nobody really knew me when I was first getting recruited. And they took the time to come down and watch me and that means a lot to me.”

What’s your relationship with the Indiana staff? How’s that grown and could you see yourself playing for Coach Crean?

“Yeah, I could see myself playing in the candy stripes. Coach Crean, the whole coaching staff, Coach (Tim) Buckley, they’re all awesome. I like them a lot.”

Are Trey (Lyles) and James giving you the hard sell to come and play with them and how are you receiving that message?

“They told me to commit to IU before AAU season is over this year or I can’t come back with them next year (laughs).”

What do you tell them?

“I just tell them, I guess I’m not playing with you all (laughs).”

(Photo credit: Jamie Owens of J. Scott Sports)

  • Plane1972

    Man, this sounds extremely positive. Building a strong relationship with Blackmon and Lyles, getting in early is an important factor, loves the coaching staff, hates to lose. A lot can happen in a year, but this sounds very good for us.

  • Plane1972

    Man, this sounds extremely positive. Building a strong relationship with Blackmon and Lyles, getting in early is an important factor, loves the coaching staff, hates to lose. A lot can happen in a year, but this sounds very good for us.

  • Plane1972

    Man, this sounds extremely positive. Building a strong relationship with Blackmon and Lyles, getting in early is an important factor, loves the coaching staff, hates to lose. A lot can happen in a year, but this sounds very good for us.

  • Anonymous

    I love this kids game, I think he can do a lot including making everybody better.  I think we have a real good shot and can’t wait to hear that he is coming to IU and puts the candy stripes on….but he has got to have the high top fade going.

  • Anonymous

    I love this kids game, I think he can do a lot including making everybody better.  I think we have a real good shot and can’t wait to hear that he is coming to IU and puts the candy stripes on….but he has got to have the high top fade going.

  • Anonymous

    I love this kids game, I think he can do a lot including making everybody better.  I think we have a real good shot and can’t wait to hear that he is coming to IU and puts the candy stripes on….but he has got to have the high top fade going.

  • Anonymous

    I have a good vibe Lyle is a Hoosier.  He and Blackmon bonding is clutch.  The icing on the cake?  Wait until he visits Bloomington and the hometown hero, IU legend and NBA player (Calbert Cheaney) gives him the hard sell and becomes his mentor…GAME OVER.

  • Anonymous

    I have a good vibe Lyle is a Hoosier.  He and Blackmon bonding is clutch.  The icing on the cake?  Wait until he visits Bloomington and the hometown hero, IU legend and NBA player (Calbert Cheaney) gives him the hard sell and becomes his mentor…GAME OVER.

  • Anonymous

    I have a good vibe Lyle is a Hoosier.  He and Blackmon bonding is clutch.  The icing on the cake?  Wait until he visits Bloomington and the hometown hero, IU legend and NBA player (Calbert Cheaney) gives him the hard sell and becomes his mentor…GAME OVER.

  • Anonymous

    I have a good vibe Lyle is a Hoosier.  He and Blackmon bonding is clutch.  The icing on the cake?  Wait until he visits Bloomington and the hometown hero, IU legend and NBA player (Calbert Cheaney) gives him the hard sell and becomes his mentor…GAME OVER.

  • HoosierDadE

    I don’t like Blackman anymore, you throw the game just to keep that glorious High Top Fade around!

    Now I look stupid rocking mine around the office

  • Anonymous

    I wish I had a basketball court in my basement growing up

  • IndyHoosier

    Sounds like a kid with a great personality and is able to take all this huge attention in pretty good stride.

    Good to read something that’s not all about “me” and good to see he is bonding with JB. He’s top 10 nationally now with ESPN? Feel like he must have moved up over the AAU season. Dont remember him being that far up.

    Man to be back in HS………….

  • IndyHoosier

    Sounds like a kid with a great personality and is able to take all this huge attention in pretty good stride.

    Good to read something that’s not all about “me” and good to see he is bonding with JB. He’s top 10 nationally now with ESPN? Feel like he must have moved up over the AAU season. Dont remember him being that far up.

    Man to be back in HS………….

  • Anonymous

    Lyles game reminds me a good bit of Penny Hardaway. Big guard that can score from anywhere and has great court vision. Of course there is the flat top hair they were both sporting too. Or maybe that’s 1988 Will Smith. Either way we are in great position to add him next summer. Sign up him and Trevon in that class and we have another top group coming in.
    Best quote ‘Yeah, I could see myself playing in the candy stripes’. Love it!

  • Anonymous

    Lyles game reminds me a good bit of Penny Hardaway. Big guard that can score from anywhere and has great court vision. Of course there is the flat top hair they were both sporting too. Or maybe that’s 1988 Will Smith. Either way we are in great position to add him next summer. Sign up him and Trevon in that class and we have another top group coming in.
    Best quote ‘Yeah, I could see myself playing in the candy stripes’. Love it!

  • Anonymous

    Lyles game reminds me a good bit of Penny Hardaway. Big guard that can score from anywhere and has great court vision. Of course there is the flat top hair they were both sporting too. Or maybe that’s 1988 Will Smith. Either way we are in great position to add him next summer. Sign up him and Trevon in that class and we have another top group coming in.
    Best quote ‘Yeah, I could see myself playing in the candy stripes’. Love it!

  • Anonymous

    Lyles game reminds me a good bit of Penny Hardaway. Big guard that can score from anywhere and has great court vision. Of course there is the flat top hair they were both sporting too. Or maybe that’s 1988 Will Smith. Either way we are in great position to add him next summer. Sign up him and Trevon in that class and we have another top group coming in.
    Best quote ‘Yeah, I could see myself playing in the candy stripes’. Love it!

  • Anonymous

    Lyles game reminds me a good bit of Penny Hardaway. Big guard that can score from anywhere and has great court vision. Of course there is the flat top hair they were both sporting too. Or maybe that’s 1988 Will Smith. Either way we are in great position to add him next summer. Sign up him and Trevon in that class and we have another top group coming in.
    Best quote ‘Yeah, I could see myself playing in the candy stripes’. Love it!

  • HoosierDavey

    I would have never gone outside!

  • HoosierDavey

    I would have never gone outside!

  • David

    AAAAAWWWWWHHHH HOLY CRAP! It’s mini mcdyess! I wonder if his knees are any better than the original?

  • Jmac

    Win Win situation!  Sounds very promising.  He can always grow his hair back out.

  • Jmac

    Win Win situation!  Sounds very promising.  He can always grow his hair back out.

  • Anonymous

    His high top fade is epic, I shed a tear when I read that he cut it off.  Pull the scholarship offer if he isn’t going to show up on campus with his hair high and tight.  What a shame!!!!  I hear Bel Biv Devoe when I see that hair.

  • HoosierSmitty

    How does he not commit to IU? Kids these days want to play with their AAU buddies, so unless something crazy happens, I think he’s given every indication that IU is the likely choice. 

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