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Breaking Down Trey Lyles’ Final Two

Trey Lyles, a 5-star prospect from the class of 2014, announced yesterday that he was down to his final 2 schools in the recruiting process: Kentucky and Louisville. For the rivalry, you couldn’t ask for a much juicier final two list. Lyles would be a hugely important piece for both Calipari and Pitino in the 2014 class. Both coaches are still searching for that elite player to add to the roster. Lyles is highly coveted by both sides. When it comes down to Lyles’ final decision between the two schools though, which school takes the lead in most categories? Below I’ve broken down a few of the most important categories, giving the advantage to either Louisville or Kentucky (or a push).


Chance to win a national title: Push

Both Rick Pitino and John Calipari have proved within the last 2 years that they are capable of winning a national championship with the way they go about doing things. Calipari did it with a number of freshmen phenoms, mixed with a few very strong veterans. Pitino did it with a team full of veterans, not necessarily super stars. Both approaches resulted in a national championship. Both schools will only be a few years removed from winning the title.

Chance to make it to the NBA: Kentucky

It’s not even worth trying to make an argument for Louisville here. Calipari has put a large number of players in the NBA draft each year since arriving at Kentucky. He’s kept the elite players near the top, and he’s helped develop a few guys like DeAndre Liggins and Josh Harrellson into NBA prospects. Calipari has had the #1 and #2 pick in the same year. He’s put the most players in the 1st round from one school. He’s put the most players in one draft class. He can’t be stopped and if you play for him, your chances of entering the NBA draft and being drafted are as high (actually, higher)  as with anyone else in the country.

Marketability: Kentucky

Kentucky is back in the spotlight as THE program in college basketball. Kentucky is constantly pushing the envelope and the visibility of the program and the players on a national stage is only matched by North Carolina and Duke. Kentucky players are in the spotlight and have a chance to build an image while at Kentucky that they can market in the future.

Playing with other elite players: Kentucky

Rick Pitino has upped his recruiting game tremendously over the past few years, but Calipari continues to trump him each and every year. Calipari has brought in the #1 recruiting class time and time again since arriving at Kentucky. Trey Lyles will be surrounded by other elite recruits, and potentially the #1 recruiting class once again. Pitino has been losing elite players as of late as much as he has been getting commitments from them.

The fan base: Kentucky

Louisville fans have grown in intensity and passion over the years, even adopting things such as “L1C4.” But at the end of the day, Kentucky fans simply can’t be topped. Until Louisville has thousands of people camp out for Midnight madness, or completely takes over an entire arena at a conference tournament, packs an alumni game in September, etc… Kentucky will still hold the bar a little higher. Kentucky players are absolute rock stars in Lexington thanks to the adoration of the fans. Louisville might be closing the gap, but it’s still Kentucky.

Location: Louisville

Lyles is from Indianapolis, Indiana. Louisville is slightly closer, but both schools are within driving distance.

Game day atmosphere: Kentucky for tradition, Louisville for arena

I’ll give Louisville a ton of credit here for the sparkling new Yum Center. The arena is top of the line and one of the nicest in the entire country. With that said, some people prefer tradition in an arena– and in that case– Rupp Arena has the edge. Both arenas are impressive in their own right. You could call this one a push depending on what you value in an arena/atmosphere.

Chance to be “THE GUY”: Louisville

If Trey Lyles goes to Louisville, he will be the most elite player on the roster. And it probably won’t be close. Lyles can be the most talented guy on the roster. At Kentucky, Lyles still might be the most elite player on the roster, but plenty of other top players will be surrounding him and he might not be “THE GUY.” Calipari teams don’t usually operate that way.

Likelihood to play early: Kentucky

Calipari has always had talented freshmen who play right away. Not only do they play, but they play a lot and they are often given a ton of responsibility. In the past, Pitino has been a little more reserved early on with his young players. Pitino teams usually have a slew of veterans and until the young talented players have a little more time in the system, he sometimes gives the nod to the older guys early.


It’s gotta be Kentucky, right?

Article written by Ally Tucker

I once successfully requested "The Wobble" to be played 6 times at one wedding.

33 Comments for Breaking Down Trey Lyles’ Final Two

  1. Musehobo
    3:10 pm September 24, 2013 Permalink

    Everyone seems to be saying UK. In regards to your above points (which I believe to be very fair to UL), sometimes only a couple of those things matter to recruits. Sometimes it’s the coach, sometimes it’s the location. Who knows from kid to kid? I know where’d I’d play.

  2. Sin
    3:15 pm September 24, 2013 Permalink

    Those jerseys should never be photoshopped together. UK is in a league so far above #GhettoNation. Absolutely.Disgusting.

  3. UK
    3:16 pm September 24, 2013 Permalink

    If I’m a top recruit in what will be a star-studded class how do I become a fan favorite? Well I decommit from Indiana and turn down Louisville.

  4. Jeff
    3:16 pm September 24, 2013 Permalink

    yeah that extras 75 miles difference is a killer. definitely the deciding factor…

  5. Actual Louisville Troll Says
    3:23 pm September 24, 2013 Permalink


    This article depressed me. Well done, Ally.

  6. SMU>UK
    3:26 pm September 24, 2013 Permalink

    The reason that Emmanuel Mudiay chose SMU is because it was better than UK in all these catagories

  7. Clint
    3:33 pm September 24, 2013 Permalink

    hahahaha is this guy serious??? ^^^^

  8. Delusional SMU smacker
    3:38 pm September 24, 2013 Permalink

    SMU???? Oh yeah the school where the players shoot each other. … DIdn’t they get the Death penality in football a few years back???

  9. bosshogg24
    3:48 pm September 24, 2013 Permalink

    SMU is a Model A Ford compared to UK, never won anything, never turned out any players, never on TV, played to 3,000 people last year. Mudiay will watch the NCAA from his couch!

  10. Rockfield, KY
    3:51 pm September 24, 2013 Permalink

    SMU is a great academic school, with a beautiful campus in a great city. Quit hating. Mudiay went there because Larry Brown offered his brother a DI scholly too. A lot of guys would do that for their brother. We’ll be fine. And we’ll get Lyles.

  11. SouthBeachWildcat
    3:52 pm September 24, 2013 Permalink

    I hate to say it but this guy just has the look of a Louisville player to me. Still hope he picks the CATS!

  12. Reasonable
    4:21 pm September 24, 2013 Permalink

    Can we all just agree to tone down the racism when we’re talking about Louisville?

  13. kentucky effect
    4:26 pm September 24, 2013 Permalink

    Just heard on the Under Dogs show where a caller called Tony Matt Jones ‘Lap Dog’ LMAO…What a smack down to Vanetti, BBN Prevails again

  14. Bibbit36
    4:33 pm September 24, 2013 Permalink

    I have a very good friend who plays basketball with Trey Lyles and he told me that Trey is going to Kentucky

  15. Louisville1Cal4
    5:01 pm September 24, 2013 Permalink

    @6 lmao
    I bet no one knew SMU had a basketball program until Larry Brown became their coach, then everyone else found out once Muddiay commited.

  16. bob
    6:08 pm September 24, 2013 Permalink

    Trey, #2 thread is what UK is all about…..

  17. Old Cat
    6:28 pm September 24, 2013 Permalink

    Yum! Centers claim to fame is being the worlds largest sports bar. The big attraction is alcohol.

  18. bob
    6:45 pm September 24, 2013 Permalink

    #17 thats not what the media thinks..

    The only facilities ranked ahead of the Yum! Center on Rolling Stone’s list are Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena, Yankee Stadium, the new Barclays Center in Brooklyn, Fenway Park, Wrigley Field and No. 1 on the list, the iconic Madison Square Garden.

  19. Mt Washington MIke
    10:08 pm September 24, 2013 Permalink

    I do not remember what player threw the UK hat in the floor and put on the UL hat…………….. But payback is getting ready to be a B*tch

  20. Megan
    11:26 am September 25, 2013 Permalink

    “Both coaches are still searching for that elite player to add to the roster.” You don’t think Karl Towns is an elite player? Please.

  21. Boogie
    11:29 am September 25, 2013 Permalink

    Trey Lyles is not better than Karl Towns….

  22. Yoyo
    11:42 am September 25, 2013 Permalink

    Not that I would not expect bias here, but Louisville is the hotter program for Marketability in all aspects. First, it’s defending a National Championship, not a first round NIT loss to Robert Morris. Second, it’s #1 in revenue and frequently listed in articles by for it marketability prowess. Third, Rick Pitino has made far less talented players stars. Ever heard of Kyle Kuric? Should you have?

    Also, fan base is more of a preference. Kentucky is undoubtedly bigger but not necessarily better. It would be a nightmare for me to have half of the Kentucky faithful cheering for me, overalls, missing teeth, camo hats, barely literate, often overweight, ugly, etc.

    Louisville also offers much more in location. Much larger, better city. There is so much more that you can do in Louisville. They have attractions and 40 x more restaurants and bars. Not to mention, just driving in Lexington is an ass. So many stop lights, so much traffic, so little interstate.

    Last, you should add a category. Chance to get monumentally embarrassed– like a first round NIT loss to Robert Morris while having multiple NBA bound players on your team. Louisville has not been to the NIT in years. Kentucky wins the category and loses the a point in recruiting there.

  23. Boogie
    12:03 pm September 25, 2013 Permalink

    @22 Then why did 2 guards decommit from louisville if it was such a great opportunity for them to succeed? You just typed 4 paragraphs on a Kentucky website supporting louisville….which is more embarrassing than the uneducated garbage you typed.

  24. bob
    12:09 pm September 25, 2013 Permalink

    They didn’t like the competition that has already here or commited to UL.

  25. Micah
    1:41 pm September 25, 2013 Permalink

    Louisville has been to 13 Elite Eights to UK’s 34….tough choice unless he wants to be shot at then Louisville is the clear choice

  26. Seriously?
    3:07 pm September 25, 2013 Permalink

    Are you guys really going to remove posts? You leave posts from Louisville fans about us being toothless rednecks but erase our responses to that post? Please don’t be dumb, if you’re going to do that then you should remove the comment sections all together

  27. yOyO is a tard~!
    4:47 pm September 25, 2013 Permalink

    You Tard fans have a REAAAAlllly short memory, about as long as your coaches sexual encounters.

    2001—02 Rick Pitino 19—13 8—8 5th (American) NIT Sweet 16
    2002—03 Rick Pitino 25—7 11—5 2nd (American) NCAA Tournament 2nd Round
    2003—04 Rick Pitino 20—10 9—7 T-6th NCAA Tournament Participant
    2004—05 Rick Pitino 33—5 14—2 1st NCAA Final Four
    Rick Pitino — Big East (2005—2013)
    2005—06 Rick Pitino 21—13 6—10 11th NIT Final Four
    2006—07 Rick Pitino 24—10 12—4 2nd NCAA Tournament 2nd Round
    2007—08 Rick Pitino 27—9 14—4 2nd NCAA Tournament Elite Eight
    2008—09 Rick Pitino 31—6 16—2 1st NCAA Tournament Elite Eight
    2009—10 Rick Pitino 20—13 11—7 2nd NCAA Tournament Participant
    2010—11 Rick Pitino 25—10 12—6 4th NCAA Tournament Participant
    2011—12 Rick Pitino 30—10 10—8 7th NCAA Final Four
    2012—13 Rick Pitino 35—5 14—4 1st NCAA Champion

    3 titles in, and now they are “King of the Bluegrass”. Puh-lease little brother. Pitino has TWO NIT appearances while at your beloved Lu-ih-vul. Lets not forget about Morehead St….

  28. cletis
    8:30 pm September 25, 2013 Permalink

    #22 please . Kyle kuric? Where is he now. Pitino doesn’t make good NBA players. How many former cards are starters on an NBA roster? Pitino had a 10 year jump start on Cal. How many former cats are starters in the NBA? For every kyle kuric, there is jorts, Darius Miller , and Liggins. Get lost with your uneducated basketball knowledge or lack thereof. Pitino cares so much for his players his 96 players just got their rings no thanks to Prick pitino he got his in 96.

  29. Suck dick
    8:51 pm September 25, 2013 Permalink

    I will take a first round NCAA 4 v. 12 upset over a first round loss to a bottom dweller NIT team any day. Most embarrassing part of it for UK was having NBA level players on the team last lost to RM. Did Pitino ever do that? Now 6 years out of the NIT. UK has been there twice in those 6 years.

  30. Haha
    11:39 pm September 25, 2013 Permalink

    Cletis isone of those fans Yoyo doesn’t want. He hilariously makes yoyo’s point about Kyle Kuric for him. If Pitino can make a mediocre player like Kuric a star, imagine what he can do for this recruit.

  31. a21CATSfan
    1:43 pm September 26, 2013 Permalink

    5* players don’t often pick the Cards and Rick Pitino. But when they do they usually decommit.

  32. Les Chesterfield
    2:30 pm September 26, 2013 Permalink

    All Cal has to do is sell him on how Pitino hold’s his Freshman back and then point to the 2 max deals that Wall and Rose got and soon to be #3 with Big Cuz….Bottom line- his long term financial stability starts with choosing UK over UL. And Pitino can’t overcome those two points. Plus Behanan will prob come back for his senior year….I’ll be floored if this guy ain’t a Wildcat.

  33. theSkinny81
    6:58 pm September 26, 2013 Permalink

    27 – Remember, Louisville fans like to bend facts to their benefit.

    The newest: UL leads UK in NC’s, 1-0, not trail 8 to 3.

    Oh, and I’m sure recruits really care about Forbes rankings….. SMH