Count 2014 recruits Cliff Alexander and Jaquan Lyle as a package deal from now on after Alexander tweeted the two would be teaming up in college.
Me & broski will be playing @JMamba5 playing college basketball together— Cliff Alexander (@humblekid11) September 15, 2013
It might be a fad, or maybe a sign of things to come, but the two make the second high-profile pair of recruits to verbalize their commitment to playing alongside each other in college. Jahlil Okafor and Tyus Jones, two top-five recruits in the class of 2014, have maintained for months they will both play at the same college.
Whereas Okafor and Jones have been consistent in interviews relaying their desire to play together, Alexander and Lyle haven't shown the same commitment for as long. Lyle initially committed to the Louisville Cardinals back on June 26, but decommitted late last week. Since then, Indiana, Connecticut, Memphis, Arizona, Baylor and Kansas have all made contact, CBS Sports reported.
Alexander, who is ranked as high as No. 3 in the class of 2014 by 247Sports Composite and Rivals, has taken official visits to Arizona and DePaul. He also has Kansas, Memphis and Illinois scheduled for official visits. According to Adam Zagoria, the two will visit Memphis together and might visit Kansas as a pair as well.
Just based on a couple of sentences from Lyle, it would appear that the Jayhawks are the front-runners for the pair, according to ESPN.
"It would probably be Kansas," Lyle said. "I like them a lot, and me and [assistant] coach [Jerrance] Howard had a relationship at Illinois and also when he was at SMU."
It is difficult to tell if this is a new trend in college basketball or just an aberration for the recruiting year. The NBA made the shift to power trios when LeBron James joined forces with Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade on the Miami Heat to considerable success.
With the AAU circuit becoming more important in high school basketball and players from all over the place ending up as friends, it makes sense that high profile recruits want to play with each other. Alexander and Lyle are just like Okafor and Jones in the sense that both sets of players come from different cities. Alexander is from Chicago and Lyle is originally from Evansville, Ind., but will play out his final season of high school basketball at Huntington Prep in West Virginia.