Evansville Frosh Has Big-Time Potential

The Illini are invading the state of Indiana to raid their massive basketball talent base. They have identified a talented wing from the Class of 2014 in Evansville Bosse High School forward Jaquan Lyle, who recently visited Illinois.

Jaquan Lyle is a 6'-4" point forward that can do it all on the basketball floor. The talented prospect already has an impressive list of credentials for a young man who has not even played a high school game and has the recruiting attention to match, including early interest from Illinois.

Evansville Bosse High School head coach Shane Burkhart says Lyle enjoyed his recent visit to the University of Illinois for its November 2nd game against Southern Indiana.

"He went into the locker room and visited with the coaches. He got a chance to talk to Coach (Bruce) Weber. He enjoyed the game. It had a little bit of local flavor to it for us because of USI being there. When he went home we talked a lot about the fact this is a beginning for him, and we continue to practice hard and continue to get better."

The Illini coaching staff for Illinois has been in contact with Burkhart about recruiting Lyle.

"Coach (Jay) Price has been here. They stay in contact. Coach Weber told Jaquan when we were there they would be down to see him in practice and games."

It is still very early in the recruiting process, but his trip to Illinois did leave a positive first impression on Lyle.

"As far as Illinois, it's kind of in the beginning stages. Jaquan and his family are excited about the process, and they enjoyed the visit to Illinois," Burkhart stated.

The Illini are not the only team showing interest in having the gifted freshman join their team in four years according to his coach. Four basketball powerhouse programs are already in the hunt for Lyle.

"Right now the four in a lot are Illinois, Purdue, Indiana, and Xavier."

Lyle has visited all four in the past month. He attended Hoosier Hysteria (Indiana), Musketeer Madness (Xavier), a practice at Purdue, along with his visit to Illinois for the USI game. He currently has one offer in hand, and it sounds like another one might not be far away according his coach.

"IU has already offered, and Xavier has been in a lot. We think there might be an offer coming soon from their camp, but we're not sure."

Although he is already receiving offers, Burkhart does not see his star freshman committing anytime soon as many of the schools recruiting him are just starting the recruiting process.

"Other than IU and Xavier, it's in the beginning stages with the majority of the schools."

Lyle has a well rounded game including a jump shot that reaches out to 22 feet. His court vision and playmaking ability are his most apparent strengths at an early age.

"He is going to end up being a 6'-7" kid that is going to be great with the ball in his hands. He has tremendous court vision. He is a young man that understands the game.

"He is a student of the game, believe it or not, at 14 years old. I mean he really really understands what's going to happen, what the next play is or what the next movement needs to be."

At the high school level he is going to play multiple positions for Bosse. He has the ability to overpower guards in the post, while having the skills to take bigger defenders out on the perimeter to beat them off the dribble.

The position Lyle projects toward in college would be small forward with the ability to be a point-forward because of his passing ability. The Illini have a similar player on their current squad, and Lyle took notice.

"When we were there to watch them play USI, Jaquan actually made the comment his game was a lot like Jereme's (Richmond)."

Burkhart is entering his third season at Bosse and is excited for their upcoming season. They will have three key returning players, as well as three freshman that will make an immediate impact.

The latter includes Lyle along with long time teammate Bo Burkhart. The pair has played together in junior high and on the AAU circuit for Spiece Select 2014 where they compiled a 32-6 record and 5 consecutive tournament championships. They also dominated the 8th grade scene last year.

"Jaquan averaged about 22 and (Burkhart's son) averaged about 19 in about a half of play. The one game they actually got to play the whole game was the city final and in 6 minute quarters they scored 83 points," Coach Burkhart stated.

In that game Lyle netted 32 points including 16 points in a three minute span when the younger Burkhart was defended by a box in one. The pair has already proven in multiple atmospheres they play well together and now look to take the Evansville Bosse program to another level.

"We are real excited about the level of basketball those two as freshman are going to bring to our team."

It has been well documented the state of Indiana is loaded with prospects in the classes of 2012, 2013, and 2014. The class of 2014 in the state already includes Indiana commitments James Blackmon Jr. and Trey Lyles (no relation to Jaquan). Burkhart believes his freshman could be the best of the bunch.

"We feel like there is a good 10 to 12 kids in Indiana in the age group of 2014 that right now are being looked at by Division One schools. Jaquan has the opportunity to be the best in the class if he continues to work at it."

Lyle will make his high school debut on November 27 in a home game against Jeffersonville. The coaching staff is excited to get him out on the floor and begin a new era at Bosse.

"We've watched this kid for the last few years. We know as a coaching staff we have a pretty special player on our hands."


Illini Inquirer Top Stories