JaQuan Lyle, a 4-star guard, commits to the Ohio State Buckeyes


Yesterday evening D’Angelo Russell posted on Instagram regarding JaQuan Lyle committing to Ohio State. A few hours later this news was confirmed by SBNation’s Luke Zimmerman saying that Lyle indeed would be taking his talents to Columbus. Lyle becomes the 5th commit to the Buckeyes, all of which are 4-star recruits. JaQuan previously committed to Louisville, before committing to go to Oregon. Unfortunately, he ran into some educational issues, and did not meet Oregon’s academic standards. Lyle, unable to play college basketball, chose to spend a postgraduate year at IMG Academy in Florida.

He chose Ohio State over schools such as Memphis, Oregon, and Oklahoma State.

How will JaQuan Lyle fit for the future of the Buckeyes? Will his addition be enough to keep star guard D’Angelo Russell around for one more year? Will this, his third commitment, be his last?

Lyle is 6’5”, 220lbs and can play all three perimeter positions. He does, however, favor the point guard and shooting guard positions. In his senior year of High School Lyle averaged about 17 points, six rebounds, and six assists, as well as tacking on a ludicrous four steals per game. He led Huntington Prep to a spot in the Dick’s Sporting Goods High School National Tournament, but they lost to eventual champions Montverde Acadmey in the semifinals.

JaQuan Lyle is a very smooth and very skilled combo guard with the ability to get into the lane with ease. From there he is terrific at finding the open man, or finishing the play himself. He is also very physical and is often a mismatch with players of lesser physiques. Lyle can also knock down shots up to 19 feet out.

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Lyle does still have a ways to go before he can hit an elite level. Lyle lacks the explosiveness and athleticism necessary for him to take the next step. His shot also requires quiet a bit of work as it is very inconsistent and streaky. Though it is hard to tell how good he is defensively, due to him guarding bigger post players, it is somewhere he still doesn’t feel totally comfortable. Questions have also been asked regarding his work ethic and focus.

Bottom line, he has a massive upside. With a bit of help defensively, and improved athleticism, Lyle has the talent to be one of the elite guards in the nation.

With Shannon Scott, a senior, leaving and D’Angelo Russell looking like a very high draft pick this year, Lyle would most likely take over at the point. Even if Russell returns, it is hard to see Lyle playing anywhere else. He has terrific play making ability, and would create massive mismatches with smaller point guards. The only difference in usage would be that if Russell does return Lyle will be more of a creator, rather than having full control, which he would have if Russell leaves.

That brings us to the question of whether or not Russell is going to stay for a second year of college. In the Instagram post (top of the page) Russell says “We running tables next year.” This comment has sparked debate as to whether or not Russell will return for his sophomore year. In the latest NBA Mock Draft on Bleacher Report by Jonathan Wasserman, D’Angelo Russell goes 2nd overall to the Knicks. If he has the opportunity to go this high, it is hard to see him passing this chance up. However, we have seen top players forgo the draft for an extra year.

If he does return the combination of Russell and Lyle, not to mention the continued development of freshman small forward Jae’sean Tate and sophomore forward Marc Loving, would make the Buckeyes an interesting team to watch.

Strength of Commitment: 99%

Despite the fact that Lyle has already committed twice to two different schools, it seems hard to believe that Lyle will allow another team to slip through his fingers. Ohio State’s play over the past few days has been better, and the prospect of being an important player with a good team is hard to pass on.

Still, there is a 1% chance he leaves. Considering his past, it wouldn’t shock me if something came up that caused him to committed. As soon as Ohio State can get Lyle in to sign his national letter intent, they should do so in order to avoid another fiasco.

JaQuan Lyle joins Austin Grandstaff (SG, No.45 OVR), Daniel Giddens (C, No.46 OVR), A.J Harris (PG, No.82 OVR) and Mickey Mitchell (SF, No.104 OVR) in the 2015 recruiting class for the Buckyes. All five are rated as 4-star prospects by 247sports. The class is currently ranked at #7 nationally, another great haul for coach Thad Matta.

Lyle has a bright future ahead of him at Ohio State, that is if he is able to keep himself out of trouble, and in uniform.