One of Ohio State's top incoming recruits is 4-star prospect JaQuan Lyle and with all the transitions for the Buckeyes on their roster for next season, he could be a crucial piece in the lineup. Let's take a look at him.
Who: JaQuan Lyle
What's his story: Originally committed to Oregon in 2014 out of Huntington Prep, Lyle fell one-half credit short of being able to academically enroll into the program. From there, Lyle joined up with the IMG Academy Prep School in Bradenton, FL where he posted 16 points per game before having surgery on a torn meniscus.
Recruitnik Roundabout: According to 247Sports Composite, Lyle is a 4-star recruit and the 40th best player in the 2015 class (sixth in state). ESPN agrees, having re-listed Lyle as a 4-star athlete as well.
Does he have a social media presence?: It's more like nap/sleep media...
In college, you'll appreciate a 10 min nap— JaQuan Lyle (@JMamba13) June 25, 2015
I'm telling you, the kid loves to nap. Someone in the Ohio State medical staff really needs to check this kid for mono. Am I crazy for seeing a 5 Hour Energy, Jim Furyk-esque partnership in his future?
When I take a nap in the morning after workouts and I wake up, it be like 1 o'clock but I swear I sleep the day away...#Exhausted— JaQuan Lyle (@JMamba13) June 18, 2015
Also, Lyle definitely has a second career on one of the sports syndicates as an "NBA Expert".
Gilbert Arenas was the TRUTH!!— JaQuan Lyle (@JMamba13) March 4, 2015
Westbrook a DAWGGGGG— JaQuan Lyle (@JMamba13) February 28, 2015
One lyric that best describes Lyle?: "I'm more than just a number, I doubt you'll find another. So every single summer, I'll be the one that you remember."-Drake
For starters, Lyle realistically changed jersey numbers three times now; having had one number at Oregon and then going from #24 to #13 at Ohio State. Second, as legend has it, while on the 2014 recruiting trail, Thad Matta walked into the living rooms of D'Angelo Russell, Tyus Jones and JaQuan Lyle with a giant "first come, first serve" sign around his neck:
"I told all three, the first one to take it, gets it," Matta told Northeast Ohio Media Group on Thursday.
We know what happens from there. Russell bites, becomes the Big Ten Freshman of the Year and the second overall pick in the NBA Draft. And honestly, it couldn't have worked out more perfectly. While Russell was taking the NCAA by storm, Matta stayed in touch with Lyle throughout his season at IMG Academy, eventually signing him to (originally) pair up with Russell, in what could have been the most dominate back court in the Big Ten.
Now, we get Lyle and the number one recruiting class in the Big Ten (247Sports).
Why should the average Big Ten fan be excited to watch him play?: Welp, quite simply, if you enjoy watching And-1 Mixtape jockeying, basketballs that seem to defy gravity, crossovers that lead into step backs that lead into more crossovers and mind numbing passing, then JaQuan Lyle is 1000% for you.
Lol caught on camera ...who got this move down? pic.twitter.com/bRfvSMEDbz— JaQuan Lyle (@JMamba13) May 30, 2015
What do his former coaches say?: From John Mahoney via cleveland.com:
"I think he's a pro. He's a 6-foot-5, big body who sees the floor very well. His eyes are constantly scanning the floor."
There is no better praise than that.
Why will Lyle be important for Thad Matta?: For obvious reasons, Ohio State now has a glaring hole to be filled at the point guard/play making position and Lyle will undoubtedly slot right in. He's a player that can run Matt's scheme, pass the ball with pin point precision and score when the offense becomes stagnant.
What says the tape?:
1. Surprisingly, the hi-top fade works for me. I enjoy it.
2. Woah, in the first twenty second we see a half-poster dunk, an open lane windmill, a no-look touch-of-english pass to a cutting teammate and a behind the back/through the legs crossover/split of a double team. It's safe to say DaQuan Lyle has the entire world on a string at this point.
3. I continue to notice in the five or so videos I've watched, Lyle's seemingly ability to get out on the fast break over and over and over. He wants to push. It's in his nature. This is going to be huge for Matta's offensive structure.
4. Adding to that, Lyle has a great ability to use his body (6'5", 220 pounds with a 6'8" wingspan) as a shield when attacking the rim. He reminds me of Kyle Lowry a little bit.
5. He's a finisher. In traffic and out. It also looks like he's in the beginning stages of developing a floater that he uses when his passing lanes close faster than he expected or gets blocked off by a big. Be sure to watch this mature.
6. The only thing that is concerning is that his shot is a little busted, but not unfixable.
7. The good thing is that he doesn't have to be a shooter for him (or Ohio State) to be successful. Lyle is going to draw the eye of NBA scouts for his natural knack for finding unseen passing lanes while being an attacker. Something he is already dominant in doing. His ability to make jump shots is only going to be a cherry on Thad Matta's rosey cheeked sundae.
8. It's interesting to watch how many ways Lyle can contort his body in air while still having the wherewithal to finish. I can't escape the Kyle Lowry at Villanova comp. It's scary.
9. I'm already excited about Lyle posting up smaller Big Ten point guards. It could literally end in so many bad ways for the unlucky defender. Can you tell I'm excited?
10. DAP'S WITH IGGY!
Well there you have it my Big Ten brethren. You may now commence the hype for JaQuan Lyle.