Lyle to attend Michigan game
The men's basketball matchup between unbeaten Michigan and Illinois at the Assembly Hall on Sunday, Jan. 27, already has plenty riding on it considering the success both teams have had this season.
Another dimension to the game between nationally-ranked foes was added to the mix on Tuesday.
Class of 2014 point guard and Illinois target JaQuan Lyle from Evansville Bosse (Ind.) High School tweeted on Tuesday afternoon he plans to attend the game, which is slated for a 5 p.m. tip.
"Going to Illinois on the 27th for the Michigan game," Lyle tweeted on Tuesday before ending the tweet with the hashtag #IlliniNation.
Illinois is one of 10 schools in the mix for the dynamic scorer and playmaker, who checks in at 6 feet, 4 1/2 inches and 205 pounds.
He's listed as a five-star recruit by Rivals.com, who has Lyle pegged as the 16th-best prospect in the Class of 2014.
Cincinnati, Georgetown, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisville, Ohio State, Tennessee, Texas and Xavier are also in Lyle's top 10, with Arizona, Duke, Florida and UCLA expressing interest recently, according to Bosse head coach Shane Burkhart.
Could this signal an uptick in Lyle's recruitment to Illinois? Possibly.
Burkhart said last week he wasn't sure if Lyle could find the time to make a visit to Illinois before the season.
Lyle visited the campus last season when former head coach Bruce Weber was still on the job.
Lyle has attended the Indiana-North Carolina game and the Louisville-Kentucky game this season, where he was noticed at both by each team's set of fans. The attention isn't anything new for Lyle, who has a hard time going about Evansville without getting recognized.
"Every move that he does is watched," Burkhart said. "Sometimes when his body language shows that he's having difficulty with things, he's just frustrated with himself because he wants to win at everything. He wants to win at tying his shoes. That's how competitive he is."
Even with Lyle's expected visit to Champaign-Urbana at the end of January, it doesn't look likely he would make a college decision by that point.
Besides, Illinois doesn't currently have an open scholarship for the Class of 2014.
"As anybody who has went through (the recruiting process), it's a huge process because it's a life decision," Burkhart said. "You have so many people who want you to do what they want you to do. You've got so many people who think they can tell you what's best for you and what you need to do. We try to limit those amount of people that are around him, but when he goes home and when he's out, there's not much he can do about it. It's an extremely trying time for him, but he's handling it the best that he can."