Starting guard and leading scorer out further games with suspension
JaQuan Lyle given two-game suspension by UNM after incident over the weekend.
New Mexico’s leading scorer given two-game suspension for conduct deemed detrimental to the team.
The JaQuan Lyle saga was supposed to a have a different ending and a different narrative in Albuquerque, NM than at previous stops. His return to the court in the Mountain West has been highly anticipated for all parties involved. Lyle hadn’t played a game since March 8th, 2017 in a neutral court loss to Rutgers in the Big Ten Tournament where he had 5 points on 1-8 shooting from the field in 23 minutes.
But on November 6th, 2019, over two years later he took the court against Eastern New Mexico. He was rusty and looked more comfortable passing the ball than shooting it, posting 11 assists with 9 points.
Things looked like they were finally looking up for Lyle who was dismissed from the Ohio State Buckeyes basketball team after a run in with the police in his home town of Evansville, Indiana back in 2017. Also suffering a season ending Achilles injury in the off season last year that that prevented him from taking the court after sitting out a year.
His Lobo team was competitive in the Mountain West, reaching as high as third in the conference standings while staying undefeated at home until just yesterday. This while leading the team in scoring plus posting 4.9 APG and 1.4 SPG, both good enough for second on the team in both categories.
But with the suspension of starting point guard JJ Caldwell and the dismissal of second leading scorer and starting center Carlton Bragg Jr., Lyle was called to step up. He continued to lead a struggling New Mexico team without two of its starters when another fellow starter Vance Jackson went down with a knee injury.
Lyle’s knee injury soon followed, which brought him to a spectator’s role on the sideline while he nursed it back to health. He didn’t travel with the team to Reno to face the Wolf Pack on Saturday but that same night hosted a party with many UNM student-athletes in attendance at an Airbnb where two attendees were shot and wounded after the party.
The home has occurred some pricey damages and as of today the University has dealt Lyle a two-game suspension resulting from actions deemed detrimental to the team. Lyle who is hoping to bounce back from the situation and keep his second chance given to him by Paul Weir took to twitter to post an apologetic statement.
As of right now we should expect to see him back on the court for the Lobos this season but with the program’s recent negative place in the public eye, nothing is certain.