“I was like, ‘Wow,’ ” said Lyles, a rising senior. “I was waiting for that offer.”
By that point, Lyles had made up his mind about where he wanted to go. A week prior he had gone down to the Richmond campus to play for the coaches. And after an unofficial visit and observing the VCU team practice, Lyles said he felt like VCU was home.
So when Smart extended the offer, Lyles excitedly committed. One day later, he made the decision public.
“I’ve been talking to my mom, she liked the school as much as me,” Lyles said. “So the decision was easy for us.”
The 6-foot-2-inch point guard averaged 10.5 points and 2.4 assists per game for DeMatha last season, helping the Stags advance to the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference title game, where they lost to Paul VI.
Lyles was as apt to pull up and shoot as he was to dish during his junior season, and though at times somewhat inconsistent showed his potential late in the season. He finished with a team-high 20 points and six assists in a playoff win over O’Connell and 16 points and four assists in a season-ending win over Paul VI in the Alhambra tournament championship.
He also featured in DeMatha’s convincing nationally-televised win over rival Gonzaga.
“I grew a lot,” Lyles said. “I got more mature during the season, put other things behind me and just played my game. This year I don’t have as much pressure to play for colleges anymore, so I feel like I’ll be able to just play my game more.”
Lyles also had an offer from Oklahoma State and said he was also considering Dayton, William & Mary, Towson, U-Mass, Wake Forest, Virginia Tech and Penn State.
Related: Jairus Lyles 2011-12 stats