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June 8, 2013
It wasn't a stellar night for JaQuan Lyle or a great start for his Indiana Junior All-Stars, but the Indiana team prevailed Friday night over Kentucky in overtime, 108-102. The game was played at Greenfield Central (Ind.) High School and was the first ever between the two state's Junior All-Stars. The squads will meet again tonight at St. Xavier High in Louisville.
The Evansville Bosse player did start along with Indiana commit James Blackmon, summer teammate Trey Lyles and guards Bryant McIntosh and Tayler Persons, but had a scoreless night. His second half minutes were limited as Blackmon (game high 27 points) heated up and McIntosh (10 points) and his 4-star teammate Trevon Bluiett (17 points) earned the majority of the perimeter minutes.
Coach Brent Chitty's decisions worked out as Indiana overcame an 11-point second half deficit.
"Just really wasn't feeling it tonight," said Lyle. "Knee was hurting me but it was a coach's decision. We just came out kind of flat and they made a lot of shots but then in the second half we made a lot of shots, got some stops and won the game."
The Columbus East coach explained how the game dictated the substitutions.
"We think JaQuan is really good but as we watched guys play, we wanted to give these guys a chance to win and some of the guys got hot," said Chitty. "JaQuan is for real. He's a really nice player. He'll bounce back."
The main guy who got hot was Indiana commit James Blackmon Jr. The 6-foot-3 guard scored 21 of his 27 points in the second half.
The two teams meet again Saturday night at St. Xavier High School in Louisville.
Last weekend Lyle created some buzz among the Indiana University fans by tweeting about a trip to Bloomington.
"I went up there for the state track meet because my cousin was running and then we went over to campus and watched them workout, watched some film and just talked," said Lyle. "It wasn't really a visit, just went over to see what was up. But I will probably take an actual unofficial sometime around when I come back from the NBA Camp."
That NBA Players Association Top 100 camp for prep prospects runs from June 12-15 at the University of Virginia.
"I'm really looking forward to that a lot, to compete against many of the top players," said Lyle.
The Evansville native got a chance to see some of Indiana's early arriving freshman class.
"Noah Vonleh was there and I think he's there for good, for summer school. Luke Fischer was there for orientation, that was it. Hanner Perea, Peter Jurkin were there."
Many of the same programs recruiting Lyle had been going after fellow 5-star guard D'Angelo Russell. A Kentucky native, Russell would have been in last night's game had he not transferred last fall to Montverde Academy, a private school and basketball power near Orlando in Florida.
Russell committed earlier on Friday to Ohio State, a move that caught Lyle by surprise.
"Woo, I wasn't really expecting that, it came out of nowhere," said Lyle. "That was the best decision for him and I'm proud for him."
No rush on the Lyle timetable.
"Not really, I'm taking my time, taking the ACT tomorrow," said Lyle. "I'll probably take some officials in August or sometime like that. Then see where that goes."
Besides Indiana, the other finalists for Lyle include Ohio State, Louisville, Illinois, Tennessee, Florida and UCLA.