When Lyle got the call to attend the Chris Paul basketball camp in Winston-Salem, N.C., he didn’t believe it was the NBA star on the other end of the line. It was only when Paul, a nine-time NBA all-star and four-time first-team All-NBA selection at point guard, reminded Lyle of a time he torched the AAU team he sponsored that the Ohio State guard realized he wasn’t being pranked.
Lyle took Paul up on the invite and attended the camp the weekend of June 24 and left with one big highlight and plenty of lessons.
“The whole weekend was a great experience," Lyle said. "I think I took away that the most, just the little things matter the most in the game of basketball.
“As far as using your footwork, using your body to create space, how you use your feet, how you turn your body and stuff like that, coming off of pick and roll how you should have your bigs and stuff like that.”
The highlight came during a game of one-on-one with former Indiana star and current Oklahoma City Thunder guard Victor Oladipo. Lyle crossed over the one-time Big Ten Defensive Player of the year, causing Oladipo to fall to the floor before he buried a midrange jumper. The video of the play became popular on social media and those attending the camp responded immediately to the highlight.
When Lyle met with the media June 29, however, he was quick to point out that Oladipo won that game which offered a lesson to the Buckeye sophomore.
“Just next play mentality,” Lyle said. “He fell, everybody watching the game went crazy, but he didn’t let that effect him. He got right back up hit the shot and won the game. That’s what really matters.”
Lyle admittedly struggled with moving past poor plays and poor performances as a freshman, struggling to find consistency from play to play and from game to game. Finding that next-play mentality has been a focal point for his offseason, Lyle said, as well as learning to put an emphasis on the little things.
The point guard is also working to remake his body. He’s slimmed down this offseason thanks to a major change in diet – a menu heavy on lean proteins and eliminating candy and fried foods – the point guard has slimmed down from his in-season weight of 222 pounds to around 211.
“I’m taking my body a lot more seriously,” Lyle said. “Our strength coach, coach (Dave Richardson), if it wasn’t for him pushing me every day, calling me the fattest point guard in America I probably wouldn’t be trying as hard as I am right now but hearing that every day gets annoying. Today was the first day he called me actually skinny. Just working every day, trying to get better and doing what I can to help the team out.”
It's clear, though, that nothing comes easy.