Lyle Faces Multiple Charges In Indiana

By Jeff Rapp, May 13th, 2017

Thad Matta didn’t need this headache.

His Ohio State men’s basketball program, which has underperformed the last couple seasons, already is dealing with uncertainty considering center Trevor Thompson and guard Kam Williams have applied for early entry into the NBA draft, Marc Loving has exhausted his eligibility, Keita Bates-Diop is trying to return from injury and just about everyone else needs to make offseason strides.

One of the keys to the team through the turmoil in the past two-plus years has been the mercurial play of point guard JaQuan Lyle. On Saturday morning, Lyle made headlines for all the wrong reasons. He was taken into custody at 2:09 a.m. in his hometown of Evansville, Ind., and charged with three separate offenses – public intoxication, criminal mischief to a vehicle and disorderly conduct.

According to the Lantern, Ohio State’s student newspaper, Lyle’s strange behavior included punching a police car. The paper obtained a report from Vanderburgh County Sheriff’s Office records, which notes Lyle …

• Was observed “stumbling through crowd and bumping into people at Piston’s Bar & Grill,”
• “punched the front door and was told he would not be allowed back in” and
• “walked over to a police car and punched it while officers stood just a few feet away.”

Lyle was arrested and transported to the Vanderburgh County Correctional Facility, where he was charged.

Lyle, 21, was released from custody on $150 bond.

A 6-5, 209-pound lead guard, Lyle has been known to shine in certain games and disappear in others. Last season as a sophomore, he averaged 11.4 points, 3.2 rebounds and 4.6 assists per game for the Buckeyes.

Matta sometimes gave extended time at the point to freshman C.J. Jackson depending upon matchups and Lyle’s effectiveness. Still, Lyle, who made a splash at the position in the 2015-16 season in place of the departed D’Angelo Russell, managed to average a healthy 29.3 minutes per game in 2016-17.

He is candidate to serve as a team leader considering his talent level and experience, even though most followers of the program consider Jae’Sean Tate to be the unofficial team captain.

However, the incident in Indiana brings into question how reliable Lyle is and how prominent his role will be going forward.

A date for Lyle’s arraignment in court has not yet been announced.