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Ohio State freshman JaQuan Lyle working hard to come back from knee surgery

The Spaulding Hoop Hall Classic

SPRINGFIELD, MA - JANUARY 18: JaQuan Lyle of Huntington Prep poses for a portrait during the 2014 Spaulding Hoop Hall Classic on December 18, 2014 at the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts. (Photo by Kelly Kline/Getty Images)

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Ohio State has to replace the production of D’Angelo Russell this season and they’re hoping that freshman guard JaQuan Lyle can be a part of that solution.

The 6-foot-5 native of Indiana is a big guard like Russell and he comes to the Buckeyes after spending an additional year at prep school at IMG Academy in Florida after falling short of making it into Oregon. During his season at IMG in February, Lyle had knee surgery to repair a torn meniscus.

Since recovering from surgery, Lyle has lost 20 pounds and is in much better shape entering the season, according to a report from Gordon Engelhardt of the Evansville Courier-Press.

“I’m a better decision-maker and a lot quicker and faster and have better footwork,” Lyle said in the story. “I’m definitely more explosive. I was athletic, but never the best athlete I could be. I lost 20 pounds and am much more athletic.”

Having a healthy Lyle will be a big part of how Ohio State’s offense might work since he’s a creative player with the ball in his hands. If Lyle’s athleticism has improved, it’s a great sign for the Buckeyes because Lyle is at his best when he can make plays at the rim.

While nobody is expecting Lyle to replicate the sensational freshman season that Russell produced, he could be in line for a good freshman season.