Lyle visits L'ville; gets offer

Lyle visits L'ville; gets offer

Evansville Bosse star JaQuan Lyle, one of the Top 15 prospects in the Class of 2014, put on a show with Louisville coach Rick Pitino watching last Friday. So Pitino invited Lyle to Sunday's game against Pittsburgh, where he offered the 6'4 guard a scholarship.

Evansville Bosse star Jaquan Lyle, one of the Top 15 prospects in the Class of 2014, put on a show with Louisville coach Rick Pitino watching last Friday. So Pitino invited Lyle to Sunday's game against Pittsburgh, where he offered the 6'4 guard a scholarship.

Lyle, Scout.com's No. 2-rated shooting guard in his class, led Bosse to a 71-47 win over rival Evansville Reitz last Friday, contributing 24 points, 10 rebounds and five assists. Though he started slowly, Lyle took over in the second half to break open a close game with his scoring and passing ability in the final period.

"Jaquan started off the game a little sporadic and he was pressing a little bit and trying to make sure all the seniors got touches," Bosse coach Shane Burkhart said. "His jumper was off a little, but his passing ability and the way he's able to see things develop before they develop is amazing.

"We were able to get the basketball out of his hands in the second half, put him in the middle of the zone they were playing and it just really opened up for him to score. In the fourth quarter his passing and scoring ability really took affect. We went from a 4 point lead to a 20 point lead in two minutes and the run had everything to do with him. It was an amazing second half performance from him."

Pitino came away impressed with the talented sophomore, particularly with his court vision and ability to pass the ball. After him team beat Pittsburgh Sunday, Pitino told Lyle he was offering a scholarship.


Evansville's Jaquan Lyle is a 2014 priority for Rick Pitino's Cards.
"They mentioned (Friday) they were going to offer him (Sunday) and they wanted me to make sure that we got him there (for the Pittsburgh game)," Burkhart said. "Coach (Kevin) Keatts made a point to tell us that Coach Pitino does not come out very often to watch kids. It was quite an honor for us to host him and for us to be able to showcase JaQuan in front of him and Coach Keatts.

"It was the second time Coach Keatts has seen us play. The first game, JaQuan had 37 points and this game he had 24. He's just an extremely talented kid and I think that's what Coach [Pitino] likes about him. He was very generous in his comments and spoke highly about JaQuan's unbelievable ability to see things before they happen. I believe the comment was that he hadn't seen that skilled a passer in a very long time."

What does Lyle think about an offer from Louisville?

"First of all, Louisville is a tremendous school with unbelievable fans, a brand new arena and their tradition is amazing," Burkhart said. "All those things and you haven't even touched on Coach Piitno, who is an unbelievable coach who was just nominated for the Hall of Fame. You can tell Coach Pitino is honest and sincere in his interest in JaQuan."

Louisville has strong competition for Lye's services. Several Big 10 programs, including Indiana, Ohio State, Michigan State and Purdue are in heavy pursuit.

"There's really not a frontrunner," Burkhart said. "I know there are a lot of rumors out there, but the people that are starting those rumors don't have an inside track on what JaQuan is thinking. Indiana was the first to offer and that's intriguing. He has family up at Michigan State. The truth is JaQuan has no leaders at this time."

Burkhart, who is assisting Lyle with the recruiting process, said his star guard probably won't make a college decision until after his junior season.

"He's not trying to boil anything down at this time," Burkhart said. "Right now his grandmother really wants him to concentrate on his academics and they have pinpointed the end of next year to make a (college) decision. He's as open as it gets. He's not concentrating on one particular school. He's seeing as many schools that he can and getting to know the coaching staffs."

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