JaQuan Lyle reflects on recruiting process, talks IU

  • 10/19/2013 9:39 am in

2013 adidas Nations

The recruiting process for class of 2014 guard JaQuan Lyle has had its share of twists and turns.

He’s been offered scholarships by elite schools. He’s switched AAU teams multiple times. He’s transferred from Evansville Bosse to Huntington Prep. He’s made a verbal commitment, only to rescind it months later. He’s drawn love and scorn from fans on social media.

For Lyle, it’s all been a learning process.

In an interview on Friday afternoon with Inside the Hall, the No. 22 prospect in the 247Composite reflected on what he’s learned over the last three years.

“A lot of kids get lied to or whatever or coaches tell you what you want to hear,” he said. “What I’ve learned from it is that you can only believe so much. Everything sounds so good, but when you get there, it could be the complete opposite.”

In late June, Lyle appeared set on attending Louisville. He gave a verbal commitment to the defending national champions after a lengthy recruiting process in which Indiana was involved.

And even though he’d been going through the process for three years, Lyle looks back on that decision and admits he made it too quickly. He re-opened his recruitment on Sept. 13.

“I just kind of feel like my first decision was pretty much rushed and it was too quick,” the Evansville native said. “My decision was kind of rushed upon me and I think just made it without thinking. Now I’m going through the process again, thinking everything through and we’ll see where I end up at.”

Now Lyle has hit the reboot button on the recruiting process. He hasn’t taken a standardized test that is required to take official visits, but plans to do that on Nov. 2. Since transferring to Huntington Prep, he’s taken unofficial visits to Connecticut and Memphis, where he is this weekend. Schools like Indiana, Kansas State and Oregon have also expressed interest.

Last Wednesday, he posted a text message from Tom Crean, who was speaking to Indiana fans that night at an event in Evansville, on his Twitter account. Crean’s text to Lyle read: “I am in Evansville speaking. A sold out crowd.” Lyle’s response on Twitter: “My own city loves Coach Crean more than me. I know why though. He’s a great guy. #Respect”

As the first school to offer him a scholarship, Lyle has built a relationship with Crean and Indiana that he speaks highly of.

“Coach Crean is a man who I feel like I can talk to at any time,” he said. “We have a great relationship. I can call him at any time, he can call me at any time. He’s just a great guy.”

Lyle also believes he’s learned to deal with social media better as he continues to mature. Now an integral part of recruiting, services like Facebook and Twitter leave recruits open to constant scrutiny from fans and media.

When Lyle committed to Louisville, he was welcomed by fans, only to become the subject of negative feedback when he opted to look elsewhere. It’s a common theme with Twitter and recruiting.

“You’ve got to understand that because its fans and they feel like you let them down, but again, that’s just something where you have to do what is best for you,” Lyle said. “And if they don’t understand that, that’s their problem, not yours.

“That goes on with life, too. If you’re committed to something or doing something that makes somebody happy and you back out of it and do something that betters yourself, they’re not going to be satisfied with it and they’re going to get down on you too, drag your name through the dirt. It’s just something that you have to get through and be mature about the situation and move on with your life.”

Lyle’s senior season at Huntington Prep begins on Oct. 30 and it’s unlikely that he’ll have many weekends free to take visits until the spring. Indiana is a school that Lyle is definitely interested in seeing again.

For now, the focus of the 6-foot-5 guard is his final year of high school, which he says is off to a good start.

“I actually love Huntington Prep. I think it’s one of the best decisions I could have ever made in my life. It’s bettering me on the court it is also bettering me off the court. There’s a lot of things that we do outside of basketball that makes us better people.

“It’s a very good school, but also it’s helping me off the court. It’s introducing me to the weight room. We lift every Monday, Wednesday and Friday and at Bosse, I probably lifted once every two weeks. I’m getting a lot stronger and work out a lot. I’m getting a lot better overall. It’s real good.”

(Photo credit: adidas)

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  • Hoosierdownunder

    We are waiting with open hands. Hoosiers all day everyday..

  • Hoosier Cruiser

    Pretty good player but I,m not sure he would get the minutes that he’s looking for at IU. At least not right from the beginning.

  • HoosierZ

    Did you say Jaquan Lyle is a class act?? Yeah he’s a great player but his attitude is awful. His sophomore year at the regional he quit on his team halfway through the game and went and sat on the floor past the last seat on the bench after yelling at his coach. Last year at regionals he acted up again. I’ve heard many stories about this kids attitude and I’m hoping it would change when he got to Bloomington but he is definitely not a class act as of now.

  • Hoosierdownunder

    You can say that about anyone though right? Plus the kid will only get better. He’s a 6’5 guard. If we need anything, it’s big guards.

  • lug

    I agree with what you are saying. But if above in this story it seems like there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Sometimes kids need some good direction and the right people to help them become a man. I think the environment at IU would help him a lot!!!! There is a good chance I am wrong a real good chance. I am really wanting to see what he can do at IU. If the problems persist there are things that staff can do about it. But yeah it looks like from what you said there is some maturing to do.

  • doodle777

    Its amazing how bad you attitude can be and people will still call you a class act when you can put a ball thru a hoop. Go wine at Kentuck Jaquan, I would rather lose with winners than win with losers any day.

  • Arch_Puddington

    Our head coach, who has a nearly unblemished record of recruiting outstanding students and quality members of the community, says otherwise. He (Crean) has clearly taken a pass on some players, so the fact that he has stuck with Jaquan tells me all I need to know. He may have some growing up to do – most 17 year olds do – but that does not make him a bad person. I’m rooting for him to become a Hoosier.

  • IUCannon

    Would welcome the talent but he makes me nervous with his attitude and all the issues that seemingly are there. Changing schools, AAU teams, the well documented academic issues, possible attitude problems, and waiting to take the SAT’s all are red flags. I’m hoping and believe that CTC can bring him in and be the mentor it sounds like this kid needs. In a perfect world, he ends up like D-Wade and dominates under Crean’s tutelage but it still scares me that he could potentially be a cancer to a team. Sometimes the talent isn’t worth the division it causes.

  • Arch_Puddington

    It’s also amazing how sanctimonious an anonymous troll can be and still get called a fan.

  • Southport65

    If he is still interested in IU why is IU not on any charts he has for schools interested. I just looked at ESPN’s 2014 recruits and they do not have IU listed.
    Maybe Mr. Lyle and not told anyone. This would be a huge steal for Coach if he could somehow pull it off at the last minute!

  • Brian Stewart

    Inside the Hall doesn’t even have him listed as a 2014 recruit. His commitments seem to be fairly wishy washy, so until he has signed a letter of intent I’m not getting my hopes up.

  • What a list on a recruiting site says isn’t always the end all, be all. Like anything else, lists can be outdated.

  • Sherronhasaheadache

    a 6-5 guard who can do it all, at least we are still in the mix but it looks like a longshot

  • Kelin Blab

    “I’ve heard many stories about this kids attitude”…..is a dangerous place to be when it comes to dealing with kids and kids we don’t know or have never spoken too beyond an hour. Let’s not forget that what we see is not always the entire story…..especially with kids.

  • Hoosier Girl

    Just a little disappointed in some of these comments. If you read the article JaQuan said he has done a lot of growing up and removing him from his previous environment and going to Huntington Prep has been a positive. I think it sounds like he has matured a lot. I know people can be negative even about Coach Crean, but honestly the game of basketball is about more than wins and losses. It is also about developing boys to become men and prepare them for the next level, if they are so gifted to be able to play in the NBA. In my opinion, there is no one coach out there better to be a mentor, father figure, or coach than Tom Crean.Unfortunately these kids see the one and dones Calipari sends to the NBA or winning National Championships when it is about so much more. Loyalty to a state that has given so much to you, unpacking your suitcases and becoming involved in a community, developing your values and support system to prepare you for life, and most importantly, learning to play as a team and understanding life is just not about “me!”

  • Outoftheloop

    I agree wholeheartedly. It is very pleasing to see how Coach Crean engages the person beneath the recruit and cares about that person. I would love to cheer for Jaquan when he is wearing the candy-stripes!

  • BC

    Sounds like Jaquan is getting his head screwed on straight. I wish him luck on whatever choice he makes for next fall. But he will find that people telling you what you want to hear will be a common theme in his life, especially if he goes pro. It isn’t just college coaches. Being able to sift through those voices and find the truth is a skill he will have to develop.

  • BC

    As we watch those one and dones progress through their pro careers. I wonder if quite a few of them would have been better served to attend college a few more years.

  • BC

    If he is, more than one troll from other fanbases shows up here

  • IUMIKE1

    First off I don’t think he has any intentions of signing with IU, hope I’m wrong, hope he does, he could for sure help us, etc, etc, but don’t see it happening. As he said he has gotten older and figured out some things and one of those things is that it’s easier to keep IU on the list and keep people off his back about not going there than it is to just say they aren’t on his short list. But for agruement’s sake let’s say that he told Coach Crean that he wanted to play for him.

    Almost all of us feel like Coach Crean has to, and can, make a call on whether or not a player has enough skill and natural ability as well as being a good fit and contribute more or less right away or if they can come in and contribute “some” right away and have a really good chance of contributing in a major way in the next year or so, or if we take a pass on a player all together and we, or most of us, feel like he does a good job of making those decisions. When it comes to Mr. Lyle I think all of us feel like the skill set and natural ability is for sure there so on this one we are gonna have to trust Coach Crean to make the call on whether the other intangibles associated with Mr. Lyle make him a pass or pick up. Coach Crean has so far seemed to do a damn good job dissecting that part of the equation when it comes to recruits and seems to still want him to be a Hoosier so, I for one, will roll with whatever decision he makes on whether or not to bring him on board if for some reason he makes the call for it to be IU.

  • BC

    I certainly agree sometimes talented players are not worth the division they bring in the locker room. But are we sure this is case of that? From what I hear all his teammates like his a lot. Changing teams happens a fair amount. Don’t know about the SAT.

  • WisconHoosier

    One published story said Andrew Wiggins’ first shoe contract alone will be $180 million. This puts pressure on other players by their handlers, who want a piece of a kid’s future earnings.

    I think JL has had people steering him with their best interests in mind, not necessarily his.

    I’d like to see him at IU. He could be a star, or quit the team after 6 weeks. But it wouldn’t be boring.

  • Arch_Puddington

    When I 17, I was struggling with family and personal issues, and I behaved like someone struggling with family and personal issues. I hate to think what might have been said about me had my struggles taken place in front of fans who wanted me for their own purposes. It really is amazing how determined people are to make moral judgments about teenagers they have never met.

    Jaquan Lyle will of course have to pay for his mistakes, just like we all do, but making some grand pronouncement about what kind of person he is based on things he has said or done as a teenager — or, worse yet, rumors and unsubstantiated claims about things he has said and done — is frankly contemptible. All I can say for sure is that I do not know enough about him to make any judgment at all. He is a really good basketball player and comes across as an upbeat person. Beyond that I will trust a coach whose record of recruiting players with good character — not saints, just solid human beings — speaks for itself.

  • dtfreed

    what happen with blueitt and IU? I would have figured the Yogi connection would have helped a little. or is he the same, as in his list isn’t really what you read?

  • Benhyoung14

    Isn’t he supposed to be a package deal with Cliff Alexander? Sounds like he is starting to figure it out.

  • ScoopGeoff

    Agreed Arch, however I think he’s an overrated player. Maybe now that he’s consistently working on his fitness he will make a leap… Hope so for the kid’s sake.

  • Arch_Puddington

    As with his character, I frankly don’t know enough to say if he is an overrated player. I have seen some impressive highlight footage, but that doesn’t mean much. Tom Crean, Rick Pitino, and other top coaches seem to think he is really good, and that tells me something. He clearly has a rare combination of size and skill, so if he is willing to work hard and improve his game there is every reason to believe he could be an excellent player. Obviously there are no guarantees, though.

  • N.D. Kendrick

    Here are a few facts: Quan has a loving, hard working family who supports his decisions. He has some childhood friends that are loyal and look out for him. He primarily stayed with a childhood friends family last year. He would have qualified for the clearinghouse at Bosse and he will qualify at H-Prep. JaQuan is a Indiana kid that plays like an Indiana kid. His on the court frustrations/passion is no different than a former Hoosier Dane Fife’s. In two years, I never saw him pass on giving a kid a autograph/picture. He would most often than not be the last HS player to leave the gym. He never quit on any AAU team. He played with Team Rose with Cliff Alexander one weekend because he wanted to get better. He played with the Louisville Magic one weekend because he wanted to get better. There were/are internal issues with Spiece so he moved to Mac Irvin to keep playing and to get better. Facts still cannot not paint a clear picture on JaQuan, but it shouldn’t have to. Let the young man be who he is and I promise that the fan-base at the school he goes to will be proud to call him an alum.

  • Arch_Puddington

    Hey man, don’ get all factual here. We have important moral judgments to make, and can’t be bothered with this kind of information. I heard he once slammed a ball to the ground in anger during a game, so obviously he is a Bad Person. Watch out for yourself, or we’ll decide YOU are a Bad Person.

    For those who read this literally, please consider the concept of “irony”.

  • Andrew Walker

    I think it’s really cool that CTC has made himself available to give advice to a kid even if the likelihood of signing is low. It shows real class from CTC.

  • Kyl470

    If you were from Evansville and knew about all the off the court issues he has I’m not sure you would be saying that.

  • HannerTime Hoosier

    Very classy of CTC!!! I think Lyle needs to be a player who is praised, admired . . . he will not be the ONLY or most loved player for IU if he commits. I think he is searching for a program that can give him this and he can display his immaturity in practice/games. That is my take on him. He has stellar talent, but he has some growing up to do. Maybe H. Prep will bode well for his growth in more ways than he can imagine this year. imho.

  • Kyl470

    I know people are going to give you negative feedback from you’re statement, but you are right about him. He has had a ton of off the court issues. I wish people would realize that the cases you mentioned are not just your opinion they are actual facts.
    Is he a talented player? Yes. Does he need to mature and make better decisions? Yes.
    He is going to be a total wild card. I could see him making good choices and end up being a great player, but I could also see him being a team cancer. If he goes to IU I hope he turns out to be great. If he goes elsewhere I still hope he turns out to be great.

  • TomJameson

    Imo, when Tom Crean is talking about taking these kids to the next level, he’s talking about more than the NBA. Crean Is also talking about the next level of maturity. Hoosier Girl said it, turning men7

  • E Foy McNaughton

    Reminds me of Laurence (sp?) funderburk (sp?)

  • E Foy McNaughton

    Good comment. I watched where cal was doing a speech and said puKE was “college basketball” and thought to myself, “does he believe his BS?? He’s literally the opposite of college.”

  • E Foy McNaughton

    I think it would be an interesting stat to see how many of Cal’s one and dones end up NBA starters for 2+ seasons. I believe that a college education would be more valuable in life than 1-2 years on an NBA bench.

  • E Foy McNaughton

    No negative comment from me. He’s dead on!

  • E Foy McNaughton

    Dear Alex, I will donate $100 to the site if anyone can calculate the following 3 stats:

    1. Percentage of 1/done players over the last 5 years to start 50% or more of NBA seasons over 1st 3 years,

    2. Average salary of 1/done players after 3 years in NBA.

    Also, estimated value of a degree from IU.

    Thanks and good luck!

    Foy

  • Kyl470

    If my memory serves me correct Derrick Rose is the only player to be an NBA All-Star that went to college where Coach Cal coached. I double checked Marcus Camby’s career and it looks like he was never an All Star.

  • Kelin Blab

    Nope they are millionaires or at worse making 6 figure salaries….

  • Kelin Blab

    Don’t believe for a second he has had tons of off court issues and still maintain the success he has had at Bosse, during AAU season, and be pursued by the who’s who of college basketball. I think a lot of this is fed by rumor and twitter and unless you were there no one knows. Just as Victor Oladipo, Cody Zeller, and Cal Cheaney every kid has to mature….some do so sooner than others.

  • Kelin Blab

    You are 100% right and 0% wrong on this post….

  • colinbb10

    Lyle has been my favorite prospect in this 2014 cycle since I started figuring out who the top kids were for the class. I want to see his game in Crean’s offense so badly. Kid does a little bit of everything and seems to have a crazy high ceiling. Some of the passes he makes in his highlight videos are pretty awe-inspiring

  • Kelin Blab

    I can guarantee the estimated value of ANY iu degree is less than what a 1 and done player makes in the NBA.

    Starting in the NBA is not that big of a deal when you are getting some decent PT and still young. NBA teams have the luxury of waiting on talent.

    similar to what may happen with Noah Vonleh

  • E Foy McNaughton

    No question that it worked out for DR and MC.

  • yimyames

    Save your money, I think you may be dis satisfied by the results.

  • yimyames

    Make it easy and look up Kwame Brown. He went straight from High school and was terrible for years, still isn’t that good. Still gettin’ paid though.
    6.5 ppg
    5.5 rpg
    2.8 million a year!

  • BC

    So is that the only requirement? That you become a millionaire. What if by staying in school they could have refined their game more? What if instead of having a four year career they end up having an 8 year career with more money earned in those cobtracts. Simply taking the fastest route is not always the best, you can burn through that money faster than you think. Just ask Vince Young.

    Or perhaps they peaked during that one year and they were not going to get any better in college.

  • Kelin Blab

    You can refine your game in the pro’s and make millions at the same time. Makes sense to take that route…