When Jaquan Lyle shot up the national recruiting rankings after the summer following his freshman year at Evansville Bosse, he had hordes of people telling him how great he was, and his ego was admittedly swelling. Indiana, the first school to offer him a scholarship, certainly played a part in it, but IU coach Tom Crean was also the first and only person at the time who was willing to take him down a peg.
Lyle, now heading into his senior season at Bosse as the No. 17 rated player in the Class of 2014, admits he didn’t appreciate that at the time, but he does now.
“He told me a lot of stuff I didn’t want to hear,” Lyle said. “That’s was whenever I was first put into the rankings. My head was big, and when I had a meeting with him, it really brought me down and it humbled me. Now I am where I am.”
The recent in-home visit he had with Crean and IU assistant coach Steve McClain had a similar tone, but Lyle said he was much more amenable to it this time around.
“That was my second time meeting with Coach Crean on a serious note, but it was the first time my mother and grandmother were around,” Lyle said. “I think that went real well. Him and coach McClain came down and just broke everything down to me and that went real well. …I just took it differently (before) because I was a lot younger. He told me what I needed to hear, and I didn’t like it then, but now, he told me what I need to here when I like it. It’s not always good to hear what you like to hear, it’s good what you need to hear. He just dropped a lot of stuff on me academic wise, player-development wise and what I need to work on. It went real well.”
In terms of specifics, Lyle said the Hoosiers want him to be a better decision maker. They’re impressed by the 6-foot-5, 190-pound point guard’s playmaking ability and passing, but they want him to be more disciplined.
As much as Lyle appreciated Crean’s advice, that doesn’t mean he’s a sure bet to be a Hoosier. He recently narrowed his list, but there are still seven teams on it. Indiana is part of that list along with Louisville, Ohio State, Florida, Tennessee, Illinois and UCLA, which just recently extended a scholarship offer. Lyle said he will take all five of his official visits in the fall before making a decision.
“I’m just really taking my time and enjoying the process,” he said. “There’s still a long time to go, and we’ll see where it takes me.”