In the months leading up to the 2016-’17 college basketball season, BTPowerhouse will be releasing a new series called the 'BTPowerhouse 25,' which features the Top 25 players in the Big Ten as voted by members of the staff. All players set to be on Big Ten rosters for next season were eligible during the staff vote with their top selection receiving 25 points and their 25th and final selection receiving 1 point.
Today's edition will take a brief look at JaQuan Lyle of Ohio State, who comes in at No.14 in these rankings. He was the Buckeyes one consistent player last season despite being a freshman and this season he looks to build on that success.
‘BTPowerhouse 25’ - #14 JaQuan Lyle:
- Eligibility: Sophomore
- Career Totals: 35 Games, 1040 Minutes, 391 Points, 164 Rebounds, 147 Assists, 35 Steals
- 2015-’16 Averages: 29.7 mins, 11.2 pts, 4.7 rebs, 4.2 asts, one steal
- Position Role: Point Guard
Last season hardly went as many Buckeye fans would have hoped, but one of the bright spots was a nice freshman debut by Lyle. Notably, his quick boost to the offense was a needed addition to a backcourt that had lost D’Angelo Russell. Now, fans will hope that he can take the next step and get Ohio State back to the NCAA Tournament.
Size. Two-way dynamo. Passer. Competitor.
These four strengths are what make Lyle very unique.
At 6-foot-5, 230 pounds, he’s able to get anywhere he needs to on both sides of the ball. His length allows him to bother his opponents and has a ‘wear them down’ type of quality.
Not only does his size help as a two-way dynamo, but his natural willingness to find teammates is predicated off that size— being able to view the entire court when needed is a great asset.
These traits are phenomenal, but they’re so dynamic because of his competitive drive.
At times the 2015-16 Buckeyes didn’t play at the level they’re accustomed to, but Lyle (along with Ja’Sean Tate before the injury) never stopped competing.
That example is exactly what you want from your main players and Lyle has it.
Areas of Improvement
There were two major areas that plagued Lyle during his freshman season— Turnovers and shooting percentage.
As an incoming freshman who’s a high-risk high-reward passer, this is not an out of the ordinary occurrence.
But he led the team with three turnovers-per-game to his 4.2 assists. Averaging a good assist-to-turnover ratio is essential for a point guard at any level. So, as the lead guard for a team who desperately needs his consistency in that area, three turnovers a game will not get the job done.
Also, though that’s a necessity so is shooting. His below-average shooting percentage (.397) and three-point-percentage (.252) must continue to make progress.
There’s things he must improve on and those two facets of his game, in particular, should be the focus heading into this season.
With the great, the good, the bad and the ugly all on display during a productive freshman year, it’s time to for the Evansville, Illinois product to reach a new level.
Assuming Lyle corrects his areas of improvement on shooting more efficiently and cutting down the three turnovers-per-game average, then expect a breakout sophomore campaign.
If things go smoothly, he should certainly be in position to make a run at some of the All-Big Ten teams and might have a shot at any of the three All-American teams.
'BTPowerhouse 25' Rankings:
- #26-31 - Players That Just Missed The Cut
- #24 - Josh Langford (Michigan State)
- #24 - Kam Williams (Ohio State)
- #23 - Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman (Michigan)
- #22 - Jalen Coleman-Lands (Illinois)
- #21 - Keita Bates-Diop (Ohio State)
- #20 - Jae’Sean Tate (Ohio State)
- #19 - James Blackmon (Indiana)
- #18 - Eron Harris (Michigan State)
- #17 - Corey Sanders (Rutgers)
- #16 - Derrick Walton, Jr. (Michigan)
- #15 - Isaac Haas (Purdue)
- #14 - JaQuan Lyle (Ohio State)
- #13 - to be continued ...