October 16, 2012

Five-star Lyle drawn to playing with top talent

Five-star junior JaQuan Lyle took an intelligent perspective into his visit to Kentucky last weekend for Big Blue Madness.

The 6-foot-5 versatile guard realized that while he should feel honored to be one of the official guests of the program for the event, he should also be humbled by the amazing group of talent surrounding him in the seats as fellow recruits.

Still the no. 19 prospect in the 2014 Rivals150 knows that while Kentucky isn't for every player, it's a heck of an opportunity for those who can handle the work load.

"The first thing coach Calipari always says it that UK is a players-first program but that it is not for everyone with all of the pressure around it," Lyle told Cats Illustrated, "You should know that if you consider Kentucky, because they always have a target on their back. You might have to deal with some extra distraction stuff because of everything that has been associated in the past with coach Calipari. But I think it could be for me. I know if you want to be great then UK is a good place to go."

Walking around Rupp Arena on Friday night with all four of Kentucky's committed players for 2013, as well as four other uncommitted five-star prospects, Lyle was immediately drawn to the perks of being surrounded by so much talent.

"It was a fun visit. I got to see a lot of great players on the court and then I was around a lot of great guys like the Harrison twins, James Young, Cliff Alexander and Trey Lyles. Seeing all of those guys there, plus the players already on the team, it just makes you think."

Lyle is no stranger to big campuses. The Evansville (Ind.) Bosse player has been on several unofficial around the Midwest; and plans on visiting Indiana for Hoosier Hysteria, Illinois for practice, and rescheduling previously postponed visit to Michigan State in the next three weekends. Even with all of the places that he has been, Lyle said he has never seen anything like Kentucky Wildcats fans.

"Man, Big Blue Nation is crazy. I can't believe they sold the whole place out and it wasn't even a game," said Lyles.

"The Student section looked like it would be really fun to play in front of."

Since the beginning of the fall recruiting period, Kentucky has taken a real interest in Lyle; as staff members have been up to Evansville twice to watch him workout.

An AAU teammate of both Trey Lyles, who holds a Kentucky offer, as well as potential Kentucky target Trevon Bluiett with Spiece Indy Heat, Lyle figures to get plenty of face time in with coach John Calipari during the spring and summer on the circuit.

Right now the five-star guard, who is known for having great size, versatility and a polished skill-set, is still wide open in his recruitment; with Purdue, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio State, Louisville, North Carolina State and Texas among schools that have offered, while Kentucky and Michigan State are both showing interest as well. Lyle says that he is no hurry to make a decision.

"No one is really standing out right now; I'm taking my time and enjoying the process. I'll probably end up cutting my list down after my high school season."

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