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Men’s Basketball: Ohio State and coach Chris Holtmann have “not seriously considered” a JaQuan Lyle return

Ohio State sophomore guard JaQuan Lyle drives to the basketball against a Connecticut defender in a game on Dec. 10 at the Schottenstein Center. OSU won 64-60. Credit: Alexa Mavrogianis | Former Photo Editor

When new Ohio State men’s basketball coach Chris Holtmann was asked by a fan at a Tuesday evening season ticket-holder event whether former guard JaQuan Lyle might return to the Buckeyes, he joked that he shouldn’t have said no questions would be off-limits.

Even though the Buckeyes lack depth, especially at guard, a return of Lyle, who quit the team April 11, seems unlikely.

“That’s not something that we have seriously considered at this point,” Holtmann said.

On May 13, Lyle was arrested in his hometown of Evansville, Indiana, and charged with public intoxication, criminal mischief to a vehicle and disorderly conduct after an incident at Piston’s Bar & Grill. Later that day, an Ohio State spokesman confirmed that Lyle quit the team over a month prior.

Former coach Thad Matta was fired June 5 and the Holtmann regime officially began June 9, so the new Buckeyes head coach has never coached Lyle. Because their time doesn’t overlap, he said he has involved the current team, who has played with and interacted with Lyle on a day-to-day basis, to have input on his situation.

“We’ve also involved our entire team in some of those decisions that were made,” Holtmann said. “Obviously they were here and I wasn’t.”

With the recent addition of graduate transfer Andrew Dakich, Ohio State will enter the 2017-18 season with five guards on scholarship – redshirt senior Kam Williams, junior C.J. Jackson, junior Joey Lane, freshman Musa Jallow and Dakich.

Last season, as a sophomore, Lyle played in 31 games, averaging 11.4 points per contest and led the Buckeyes with 142 assists.

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