Jairus Lyles

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Jairus Lyles
Jairus Lyles umbc.jpg
Lyles in 2018
No. 10 – MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg
PositionPoint guard
LeagueBasketball Bundesliga
Personal information
Born (1995-07-06) July 6, 1995 (age 24)
Silver Spring, Maryland
Listed height6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Listed weight175 lb (79 kg)
Career information
High schoolDeMatha Catholic
(Hyattsville, Maryland)
  • VCU (2013–2014)
  • UMBC (2015–2018)
NBA draft2018 / Undrafted
Playing career2018–present
Career history
2018–2019Salt Lake City Stars
2019–presentMHP Riesen Ludwigsburg
Career highlights and awards
  • First-team All-America East (2018)
  • 2× Second-team All-America East (2016, 2017)

Jairus Lyles (born July 6, 1995) is an American professional basketball player for MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg of the Basketball Bundesliga. He played college basketball for the UMBC Retrievers. He also competed for the VCU Rams in his freshman season but played a limited role before transferring. Prior to college, Lyles attended DeMatha Catholic High School in Hyattsville, Maryland, where he was a three-star recruit. At UMBC, he earned all-conference honors for three consecutive years. He most notably led the Retrievers to a first-round victory over Virginia at the 2018 NCAA Tournament, the first time a 16-seed defeated a 1-seed in men’s tournament history.

Early life[edit]

Lyles was born in Silver Spring, Maryland to Lester Lyles and Carol Motley.[1][2][3] His father Lester was a four-year football player for the Virginia Cavaliers, for whom he won the 1984 Peach Bowl, before spending seven seasons in the National Football League (NFL).[4][5] His mother Carol attended the University of Virginia as well.[5] In addition, Lyles' sister Symone played four seasons of basketball for the Ohio Bobcats.[2] His parents later divorced, and Jairus was mainly raised by his mother.[6]

High school career[edit]

Lyles attended DeMatha Catholic High School in Hyattsville, Maryland, where he was a combo guard.[2] As a freshman, he was teammates with future NBA All-Star player Victor Oladipo.[4] In his junior season, he averaged 11 points and three assists per game and helped his team reach the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference (WCAC) finals.[7] As a senior, he averaged 13.4 points and 4.3 assists per game but his team finished with a 14–17 record, one of the worst seasons in program history.[2][6] Lyles also played for Team Takeover on the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) circuit, competing alongside Josh Hart.[8] Lyles was rated a consensus three-star recruit and chose to play for VCU in college despite drawing interest from Oklahoma State, who gave him an offer, as well as Penn State and Virginia Tech.[7]

US college sports recruiting information for high school athletes
Name Hometown High school / college Height Weight Commit date
Jairus Lyles
Silver Spring, MD DeMatha Catholic High School (MD) 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m) 173 lb (78 kg) Jul 1, 2012 
Recruiting star ratings: ScoutN/A   Rivals:3/5 stars   247Sports:3/5 stars    ESPN:3/5 stars   ESPN grade: 74
Overall recruiting rankings:   247Sports: #197
  • Note: In many cases, Scout, Rivals, 247Sports, and ESPN may conflict in their listings of height and weight.
  • In these cases, the average was taken. ESPN grades are on a 100-point scale.


College career[edit]

Lyles competed for the VCU Rams as a freshman in 2013–14 under head coach Shaka Smart, averaging 0.7 points, 0.2 rebounds, and 0.3 assists in only 2.9 minutes per game.[9] He only recorded two field goals in the season, scoring a season-high three points on two occasions, against Fordham and Rhode Island.[2] Following the season, he transferred to play for the Robert Morris Colonials but was forced to sit out in 2014–15 due to eligibility rules.[10] After one semester at Robert Morris, Lyles transferred to the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), where he would play for the Retrievers starting in the 2015–16 season.[11] He made an instant impact as a sophomore for UMBC, averaging 23.0 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 2.8 assists per game and garnering second-team All-America East Conference accolades.[9][2] In his junior season, Lyles averaged 18.9 points, 6.6 rebounds, and 2.6 assists en route to second-team All-America East honors.[2] He scored a total of 604 points, breaking the school record for most points by a junior.[2]

"I think it started on the defensive end for us. We pressured their guards a lot of. Didn't give them any open looks. We made their bigs work and they got frustrated and it helped us on our offensive end because they kind of got distracted, got inside them so they're not hitting shots and running their offense like they usually do. They had defensive breakdowns and we kind of took advantage of that."

—Lyles reflects on his team's historic win over Virginia at the 2018 NCAA Tournament.[12]

Lyles made his senior debut on November 10, 2017, in a loss to SMU, scoring 24 points with five assists for UMBC.[13] In his next game, he recorded 31 points, five rebounds, four assists, and three steals in a defeat to Arizona.[14] On November 19, Lyles had a double-double of 26 points and 11 rebounds against Colgate.[15] He scored a season-best 35 points to help UMBC beat Hartford on January 15, 2018.[16] By the end of his regular season campaign, Lyles was named first-team All-America East.[17] On March 10, in the championship game of the 2018 America East Tournament vs. Vermont, Lyles scored 27 points, including a game-winning three-pointer with 0.5 seconds left in regulation.[18] He was named most outstanding player (MOP) of the tournament.[9] On March 16, at the first round of the 2018 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament, Lyles notched a game-high 28 points, shooting 9-of-11 from the field, to lead UMBC to a 20-point upset over top-seeded Virginia.[1] The game marked the first time in tournament history that a 16-seed defeated a 1-seed.[19] After his performance, Lyles drew national attention, being featured in stories by The Washington Post and USA Today.[20][21]

Professional career[edit]

Lyles went undrafted in the 2018 NBA draft but subsequently joined the Utah Jazz for the NBA Summer League. He is the first Retriever to play in the 12 years the NBA has had a Summer League.[22] On July 12, 2018, he signed with the Utah Jazz.[23] After appearing in five preseason games, Lyles was waived on October 14.[24] The Jazz added Lyles to their NBA G League affiliate, the Salt Lake City Stars.[25]

On July 25, 2019, Lyles signed with MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg of the Basketball Bundesliga.[26]

Career statistics[edit]

  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game
 FG%  Field goal percentage  3P%  3-point field goal percentage  FT%  Free throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game  APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game  Bold  Career high


2013–14 VCU 22 0 2.6 .100 .125 .667 .2 .2 .2 .0 .6
2015–16 UMBC 21 19 36.2 .472 .342 .698 5.5 2.8 2.5 .0 23.0
2016–17 UMBC 32 31 34.6 .442 .319 .728 6.6 2.6 1.7 .0 18.9
2017–18 UMBC 33 32 34.9 .439 .390 .792 5.5 3.5 2.1 .2 20.2
Career 108 82 28.5 .444 .352 .739 4.8 2.4 1.7 .1 16.3

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Lyles Jr., Harry (March 17, 2018). "UMBC's Jairus Lyles joins March Madness immortality after Virginia upset". SB Nation. Retrieved March 17, 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h "Jairus Lyles". UMBC Retrievers. Retrieved March 17, 2018.
  3. ^ Carroll, Charlotte (March 17, 2018). "Jairus Lyles' Parents Went to Virginia". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved March 17, 2018.
  4. ^ a b Goodman, Jeff (March 17, 2018). "UMBC's Jairus Lyles happily made history, knocked his parents' alma mater out of NCAA tournament". ESPN. Retrieved March 17, 2018.
  5. ^ a b Pereles, Zach (March 17, 2018). "UMBC head coach Ryan Odom used to be a UVA ball boy, and his star player's parents went to UVA". Yahoo!. Retrieved March 17, 2018.
  6. ^ a b Thamel, Peter (March 17, 2018). "How Jairus Lyles found a home and tourney stardom after 3 schools, 4 coaching staffs". Yahoo Sports. Retrieved March 18, 2018.
  7. ^ a b "Jairus Lyles". VCU Athletics. Retrieved March 17, 2018.
  8. ^ "RCS All Tournament Teams". Rose City Showcase. Retrieved March 17, 2018.
  9. ^ a b c "Jairus Lyles". RealGM. Retrieved March 17, 2018.
  10. ^ Dauster, Rob (May 21, 2014). "VCU transfer Jairus Lyles headed to Robert Morris". NBC Sports. Retrieved March 17, 2018.
  11. ^ Woody, Paul (March 16, 2018). "Lyles, a former VCU player, made right moves to get to UMBC". Richmond Times-Dispatch. Retrieved March 17, 2018.
  12. ^ Fitzgerald, Tim (March 17, 2018). "Defending the dribble drive". 247Sports.com. Retrieved March 18, 2018.
  13. ^ Crandall, Steph (November 13, 2017). "Vermont and Jairus Lyles stand out in opening weekend". Mid Major Madness. Retrieved March 17, 2018.
  14. ^ "Nov 12, 2017: UMBC vs. Arizona". RealGM. Retrieved March 17, 2018.
  15. ^ "Freshman Burns scores season-best 26, Colgate beats UMBC". WTOP-FM. November 19, 2017. Retrieved March 17, 2018.
  16. ^ "Lyles scores 35, UMBC beats Hartford 78-56". ESPN. January 15, 2018. Retrieved March 17, 2018.
  17. ^ Abrami, Alex (March 1, 2018). "UVM's Bell-Haynes repeats as America East player of year". The Burlington Free Press. Retrieved March 17, 2018.
  18. ^ "'Win the game': Jairus Lyles leaves no doubt vs. Vermont as UMBC heads to NCAA tournament". The Baltimore Sun. March 10, 2018. Retrieved March 17, 2018.
  19. ^ McGee, Ryan (March 17, 2018). "The night UMBC, Virginia and the impossible all collided". ESPN. Retrieved March 17, 2018.
  20. ^ Feinstein, John (March 17, 2018). "Given a shot at big-time college basketball, he chose a bigger legacy at a mid-major". The Washington Post. Retrieved March 18, 2018.
  21. ^ Gleeson, Scott (March 17, 2018). "UMBC's Jairus Lyles takes over as the new hero of March Madness in Virginia upset". USA Today. Retrieved March 18, 2018.
  22. ^ Fominykh, Katherine (June 28, 2018). "Jairus Lyles, star of UMBC's historic NCAA tournament run, to play for Utah Jazz in Summer League". Baltimore Sun. Retrieved July 5, 2018.
  23. ^ "Jazz Sign Guard Jairus Lyles". NBA.com. July 12, 2018. Retrieved July 13, 2018.
  24. ^ "Jazz waive Branch, Cousins and Lyles". NBA.com. October 14, 2018. Retrieved October 14, 2018.
  25. ^ Rueckert, Daniel (October 31, 2018). "Stars Finalize Opening Night Roster". NBA.com. Retrieved November 3, 2018.
  26. ^ Lupo, Nicola (July 25, 2019). "Jairus Lyles signs with Ludwigsburg". Sportando. Retrieved July 26, 2019.

External links[edit]