Lyle appreciates Crean’s honesty

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.”

AUDIO: Jaquan Lyle


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  • Aruss says:

    In my opinion, JL is not a good fit for IU. The more I’m exposed to him in interviews the more red flags I see. If it didn’t bother a person before about him “enjoying the process” all these years, the fact that UCLA is magically part of his list should be enough to make you shake your head. Of the three amigos, we got the right one in Blackmon.

  • Geoff says:

    Yeah, I get what you’re saying Aruss.

  • Chet says:

    I agree. He might need a little more ego stroking than anyone is gonna give him at Cook Hall.

  • Weatherman says:

    While I agree that he seems like a higher-maintenance player than we have gotten used to, I am not as quick to dismiss him as others. The worst I’ve heard about him is that he is immature and selfish, and while the program is clearly dominated by players who aren’t those things, not everyone is going to be an angel. It takes talent to win championships, especially in the back court, so until I hear something worse than I have so far, I will continue to hope he ends up here.

    Moreover, his loss — and I believe he will indeed go elsewhere — will only add to an ongoing exodus of talent in this state. From 2011 through the reasonable projections for 2014, we have lost or are likely to lose Marquis Teague, Branden Dawson, Mitch McGary, Gary Harris, Glenn Robinson III, Zak Irvin, Trey Lyles, Jaquan Lyle, Demetrius Jackson, and Trevon Bluiett. During that time we have landed Cody Zeller, Yogi Ferrell, and (presumably) James Blackmon, but the bottom line is that we continue to miss out on the bulk of 5 star talent produced in this state. Three of those players have already started in a national championship game, and if Michigan State is as good as advertised next year, two more could easily join the list.

    Obviously our national recruiting is going quite well, but it is safe to say that a banner’s worth of talent has passed on IU even since Cody’s commitment supposedly made it cool to be a Hoosier again. For reasons I can guess at but don’t truly understand, we still don’t have great traction with local players. I’m not sentimental about it, but as a practical matter it will be harder to sustain a top 10 program if 75% of the elite talent in our own state goes elsewhere.

  • Nick says:

    He’s 17. He’s immature.

    But he’s not a bad kid.

    Looks like Crean has already begun working with him, and he seems receptive.

  • GoodKidsOnly says:

    I don’t care how good he is, if he’s going to be a cancer, I don’t want him on the team.

  • Weatherman says:

    Goodkids, no one wants a “cancer”, and to the best of my knowledge no one has accused Lyle of being one, so there is no real need to proclaim against it. Does the fact that Crean continues to recruit him so aggressively not offer you some assurance that he is basically a good kid? I certainly have no personal knowledge one way or the other, but Crean has a nearly spotless record of bringing solid citizens to the program, so until someone gives me more than rumor or speculation, I will assume he is basically a good kid.

  • Geoff says:

    Not that it’s a reliable source, but there was a kid on here last year claiming he went to HS with Lyle and that he was a real a-hole, entitled type at school… Probably just rumor, but it stood out because I haven’t seen those types of things being said about other recruits on here.

    Weatherman, you forgot Perea and Hollowell… Both were more highly ranked than Blueitt during points of their recruitment.

    Also, Jackson stayed in-state and committed to ND.

  • Weatherman says:

    Whether Jackson literally stayed within the borders is beside the point; the point is that he didn’t come to IU.

    Regarding Hollowell and Perea, neither was anywhere the prospect that the other guys on my list are. Perea was ranked quite high early in his career, but had fallen significantly by the time he graduated. Hollowell was never seen as a 5 star guy.

    Bluiett does not really belong on my list either, so I’ll disregard him. He scores well, but is ranked in the 40s and only a few top programs are really recruiting him.

    That still means 9 of the 12 most highly rated players Indiana has produced recently have not come here (“IU”). Michigan has as many as we have, and Michigan State has almost as many. Think of what we would have looked like last year with Gary Harris and/or Mitch McGary on the roster, or what we would look like in 2014 with Jacquan Lyle and/or Trey Lyles on board. We’ll never know, but those are championship caliber players. Surely there can’t be any dispute that we would have been better with them than without, and that the program overall would be better if it were seen as a more favorable destination by the state’s best players.

  • oyvey says:

    I understand your frustration, but we are not getting those players because for the most part they don’t want to come. Crean has been recruiting his butt off but he’s had very few takers. If it we were because of a lack of recruiting (Sampson, and Davis) or that we have a coach that scare the junk out of star recruits (Knight), then I would be more upset. There loss.

  • Tyeblaize says:

    I live in Evansville and have had the opportunity to watch JL play. I also hear about the issues he has had. He has had off the court issues that seem to be getting better as he is maturing. The thing that I still see that concerns me but could be addressed is consistency of play. I feel like he has the attitude that he can play at half speed and turn it on to pull out a game. If he played at the high level of intensity all the time Bosse would be State Champs. He also will shut down when things don’t go his way. If he can work through the attitude issues, he can be amazing. He has an incredible amount of talent, sees the floor well and is an amazing passer. He also is a great scorer. I have a pretty good idea of the things CTC is telling him and if he listens he would be great at IU. It will be interesting to see his senior season to see if he take the advice to heart.

  • Geoff says:

    Weatherman – your list is very subjective… I’ve made similar lists in the last week to show what a good job Crean has done in-state. By my count Crean has brought in 7 of the last top 15 recruits over the last 3 classes (’11, ’12, ’13).

    I think it’s pretty tough to say guys ranked in everyone’s top 100, and being recruited by numerous blue-blood schools aren’t championship quality players… Perea, Hollowell, and Blueitt should be on every list… However, Blueitt hasn’t committed yet, so he can’t really be in this conversation yet.

    Lastly, every recruiting decision has a ripple effect…

    …had Lyles not decommited we most likely don’t end up with Vonleh. That was essentially the gist of the accounting, with Vonleh re-classifying into 2013. So most fans at the time this all went down last fall were fine with making that trade. Vonleh is a championship quality player, who plays the same position, who really wants to be at IU, and who will most certainly be here for at least 2 years… He just isn’t from Indiana.

    …gaining a Yogi means not going after a Jackson.

    …not waiting around for Harris and making sure you have a solid class regardless of his decision means you don’t end up with enough room for him and he ends up elsewhere… But what if he decides to go elsewhere and we don’t make the push for the Movement? Are we left with half a class and not nearly the good vibrations we felt all last off-season?

  • Chet says:

    “Hollowell was never seen as a 5 star guy.”

    Neither was VO or Will.

  • Harvard for Hillbillies says:



    You’re exactly correct. Nepotism based on relationships with the Adams’ clan and AAU local crowd got us loaded up with projects and friends of top recruits that stuffed our roster with wasted scholarships.

    Meanwhile, Michigan’s two biggest stars of the NCAA tournament(McGary and Albrecht)did more in a tournament run than will likely see in four years out of Perea, Jurkin, Etherington, Marlin…

    Oh, and they also plucked a two skyrocketing stars in Dawson and Robinson from Northwest Indiana.

    Crean keeps the the locals happy by recruiting the kids in the Indy papers.. The rest of his mission is boys from good Christian families and East Coast ballers that are too raw for most elite programs with what Geoff describes as not ready for meaningful contribution/PT but bubbling over with “NBA potential”(not banner potential).

    We lost the best defensive player of “the Movement” because we were over-signed. Don’t buy into that C- garbage for a minute.

    Knight recruited northern Indiana, Chicago, and Ohio. Crean is Indy(B-town backyard) and Pipeline.

    He keeps the natives happy by recruiting locally and being a holier-than-thou Christian blowhard. Get’s to highlight his resume when one of his Pipeline experiments from the East gets drafted. Nepotism…cronyism…pollyannaism…self-anointment…chase down the Sampson villains. One giant tuba in the band that doesn’t know his wallet from a game plan.

    Zero banners will come by way of the insecure charlatan preacher that lives to be validated and shake Bobby’s hand.

  • Harvard for Hillbillies says:

    …than [we] will likely see

  • Harvard for Hillbillies says:

    VO and Will…VO and Will. You’d think they invented cake and ice cream.

    I’ll take a V8! …a ‘V’ for victory over Syracuse and an ‘8’ for an Elite 8 over a VO with no “will” to stay at IU and get the ‘banner mission’ completed.

    Is the NBA paying IU to get Perea ready enough to be drafted on “potential.” Seriously? That’s now IU’s new Establishment mission? We go to the expense to ready raw projects that will never be able to bring it for banners but one day bring it for Jack Nicholson?

    Maybe we should just start a Hanner cloning farm funded by IU and start our own DNA/NBA league?

  • TsaoTsuG says:

    I have one concern and it is a rather big one. It was mentioned last week but I don’t think it got the attention it deserved.

    A.D. Fred Glass announced the coaches’ (Varsity Club’s?) tour of the state promoting Hoosier sports towards the end of thee summer. The tour included Evansville, Indianapolis, of course Bloomington, Ft. Wayne and one or two others. But, when you split Indiana along US 65 (or 31), the furthest north the tour goes in Indiana is Indianapolis. Indiana’s northwest quadrant’s Hoosier celebration is held in …Chicago.

    Now, I live in Chicago and I know there are thousands and thousands of graduates who live in this great city. And, I love the culinary merits and entertainment possibilities (though not at a flesh market joint like Joe’s)are great. But we are THE state university of Indiana; not Illinois. The tax money paid to Illinois and Chicago by the affair is probably significant, shouldn’t.

    And, most important, the area where it is believed IU has no presence and certainly struggles more than it should is exactly northwest Indiana. Purdue, Michigan, Michigan State, Wisconsin, Illinois, even Notre Dame and Northwestern have taken note. Especially the first three have parked their tents in the Hoosier less land patches west of US I-65 and north of I-70.

    Leaving out places- perhaps not well known for their football, basketball, track and field, soccer..etc athletes produced in sleepy little ‘pueblos’ like Mishawaka, Merrillville, Hobart, Crown Point, Hammond, Valparaiso, Gary, East Chicago, South Bend, Schererville, Munster, even Lafayette itself. I’ll bet Purdue, Michigan, Michigan State, Illinois and quite a few others have noticed.

    Oh, I know that the Chicago Hoosier Varsity Club party is done for both Chicago and The Region’s Hoosier fanatics…but it ain’t the same thing. Cleanliness is next to Godliness but Chicago ain’t in Indiana.

    Let’s celebrate our entire state. .

    We’are basically making a statement that Indiana University’s northern border is Indianapolis. Not very good for recruiting and certainly, I do not believe it is politically wise either Mr. Glass (very uncharacteristic of you since you seem to give a lot of attention to symbolism (not so uncharacteristic for Varsity Club leaders); and, consider that when IU is in dire need of greater general tax revenue funding from the Indiana State General Assembly they count the votes from The Region.

    I’ll bet Mitch Daniels will take note.

    (By the way, one last point… Just think, had we been this blind to our NW brethren and sisters 20-25 years ago we may have missed out completely on getting the celebrated Harvard foe Hillbillies to come to Bloomington and that would have been a loss!)

    Mr. Glass…bring us together!

    (Now Dustin, from a professional point of view; is this a sports story or what!!???? Explains a lot, this and other issues usually thrown in. And, besides…being that you cover the meetings, where would you rather go out on the town and spend the night afterwards, Portage or Chicago?)

  • Chet says:

    Hey Harvard, I can’t help but notice that you’ve been making the same post over and over for…ever. I’m pretty sure everybody gets it. You hate CTC. Mitch McGary is Michael Jordan. IU would have three more banners if they only recruited in Whiting.

    Dude, I really like you but you’re turning tedious into an art form. Could you please post something different? Time and temp. Jenny Craig menus. The wit and wisdom of Mitt.

    Or give it a rest.

    But we all get the other stuff. Really, we get it.

  • Rico Chet says:

    ^ Old Man River.

  • GoodKidsOnly says:

    No one has ever starved more for attention than Harvard. He really has ruined this place.

  • Chet says:

    I wouldn’t go that far but he does seem to be perseverating on the same post.

  • Hoosier Clarion says:

    I like Nick and the Weatherman’s observations referring to some of the original red flags coming down with Lyle. He says in his interview he is starting to get it by now understanding what Crean was chastising him about 2 years ago. Coach Crean has hound dogged this nicely. With Blackmon being more of a 2 guard I think JL is a must. We were all awed by Cuse and their big guards.

    H4H, I did not see Dawson playing in the NC game this year, nor did you.

  • briansloanthemadscreener says:

    Lets not confuse Lyle of Evansville with Lyles of Indpls Tech, I’ve never hear Lyle speak of enjoying the process. He seems much more mature than Lyles. If Crean met with him, his mom & grandma, sounds like we may be close to a commitment. As for Blueitt, I saw him play in the 6th grade, I thought he was Magic Johnson, he was a man among boys. He was much bigger than all of the other kids and handled the ball w/ ease. His team pretty much cleared out and let him handle the ball. He was so big the kids on my son’s team called him “Baby Shaq”. I hope he continues at IU or Butler so I can continue to watch him play.

  • Weatherman says:

    Geoff: Is there such a thing as an “objective” list when it comes to player rankings? It seems to me that such things are inherently subjective, even for those who evaluate recruits for a living.

    Allowing for that, my list is not just my own favorite players. It is made up of those recruits who spent most or all of their high school careers with 5 star ratings. McGary is an exception, because he did slip a bit by the end of his high school years, but if I recall correctly he was at one time a top 10 player (and he showed pretty dang well as a freshman). Stars aside, the players on my list are the highest ranked players Indiana has produced in recent years, and every one of them who has played at least one year in college was good enough to have helped us. I think the fact that we have missed so many of them is notable.


    Oladipo and Sheehey not only weren’t 5 star recruits, they weren’t from Indiana. My posts have been about 5 star recruits from Indiana.

    Obviously not all 5 star recruits are successful in college, and there have been plenty of 3 and 4 star recruits who turned out to be great. I mean, the two best players in the Big Ten last year came in as 3 star recruits according to most rankings, so there is no science to this. But it seems pretty self-evident to me that our chances to contend at a high level will be greater if we can more regularly attract the top talent from our home state.

  • BrianSloanthemadscreener,
    Lyle is very much enjoying the process and he isn’t close to a commitment at all. He told us he’s taking all five of his official visits and I very much believe him. I follow him on Twitter and no one makes more of a point to announce every bit of recruiting news in his life than he does. Not saying there’s anything wrong with that, but if you believe an in-home visit with Lyle means he’s close to a commitment, you’re reading him wrong.

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