Lyle's the real deal

Elite basketball players generally stand out from the crowd. Sign in or subscribe now to read about one who visited Tennessee's campus over the weekend.

Basically, the prospects attending Tennessee's intense-skills basketball camp on Saturday could be divided into two groups: (1) Jaquan Lyle and (2) everybody else.

Lyle, a 6-foot-4 junior guard at Benjamin Bosse High in Evansville, Ind., put on a show inside the Pratt Pavilion that had competitors and observers alike buzzing. He drained 3-pointers, showing why Scout earlier this year rated him the No. 2 shooting guard prospect in the Class of 2014. He also put on a ball-handling display that illustrated why Scout currently has him rated the No. 3 point guard prospect in the Class of '14.

"I just came out and played basketball," Lyle told InsideTennessee. "A lot of my shots were falling, and my teammates caught all of my passes, so it worked out well. I'd say it was an average performance."

Actually, there is nothing "average" about Jaquan Lyle. That's why Scout has issued a five-star ranking and tabbed him the 11th-best overall player in his class. Based on his performance in Knoxville, that ranking may be a few spots too low.

Lyle conceded that being a five-star recruit and a top-15 prospect is flattering but he's determined that it won't go to his head.

"It's a special feeling to be ranked near the top," he said, "but you have to stay humble and keep working all the time."

Lyle already has 14 scholarship offers, including one from Tennessee. He says Vol coaches got in a few recruiting licks during the camp.

"They told me I put on a show," he said, "and that I should put on the Orange and White."

That just might happen someday. Lyle likes what he has seen of Tennessee's program to date.

"I've always thought Tennessee is a great school," he said. "I've always liked the players and coaching staff. I've always felt it would be a good fit."

In his first year at the helm Cuonzo Martin earned a lot of respect by rallying Tennessee from a 10-12 start to a 19-15 record and a runnerup finish in the Southeastern Conference standings.

"I only watched a couple of games," Lyle said, "but the games I watched they played pretty good."

Tennessee's facilities are among the NCAA's finest, and they made a lasting impression on Lyle during his weekend visit.

"The arena's big," he said. "And that's probably the best practice facility I've seen on a college campus."

Lyle, who will attend the prestigious LeBron Skills Academy later this summer, praised the handling of Tennessee's intense-skills camp.

"It was a good camp," he said. "We played a lot of basketball, and it was fun."

Lyle was accompanied on his Knoxville visit by high school teammate Bo Burkhart, son of Bosse head coach Shane Burkhart.

Bo Burkhart described the camp as "real fun," adding: "There was a bunch of guys I'd seen there on-line, and I enjoyed competing with them.

"The camp was run great. Everything was easy to get to. It seemed like they knew what they were doing. I talked to Coach (Tracy) Webster and Coach Martin a little. I had a good time."

Although he's a Div. I prospect in his own right, Bo Burkhart tends to get overshadowed by Jaquan Lyle. The other players attending Saturday's intense-skills camp could relate.

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