Decision day for recruit Trey Lyles: Kentucky or Louisville?

broberts@herald-leader.comNovember 4, 2013 

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Arsenal Technical's Trey Lyles beat Scecina Memorial's Sam Elmore in a Jan. 17 game in Indianapolis. Lyles, rated as the No. 4 overall recruit of 2014 by Scout.com, decommitted from Indiana last summer and has Kentucky and Louisville among his college choices.

DOUG MCSCHOOLER — Indianapolis Star

No more visits for five-star power forward Trey Lyles. It's decision time.

Lyles, who had said he was planning to wait until the spring to make a college announcement, has apparently gathered all the information he needs.

The 6-foot-9 prospect from Indianapolis will reveal his choice Tuesday afternoon — his 18th birthday — during a nationally televised ceremony at his school. His two finalists — Kentucky and Louisville — have only magnified a recruitment that's had many twists and turns over the past few years.

Lyles originally committed to Indiana as a freshman, then backed out of that pledge last summer. Within a few weeks of his decommitment, he was on UK's campus for a visit.

Several major programs expressed interest, but he eventually narrowed it down to the Cats and the Cardinals.

UK fans might be wary of predictions in the aftermath of last week's decision by James Blackmon Jr., who announced his commitment to Indiana when hours before just about every recruiting observer in the country thought he would pick the Wildcats.

But Kentucky has been considered the favorite for Lyles ever since his decommitment from Indiana. Going into decision day, that hasn't changed.

"My hunch says that he ends up at Kentucky," said Scout.com national analyst Evan Daniels.

The announcement will be shown live on ESPNU at 12:55 p.m.

Scout ranks Lyles as the No. 8 overall prospect in the Class of 2014, which would make him the most highly touted commitment of this cycle for whichever school he picks Tuesday. Daniels called him the best power forward in the senior class.

"At the power forward spot, he's extremely skilled. He can really score," he told the Herald-Leader. "He can face the rim and score, he can score with his back to the basket, he can step out and shoot. He has post moves. There's a lot he brings to the table. ... It would be a massive pickup."

Daniels said the addition of Lyles would push Kentucky into the No. 1 spot in the Scout.com class rankings for 2014. John Calipari already has commitments from five-star center Karl Towns Jr. and four-star guards Tyler Ulis and Devin Booker.

UK has finished with the No. 1 recruiting class in the country in each of Calipari's five cycles in Lexington.

Lyles has been one of the UK coach's biggest targets for the past year.

He came to Rupp Arena last October for Big Blue Madness and made a return trip to the event a few weeks ago, using his official visit to UK to see Madness for a second time. Lyles also attended several home games last season.

His father, Tom Lyles, talked to the Herald-Leader a couple of weeks ago about the family's visits to UK and described the atmosphere in Rupp as "electrifying."

"Big Blue Madness — there's nothing like it," he said. "You get 25,000 people to come out to see a scrimmage? That just doesn't happen."

The elder Lyles noted the fervor that UK fans have for basketball, and he repeated Calipari's favorite recruiting line that Kentucky isn't for everybody. "If you are a shell-shocked person, that's not the place for you," Lyles said.

Does his son fit into the category of a player who might be "shell-shocked" by all that attention?

"Not at all," he said with a laugh.

Ben Roberts: (859) 231-3216. Twitter: @NextCats. Blog: ukrecruiting.bloginky.com.

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