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February 19, 2013
One of the best players in the class of 2014 was also one of the earliest to commit.
But after committing to Indiana as a freshman, Trey Lyles opened his recruitment at the beginning of his junior year. Regardless of his recruiting situation -- there are now six schools vying for his commitment -- Lyles has continued to thrive.
Pushing 6-foot-11 with a frame that has filled out to the neighborhood of 245 pounds, Lyles is a five-star forward with skill, touch and a great feel for the game. His father, Tom, has been watching his son develop and also helps coach Trey at Indianapolis (Ind.) Arsenal Tech.
"From a coach's standpoint, he has definitely expanded his game in a few areas," the elder Lyles told Rivals.com. "He's shooting better and his shot percentage is up. He's attacking the rim with much more authority than in the past. From a coach's standpoint and a dad's standpoint, that's what we've been working on."
While he is by no means a plodder and is quite fluid, Lyles has always been looked at as more of a skill guy than an "athlete." However, the junior has worked hard on his athleticism and the results are starting to show.
"He's much more athletic than people think," said Lyles' father. "Is he a leaper? He's not an Andrew Wiggins or Aaron Gordon leaper, that's not what he does. But he's much more athletic than the average person. "
"You can see it in traffic with tip dunks and explosion off the floor to block shots. Before he was looking to lay it up and now he's looking to finish with a statement."
Lyles would like to see his son be a bit more demonstrative and more of a vocal leader on the floor, but the assertiveness is coming. Trey says playing with Canada's 18 and under national team last summer -- something he plans to do again this summer on the 19U level along with playing for Indy Spiece in the Nike EYBL -- has helped a lot with developing his toughness and assertiveness.
"It makes you play harder," Trey Lyles said of playing against top competition and internationally. "It really helps me with my confidence level and shows that I can play with the best older players out there."
Ranked No. 5 nationally in the 2014 Rivals150, Lyles recently cut his list to a final group of six that includes Butler, Duke, Florida, Kentucky, Louisville and UCLA. He also took some time to talk about what he finds appealing about each program and it is clear that he thinks pretty highly of each coach.
Butler: "It is close to home and the coach is really great. He knows the game and teaches the game really well. He expects a lot from his players and I feel I would be comfortable going there."
Duke:"They definitely have a great coach, one of the best ever. They always have good players coming out and going to the NBA. They really develop their players and academically they are great and really help their kids off the floor."
Florida: "They have had great players go on and a good coach too. It's a good atmosphere down there and it is a system that I feel I could progress in if I was to go to school there."
Kentucky: "Of course it is another great coach down there and they get guys going to the NBA every year. Of course they have a great legacy and I feel like I could be a great fit for the system."
Louisville: "Great coach again, great legacy. He gets guys to the NBA and gets them prepared. I went there for a visit and they have a great atmosphere and a great campus. They really treat the players great down there and you see how you would want to be treated."
UCLA: "Of course they have a great legacy and the coach there is good. Assistant Coach (Phil) Mathews is good, too. They've been getting guys to the NBA these last few years. I haven't been there yet but I hope to go soon. I would like to see how I'd fit in their system."
For now, though, Lyles is focusing on the upcoming Indiana state playoffs and finishing out his junior season on a high note. He and his family have heard all of the speculation about where he may be leaning or which school he might be a lock to play for on the college level.
But, for now, Lyles and his family maintain that everybody is on equal footing and there is no hurry to make a decision after perhaps rushing into things the first time around.
"I'm definitely going to take stuff slow and get a visit in at every one of those schooIs," Lyles said. "I want to sit down and talk with those coaches about how I fit in their system and what their plan is to help me excel and prepare for the next level."
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