The VCU basketball program got some great news today when 2013 shooting guard Jairus Lyles committed to the Rams. The 6’1 rising senior had a bevy of high-major suitors and most seriously considered an offer from Oklahoma State before choosing the Rams. Jairus joins PG JeQuan Lewis in what will form a speedy future back court for VCU in the 2013 class. The Rams have 1 scholarship remaining for the recruiting cycle.
While Lyles plays combo guard at DeMatha, he is being recruited as a shooting guard at VCU to maximize on his exceptional scoring ability. Lyles is a speed demon who excels best as a scorer from the 2-guard position and does not shy away from contact in the lane while also possessing a solid perimeter game. He possesses that extra gear speed-wise that many guards do not. The DeMatha product has played against some of the toughest high school competition in the country as a starter under Mike Jones in the WCAC as well as a very well-regarded AAU program in Team Takeover (DC) under Keith Stevens. He’s well thought of by recruiting services across the board.
VCU had a need for a player who could fill it up from the perimeter and score the ball from the guard position and Lyles fills that need very nicely. More importantly, Lyles prides himself on his defense, something that is quickly becoming a staple of Shaka Smart’s havoc style of play. Going into the A-10, the depth of athletic and speedy players at the guard position is superior to what VCU was used to seeing in the CAA. Adding players like Lyles and Lewis are just what the doctor ordered to keep the Rams competing for championships and making runs in the NCAA tournament under the new A-10 banner.
If you want to check out Jairus Lyles game, his DeMatha squad had a nationally-televised ESPN2 bout with WCAC rival Gonzaga that is archived on ESPN3.com. Lyles absolutely shone on national television, scoring 10 first-half points including a half-court buzzer-beater, before taking the team on his back down the stretch when fellow back court starter James Robinson (2012 top-50 player headed to Pittsburgh) was thrown out of the game in the 3rd quarter. Lyles finished with 15 points in a game stacked with high-major talent. Dave Telep and Paul Biancardi are court-side commentators for this game and rave about his play and describe him as an A-10 player at the minimum and more likely a lower-level ACC/Big East player. You can watch the ESPN game in its entirety here:
Lyles excels as a scorer in the open court and will be a very valuable addition to VCU’s back court and holds the distinction of being Shaka Smart’s first Atlantic 10-era recruit. Havoc looks to be running on all cylinders both now and going forward in the Atlantic 10 conference!