With the start of practice also comes the time when photo shoots and other official team happenings occur. Ohio State is doing some photo shoots right now and one involved freshman guard JaQuan Lyle throwing down a slow-motion windmill.
The Buckeyes are hoping the 6-foot-5 Lyle can replace some of the production of departed freshman guard D’Angelo Russell. A former five-star prospect, Lyle has creative passing ability and can also score with his size and skill.
Ohio State has to replace the production of D’Angelo Russell this season and they’re hoping that freshman guard JaQuan Lyle can be a part of that solution.
The 6-foot-5 native of Indiana is a big guard like Russell and he comes to the Buckeyes after spending an additional year at prep school at IMG Academy in Florida after falling short of making it into Oregon. During his season at IMG in February, Lyle had knee surgery to repair a torn meniscus.
Since recovering from surgery, Lyle has lost 20 pounds and is in much better shape entering the season, according to a report from Gordon Engelhardt of the Evansville Courier-Press.
“I’m a better decision-maker and a lot quicker and faster and have better footwork,” Lyle said in the story. “I’m definitely more explosive. I was athletic, but never the best athlete I could be. I lost 20 pounds and am much more athletic.”
Having a healthy Lyle will be a big part of how Ohio State’s offense might work since he’s a creative player with the ball in his hands. If Lyle’s athleticism has improved, it’s a great sign for the Buckeyes because Lyle is at his best when he can make plays at the rim.
While nobody is expecting Lyle to replicate the sensational freshman season that Russell produced, he could be in line for a good freshman season.
With Shannon Scott being a senior and freshman D’Angelo Russell being projected by some as a lottery pick in June’s NBA Draft should he decide to enter, adding another player capable of handling the basketball would not be a bad idea for Ohio State head coach Thad Matta and his staff. Following the Buckeyes’ win over No. 16 Maryland Thursday night, the program received a verbal commitment from a talented guard who was originally a member of the Class of 2014.
JaQuan Lyle, who originally signed with Oregon but was not admitted to the school, will be a Buckeye next season, as reported by multiple outlets. Lyle, who’s now at IMG Academy, was on an official visit to Ohio State. Lyle was one of two recruits who were denied admission to Oregon during the summer, with forward Ray Kasongo being the other.
And with Oregon dealing with their own issues during the spring that included the dismissal of three players, the more stringent standards weren’t much of a surprise.
Among the other schools considered by Lyle, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, were Oregon, LSU and Missouri, and he becomes the fifth commitment in the Class of 2015 for Ohio State. Lyle joins guards Austin Grandstaff and A.J. Harris, and forwards Mickey Mitchell and Daniel Giddens as players who have committed to Ohio State.
Lyle first committed to Louisville in June 2013, reopening his recruitment three months later.