I was originally planning on holding this until Wednesday's The Weekly Stalker, but the news is just too good to sit around a few days waiting for it. One of the top guards in the 2014 class, JaQuan Lyle, has cut his list of schools down to six. And, yes, the Illini are one of the six schools he's considering.
After originally narrowing his focus to twelve schools, one five-star prospect worked on his game and his recruitment. As his junior season is nearing a finish, JaQuan Lyle has it down to six finalists.
Illinois, Ohio State, Indiana, Tennessee, Florida and Louisville remain valid options for his services.
The class of 2014 6-foot-4 combo guard out of Evansville Bosse (IN) has recently been to both Indiana-Ohio State matchups this year. That is due to location, however, as no favorites have emerged from his list.
Though just because we're in his final six doesn't mean you should expect an announcement from Lyle any time soon. He still doesn't plan on making an official announcement before his final year of high school has started, and even then you may have to wait a bit longer.
All that matters here is that the Illini have made the cut from Lyle's list of 12 to his list of six. It's also nice to see that Eric Bossi, one of Rival's basketball recruiting analysts, says that the Illini are "gaining a lot of steam of late according to behind the scenes chatter."
As we've seen from the Illini as this season has gone on, while Tracy Abrams has been solid, he's still not exactly the ideal guy for John Groce's system. At 6'4 and as talented as he is, the five-star Lyle might be the ideal fit.
I know he's not as highly rated as guys like Jahlil Okafor and Cliff Alexander -- two guys I don't think any Illini fan would be disappointed to have -- but he might just be the best player for this program in the long run.