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.”
Evansville Bosse sophomore Jaquan Lyle made the switch from the Eric Gordon All-Stars to Spiece Indy Heat prior to the July evaluation period and the 2014 guard admitted the adjustment was rough after his first game at the adidas Invitational. But the adjustment period appeared to be over when Lyle, the No. 10 prospect nationally in the 2014 class by ESPN.com, exploded for 42 points in a game at the Best of the Midwest in Indianapolis last week.
Inside the Hall was in attendance at the Best of the Midwest and we’ve compiled over two minutes of Lyle video which is available in the embedded media player below. (Note: You can expand the video to full screen by using the arrows in the bottom right hand corner of the player.)
Inside the Hall continues its first breakdown of IU’s 2014 targets today with Evansville Bosse and Eric Gordon All-Stars Guard Jaquan Lyle. At last weekend’s State AAU Tournament, Lyle joined forces with the 2014 Derrick Rose Best Choice team, as his Eric Gordon squad was taking a weekend off.
Inside the Hall was in attendance for two of Lyle’s games and here are some of our thoughts from the weekend:
— Willing and talented passer: To an unaware observer, Lyle didn’t look like a new addition to the Derrick Rose Best Choice team. The 6-foot-4 freshman distributed the ball and played an unselfish style with a brand new set of teammates. Lyle knows how and when to find teammates, whether they’re cutting to the basket, moving off of screens for a jump shot or running the break for easy baskets. He can pass using the dribble, at a standstill or out of the post as he backs down his man. No matter the method, Lyle is an effective passer who creates easy scoring opportunities with great vision and crafty passing.
— Ability to penetrate: Lyle has a keen ability to get to the rim and can make it look easy. He has a tight, crisp handle on the ball and uses a good first step to get by defenders and into the lane. Once in the lane, Lyle can finish at the rim, get to the line or dish the ball out to an open teammate when help defense collapses on him.
— Above average length and athleticism: Lyle appears to have improved his bounce over the past 4-6 weeks as he now appears more confident in his ability to make plays above the rim. As Lyle continues to work on his strength and agility, his athleticism should only improve. Lyle’s length also gives him an advantage on the defensive end where he can pester opponents and play the passing lanes for potential steals.
— Still growing?: While we certainly aren’t doctors, it isn’t out of the question to consider that Lyle could add a few more inches to his 6-foot-4, 187 pound frame. Just a year ago Lyle stood 5-foot-10, and having just turned 15 in February, there is reason to believe he could squeeze out another inch or two.
— Shooting consistency needs improvement: If there is one real weakness in Lyle’s game it is his inconsistency shooting from the perimeter. Lyle has the ability to knock down jump shots, but is also very streaky. Improving his overall shooting consistency would make the freshman guard that much harder to defend and that much more potent offensively.
New video of Lyle from the State AAU Tournament after the jump …