JaQuan Lyle, a former point guard at Ohio State who left the Buckeyes after the 2016-17 season, has committed to transfer to New Mexico, the Journal has learned from sources close to the UNM program.
Lyle, a 6-foot-5 native of Evansville, Ind., averaged 11.3 points, 4.4 assists and 4.0 rebounds per game over two seasons as a sometimes-starter. He would have to sit out 2017-18 under NCAA transfer rules and would be eligible for two seasons beginning in 2018-19.
Lyle’s commitment isn’t binding, and UNM would not make an announcement on him until he enrolls in school.
Lyle tweeted on Friday, “New beginnings..#Blessed” and “Time to werrkkkk now” with assorted emojis in reply to a tweet from Lobo player and Connecticut transfer Vance Jackson.
Lyle will need that new beginning. On May 13, he was arrested on misdemeanor charges of public intoxication, criminal mischief to a vehicle and disorderly conduct in Evansville. CBSSports.com reported that he had punched the door of a bar he was asked to leave in the early morning hours, then punched a police car in front of a policeman.
It was only revealed shortly thereafter by Ohio State that Lyle had left the Buckeyes program in April.
About his arrest, Lyle tweeted on May 17:
“Last weekend was something that i still cannot believe happened, but unfortunately it did and for that I want to apologize to the city of Evansville, police department, and my family. Those actions weren’t me, and don’t define me as a person. I hope one day, I’ll be able to be a role model to young kids again. I want to thank The Ohio State for an amazing two years. Thankful for all the people I met, coaches, teammates, and professors for being there for me every step of the journey at Ohio State.I wish nothing but the best to the University. To everyone I hurt, I just want to apologize for my actions once again. Thank you!”
Ohio State has a new coach, Chris Holtmann. Each member of a highly ranked Buckeyes recruiting class of 2015 is gone — including guard A.J. Harris, whom Weir landed at NMSU. Harris sat out last year as a transfer and is eligible this coming season.
If Lyle enrolls at UNM, that would give the Lobos 12 basketball players on scholarship out of the allotment of 13.
Returning players (5): Dane Kuiper, Sam Logwood, Anthony Mathis, Joe Furstinger, Connor MacDougall.
Newcomers (7): Guards Chris McNeal and Troy Simons, and swingman Jachai Simmons, all junior college transfers; Akron graduate transfer Antino Jackson; Makuach Maluach, a freshman-to-be from Sudan via Australia; Vance Jackson and Lyle. All but the latter two are eligible for 2017-18.