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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  • N.D. Kendrick

    Please touch on some of the off the court issues that he has had. I am curious to hear this. I am not “from” Evansville but live in the area and I have seen a few on the court tantrums but NEVER has he had an off the court issue. Not one.

  • Kelin Blab

    A larger hypothetical question here is…..

    You tell Robert Johnson you are going to convert him to PG, you bring in a PG in his same class…..a bigger one at that…..

  • Snookafly

    I’m from Evansville, I live in Bosse’s district, and I don’t understand all the vitriol. He’s just a young talented kid who’s trying to find his own way. Yes, he seems cocky or fussy at times, but I think that’s a product of passion. I still think he’s been friendly with fans and I would love to see him play for us.

  • Snookafly

    I don’t understand how IU fans love to talk about our great tradition of discipline or ‘molding kids into men,’ but at the same time they want to pass on anyone that may need it. How many talented players have we passed on in the last 30 years that could’ve really benefitted from our program and been great talent for our roster. You can’t talk about leadership, toughness, and discipline and then run the other way when you’re presented with a challenge.

  • Snookafly

    I totally agree.

  • unclekerfuffle

    Unless things have changed since I retired from the classroom, most students take the PSAT in the 11th grade and the SAT sometime before Thanksgiving in the 12th grade. It might be different for a high D1 prospect due to NCAA rules about official visits.

    I am in the camp that if CTC believes in JQ’s potential and character, who am I to question it. It will be interesting to see how it plays out.

  • Michael Crawley

    The NCAA really frustrates me at times. These kids work so hard they give up their childhood fun to play basketball. They are coddled by coaches and so called friends. Their families are the only ones they can truly trust but they are not with them all the time. Some colleges coaches may not tell them the entire truth or put doubt in their heads. It becomes difficult to determine who to trust. In the case of JL it seems that is the case.

    Coach Crean runs a great program and I’m sure JL would enjoy Bloomington he is a Hoosier so I would like to see him at IU. The kids that are that good should have the opportunity to play for the Pro’s right away Who is to say when your 18 your not able to work for a living; worse yet still work for someone and make them millions. What a joke…. sorry for the rant.

    I have never met JL but he seems like a saint compared to how I was as a kid and I turned out okay. I hope JL enjoys college life (at IU) and his future job.

  • threedeevus

    Poor money management isn’t a problem unique to pro athletes. I understand what you’re getting at, but I disagree. If your draft stock is high enough, then the consensus is that you are ready for the NBA so why waste your time at school?

  • E Foy McNaughton

    I’m not saying going to the NBA is a bad decision for the kids. I’m just curious what % of kids are making the best choice. I watched Moneyball last night again and you could see Billy Bean’s regret for not going to Stanford.

  • jsmoov

    I feel stupid but…what are you saying exactly? Did we tell RJ he was going to be a PG?

  • N71

    He can play, that’s for certain. What’s the going theory on why he and IU drifted apart a year or so back?

  • IUfanPurduePhD

    Well, not literally, but I get what you’re saying.

  • Da Man

    Just ask D-Wade

  • Mk

    Rj can play the two also. Those guys could coexist. Not sure what you are getting at either to be honest

  • IU

    Im from Evansville and seen J Lyle play many games,Yes.Outstanding talent but we dont need another Bracy Wright!!!

  • Andrew Walker

    Cal described the country as being covered in a “blue mist.” His speech was hilarious.

  • Snookafly

    People also forget that millionaires can afford to pay for college if they want to go back to school.

  • iuoiu

    Needed them real, real badly last March….

  • Wet Vette

    This kid keeps burning bridges everywhere he goes so what happens after a year of playing with any team? Im not so sure he is an IU kind of player just doesn’t show loyalty to me I guess my question is where’s the parents through all of his so called experiences or does he not have to answer to anybody.He wants to talk to his home state coach again tells me he is the one saying what he needs to get back in…I say audios Jaquan catch ya on the flip side IU has a very respectful and awesome commit in Robert Johnson that wants to be at IU therefore take care dude and goodluck to you.

  • Lars

    I personally live the fact that this somehow (has nothing AT all to do with UK) but ended up there. The big green monster is showing his face

  • HannerTime Hoosier

    He also stated ‘we aren’t a college hoops team WE are college basketbal!’ Puuleeeaas! pUKe sux!

  • eglinden

    If Cliff Alexander is going to follow him, we should be begging this kid to come to IU!

  • HoosierPat

    I like the idea of having two guys 6’3″ or taller who can handle the ball on the court at the same time. These guys could be a great duo.

  • Andrew Walker


    I was taking to a pUKe fan that said “I can’t understand the animosity non-pUKe fan have towards us.”
    Then Calipari says that crap. Lol!

  • mharv2631

    Lyle or Blackmon?

  • Kelin Blab

    RJ is to convert to a PG, Jaquan is a PG….every second Jaquan is at PG, RJ isn’t….may not be a huge issue but is quite odd.

  • Mk

    Just because RJ can play point doesn’t mean he has to exclusively convert to one. As boo williams said, “he can play the point, at shooting guard, and shoot the 3”. So even if u have two “pgs” on the court at the same time u aren’t handicapped by not having a shooter because no matter what RJ can stretch the floor.

  • yimyames

    Seems very subjective, would be hard to come up with a stat based on facts. Lol, guess that’s why you are offering 100$.

  • E Foy McNaughton


  • ufo3

    Why not Both!

  • Mooks

    I see what you are saying. But even alot of successful ballers go broke when they retire.

  • Jmac

    I have said it on other forums and I will say it again. Take a chance on this kid, he is going to be a star!

  • Wet Vette

    Wish I was the moderator some of these statements wouldn’t get deleted not understanding why the truth of my opinion can’t be said.Jaquan has BURNED a lot of bridges no matter how you look at it and now he SUPPOSEDLY wants to talk to INDIANA..id say goodluck Jaquan in your college EXPERIENCES does he not have any adult supervision sure sounds like he needs it.

  • Snookafly

    I’d take both in a heartbeat.

  • Mk

    Just prove it man. All you have is hearsay…u don’t know the kid ! He verbally committed – it is not a binding commitment. Chill out

  • Ole Man

    Actually, I could be wrong, but I think the concept is satire.
    Doesn’t matter. It’s a great post!

  • Ole Man

    I think IU cooled on Blueitt; not the other way around.

  • WhatsUpKnight

    interesting hypothetical, but my guess is it’ll remain just that. just don’t see JL coming to bloomington. maybe CTC wins him over, but i doubt it. however, if i’m wrong, the problem you’re posing is a good one to have! if RJ’s the lights-out shooter everybody says he is, would rather see him at SG anyway. and definitely nice to have players who can play multiple positions

  • HoosierZ

    I just wanted those that know me from
    the premium forum to know that I wasn’t the one that posted this comment.
    There must be another HoosierZ. No disrespect to the HoosierZ
    above, but I don’t know Jaquan Lyle and I wouldn’t speculate on his attitude or
    whether or not he’s a class act. I try
    to avoid judgment and commenting on people’s character if I’ve never met them.
    I’ll be changing my handle to avoid confusion.

  • E Foy McNaughton

    I think that if you are a projected lottery pick, and a sophomore, then go pro. I say sophomore because you are at least 1/2 way toward getting a degree (and for many, like CZ – only 1 year away). I think if you are a projected top 5 pick, then even as a Freshman, go to the NBA. There is no question financially that it will work out well for you in those instances. But many, many, many 1st round picks beyond the lottery do not pan out and are out of the league prior to their second contract. Poor financial management exists in all walks of life (I’m a bankruptcy attorney – see it every day). But you always have your education and the memories of being a student. Those are 2 invaluable intangible assets.

  • E Foy McNaughton

    Yeah – I’d take both for sure. I truly hope, regardless of where Lyle lands, that he is maturing both in basketball and in his decision making. I like seeing kids from Indiana succeed regardless of whether they wear the candy stripes. I will root for Gary Harris to do well in the NBA, I root for Mike Conley, Jr. and hope that Greg Oden’s Miami career goes well. It just feels good to know that Indiana is special both at IU and on the HS level.

  • mk

    great point

  • BC

    Sounds like he gets along with coach Crean though, so I guess not all bridges have been burned.

  • b_side

    Start your own blog and you can say anything you want

  • Wet Vette

    Didn’t Jaquan say that the other coaches lie to get what they want such as certain players and now maybe just maybe Jaquan is the one trying to get back in INDIANA using the tactics that he has learned.I just feel he will infect this team with his improper attitude .I just see a lot of red flags with this kid and with IU’s inexperienced players I don’t want their experience in college to be a bad one.CTC has already got burned with JBJ do you want another one? Some things need to be said but again I ask where’s the parents in all of this? Robert Johnsons dad spoke up when he was being recruited as a good parent should showing us all that they supported Robert in a caring way I haven’t heard anything from Jaquan’e parents have you?When my son was being recruited his mom and I was right there helping like we should but not interfering with his decision but making sure that he conduct himself as professional as need be I don’t see this with Jaquan so IMHO I have to ask where’s the parents? This is what ive read about the kid so I ask BC and MK to prove me wrong and maybe I can get a better perspective on the young man and don’t tell me to chill out especially when you have not proved otherwise.

  • mk

    Maybe you are hitting the nail on the head – maybe he didn’t have the guidance you are calling for…and if he didn’t/doesn’t? All kids aren’t created equal. RJ is lucky he has some great role models. Sounds like some are starting to show up for JL as well. So continue to ask where the parents are, because really its not any of your business. If CTC thinks he is a good kid, then that is enough for me and you are
    going to have to accept it also because he is the one recruiting for the
    He openly admitted he made the Louisville decision too quickly. Its called a mistake…have you ever made one? As for the tantrums on the court, think about your maturity level when you were 16 compared to 20. A lot of growing up happens during those years and continues through college and beyond. There is a difference between being immature and being bad enough to “infect a team” and “ruin someones college experience”.

  • ScoopGeoff

    I’ll donate $1,000 to the site if we sign Lyle and Blackmon.

  • Ole Man

    Still think it was a funny, great post.

    And you are correct (plus, satire is a synonym).

    I have a theatre background, so I was using irony in this sense:

    3: a) : incongruity between the actual result of a sequence of events and the normal or expected result; an event or result marked by such incongruity
    b) incongruity between a situation developed in a drama and the accompanying words or actions that is understood by the audience but not by the characters in the play —called also dramatic irony, tragic irony

  • Ole Man

    Okay; let me see if I get this straight:
    We have one scholarship left.
    According to the chatter/wishful thinking IU will Blackmon, DR, Lyle, and possibly if Lyle commits his buddy Alexander.
    Plus, even though no one will be graduating we want to open up at least 3 scholarships because the ’15 class is loaded.
    My head is spinning! Glad I’m not a recruiter.

  • Ole Man

    That is a really good thought. It hadn’t occurred to me; and I think not to many other posters here.
    Thank you.