May 4, 2012

Lyle starts hot at Spiece Run-n-Slam

FORT WAYNE, Ind. - Division I coaches are not allowed on the road for evaluations this weekend, but rising junior JaQuan Lyle has plenty of motivation to play hard as the AAU spring/summer circuit gains momentum.

"With the talent out here, every time you step on the floor you have to bring your A-game or you will get exposed," Lyle said following the first round of pool play on Friday night at the Spiece Run-n-Slam.

Lyle, ranked the No. 8 junior-to-be in the country by Rivals.com, scored 15 points in a 108-67 victory for Spiece Indy Heat, Friday night.

Through the last two weekends of April, Michigan State kept a close eye on Lyle, who will be a junior at Evansville (Ind.) Bosse High School this fall.

Several schools have offered scholarships to Lyle, a slick 6-foot-4 guard who can be best described as a combo wing.

"Ohio State and Louisville are coming real hard," Lyle said.

Indiana, Kentucky and Michigan State are also in the chase, which is just getting started.

Indiana, Illinois, OSU and Louisville have offered.

MSU and Kentucky are jockeying for position.

"All schools are really equal right now," Lyle said. "I'm just taking my time. I'm going to take some visits soon and see what the schools are talking about and what the campuses are like."

He already has a good idea of what East Lansing is like. He was born in Lansing and his father lives in East Lansing.

"My dad lives there and I was born there and I lived there until I was 3 and then I moved to Evansville with my mom's side of the family," Lyle said. "The whole side of my dad's family still lives there. I used to go there every summer."

Michigan State has kept tabs with him.

"I hear from Coach Fife a lot," Lyle said.

Lyle Unplugged

Lyle on Ohio State: "Coach Matta, he's a good coach. They get the ball out and run. I want to play for a program that likes to get out and run."

On Louisville: "Louisville has talent too. I just want to get to college, push the ball with a lot of freedom."

On Michigan State: "I can see myself in a system like that because Coach Izzo, he gives guards a lot of freedom. (Keith) Appling) does a lot of things similar to what I can do, get his teammates shots and score when it's needed."

On Indiana: "Coach Crean is a great coach. He turned IU around. The recruits coming in next year and the year after, they will have a lot of great teams."

On Kentucky: "They started recruiting me a long time ago but then they backed off. Now they are back into it. Coach Calipari, he develops pros and that (the NBA) is where I want to be."

Friday Night Live

Lyle's noteworthy plays on Friday night at Spiece:

  • Nailed a spot-up 3-pointer from the left wing to give Spiece Indy Heat, the host program of this weekend's tournament, an 88-53 lead midway through the second half.

  • He made nice use of a side ball screen on the right, with a lefty hesitating dribble. He got into the lane and dumped it off to Indiana commitment Trey Lyles, a 6-8 post player.

  • Lyle can play the wing as a shooter, or run the point with Brandan Kearney type of feel. His ability to see the floor was on display when he pushed a 3-on-2 opportunity and found Trevon Bluiett for an alley-oop dunk.

    Later, he had a driving alley-oop pass go through a teammate's hands at the rim, while a spinning drive-and-dish was passed of a surprised teammate's midsection.

    "They are kind of getting used to him, and now he has gotten a little quicker," said Spiece head coach Reynardo Bluiett. "I thought he did good. It was the kind of game where we jumped on them and it kind of got away and it's easy to lose focus in those kind of games but we kept our head."

    The Rest Of It

    Several other players on Michigan State's recruiting radar will be in action throughout the weekend at the annual Bill Hensley Memorial Spiece Run-n-Slam All-Star Classic.

    Among them:

  • Chicago Simeon's Jabari Parker, ranked the No. 1 player in the country. He and his Mac Irvin Fire team will tip off at 10:30 p.m., Friday. Mac Irvin Fire also boasts rising seniors Jahlil Okafor and Thomas Hamilton. MSU is keeping tabs with Hamilton, and recruiting Okafor hard.

  • Troy High's James Young, who will tip off with The Family (Detroit) at 10:30 p.m., Friday.

  • Demetrious Jackson, a point guard from Mishawaka, Ind., did not make the trip to Fort Wayne in time to join his MBA Select team for first-round action on Friday night.

  • Spiece Indy Heat is one of 64 teams in the 17-and-under division. The tournament will run through Sunday.














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