Throughout the summer, we’re going to introduce you to UK’s top targets in the 2014 class. So far, we’ve profiled Emmanuel Mudiay, Cliff Alexander, Josh Perkins, Leron Black and Stanley Johnson. Now, let’s take a look at Trey Lyles.
Indianapolis, Indiana (Arsenal Technical)
6’10”, 245 lbs.
(Chart via 247 Sports)
“THE LIST”: Butler, Florida, Kentucky, Louisville
Buzz: Kentucky seems to be the frontrunner for Lyles, who decommitted from Indiana in August 2012. Before playing for Canada’s U-19 team this summer (he lived there until he was seven), Lyles played at the Peach Jam, where he had some interesting comments about Kentucky and Louisville. Lyles said that Louisville probably develops players better more over time than Kentucky, but that’s because Kentucky’s best players are rarely in school for more than a year, which Lyles points out. For the record, Lyles says he wants to be a one-and-done player, and the chatter about him heading to Kentucky has heated up in the past few weeks, with another visit for Big Blue Madness all but certain.
The announcement: Targeted for November before the early signing period begins
— Big frame with a 7′ wingspan
— Great versatility
— Almost unstoppable in the post
— Good hands around the basket
— Excellent footwork, control, and patience
— Solid mid-range and outside jumper
— Great rebounder and defender, blocks shots well
— Very competitive, doesn’t hold back
— Needs more strength
— Needs to improve lateral quickness
Bonus footage with James Blackmon, Jr.:
What They’re Saying About Trey:
Scout: Since his sophomore season, Lyles has improved his offensive scoring package. He’s rounded out his game and can score consistently not only on the block, but also with jump shots from mid-range and from three. He has great hands and touch around the basket and is confident scoring over the best of post defenders. He’s an average leaper, but is fluid running the floor. Offensively he’s as good as it gets at the power forward spot in the 2014 class
ESPN: Trey is a very skilled post player at this point. Offensively he has advanced post moves. He likes to face the basket and can shoot with range to 17 feet. He can also put the ball on the floor some and score versus post players. He can score in the low block but even then prefers to turn and face. His potential is limitless right now. He is smooth and effortless. He reminds you of a young Tim Duncan offensively. Lyles is a solid defender. He can block some shots defensively. Lyles has noticeably added strength and can score from anywhere on the floor. He scores in the low post with great patience he attacks under control and may be the best move and counter move low post score in the class. He has a variety of moves and his game extends to the arc.
Mike DeCourcey after the Peach Jam: “After returning home I hit upon the ideal comparison, and then I realized that’s why his appeal eluded me at first: Bob McAdoo. Lyles’ upright, economical approach and lean frame hasn’t really been seen on a terrific post player for nearly four decades, and that’s why I wondered if his stats would translate against higher competition. … I was fortunate to see the one full game he played, however, and like McAdoo he owned the lane for 8-of-14 shooting, 21 points and 14 rebounds.”
His high school coach Jason Delaney: “Trey is a quiet kid. He is very loyal.â€ˆOnce you have that relationship with him, he will do anything you ask him to do. We have to get on him about shooting more. He doubled his assists last year and led our team in assists, rebounds, scoring and blocked shots. He led in every category and yet he sacrificed to make sure his teammates stay involved.”
What He’s Saying About Kentucky/Himself:
On Kentucky: “They have great facilities, great school, great fans, great coaches and a great history with getting players to the NBA.”
On Kentucky vs. Louisville: “Louisville develops them better because they have them for longer periods of time. When Kentucky gets them they get them for usually one year. Louisville gets them for three or four years. They have more time to develop their players.”
On Kentucky’s success with one-and-dones: “Kentucky, they’ve had a lot of guys go one year and done,. A lot of guys want to do that. They’re getting guys into the league, and when they’re in the league they’re actually doing something for their teams.”
On the BBN vs. Card Nation: “You have (fans) from both schools wanting to get you and getting at you. They are really competitive in getting their recruits.”
Former Calipari Player Comparison:
Finding a Calipari comparison was tricky for Lyles, who best resembles former Dukie Carlos Boozer. Lyles is big and almost unstoppable in the post, with great skills and touch around the basket that remind me of both Patrick Patterson and DeMarcus Cousins. However, his midrange jumper and ability to set up shots for others is more like Patterson (who yes, I realize was originally a Tubby Smith recruit).
Reasons to think Kentucky has a good chance:
Recent chatter suggests Kentucky is in the lead for Lyles, who has visited campus repeatedly,and will likely attend Big Blue Madness for the second year in a row. He’s said that he wants to be a one-and-done, and admires Calipari’s record of putting players in the pros. In addition, his buddy James Blackmon Jr. also just decommitted from Indiana and is considering Kentucky. Things could go really well for the Cats if both Lyles and Blackmon visit for Big Blue Madness. Louisville seems to be number two on Lyle’s list, followed by Florida and then Butler, simply because I can’t see him taking that gamble after Brad Stevens left if he’s serious about wanting to be a one-and-done.
Reading the Tweet Leaves/Tweet Beat Potential:
Drake has been the best rapper for the past couple of years!!
— Trey Lylesîª (@TreyMambaLyles) August 11, 2013
La Familia connection? Check.
Only time I wish I was smaller is when I have to get on planes,knees have no room!!!
— Trey Lylesîª (@TreyMambaLyles) August 1, 2013
UK also charters planes specially designed for basketball players, so you know…more legroom.
This dunk…just wow:
— JaQuan Lyle (@JMamba5) August 4, 2013
He and JaQuan Lyle tweet each other. A lot.
Final Judgement/How bad do we want him?:
With most of the 2013 class expected to head to the NBA after this season, Kentucky will need another presence in the post, and Lyles is the perfect complement to big Karl Towns. He’s got excellent skills down low, especially offensively, and very few weaknesses. What’s really exciting about Lyles is his versatility–he can score in so many ways from so many different parts of the court AND he sets up shots for his teammates. Drool. Lyles’ father said that Blackmon’s decision will have “zero impact” on his son’s, but it’s hard not to dream for that duo, if only to make Tom Crean pout.