Meningitis might cause UK signee Trey Lyles to miss Kentucky-Indiana All-Star series

broberts@herald-leader.comJune 11, 2014 

McDonald's All-American center Trey Lyles.

BRIAN SPURLOCK — McDonald's

The Indiana boys' all-star team could be missing its main attraction for this weekend's basketball doubleheader against the best players from Kentucky.

UK signee Trey Lyles was recently diagnosed with meningitis and has not yet been cleared to play in the two-game series, which starts Friday night at the Beck Center in Lexington.

Lyles, Indiana's Mr. Basketball, told the Herald-Leader on Wednesday that he started feeling bad a couple of weeks ago and took some time off to rest. He felt better after a few days and began working out again, but the fatigue returned.

Lyles said he's been under a doctor's care since then and can't take part in any basketball-related activities until he's cleared.

The future Wildcat has a doctor appointment Friday morning and will find out then whether he'll be able to go this weekend.

He obviously wants to play Friday night in front of the Lexington fans.

"It would be very disappointing because I've really been looking forward to this the whole year," Lyles said. "And now that it's here and I'm not able to participate, it's been really hard to go through."

Even if Lyles can't play, the Kentucky all-stars will be in for a tough test.

Indiana's squad includes McDonald's All-American James Blackmon Jr. and Trevon Bluiett, two of the top 40 players in the country, according to Scout.com.

Bluiett, a 6-foot-6 wing player, averaged 36.2 points a game as a senior. The Xavier signee scored 51 points in a regular-season matchup with Lyles, who had 45 points in that contest.

Blackmon — possibly the best shooter in high school basketball — averaged 33.2 points a game this past season.

"I think they play well together," said James Blackmon Sr., an assistant coach for the Indiana all-stars. "Those guys have experience playing together through AAU summer ball. Both of those guys are good team players who don't mind sharing the ball, but at the same time they can both be really aggressive on the offensive end."

Many recruiting analysts predicted that Blackmon would commit to Kentucky after he backed out of his pledge to home-state Indiana last year. Instead, he re-committed to the Hoosiers shortly after his official visit to Lexington.

Blackmon Sr., a four-year player at UK in the 1980s, played alongside Steve Alford for the Indiana all-stars in 1983 and won two games over a Kentucky team that featured Winston Bennett.

Blackmon's father said he has "special memories" of those games and is glad his son will get to go through a similar experience this weekend.

He also praised the UK program and Coach John Calipari, saying that the Wildcats were "right there" until the very end of his son's recruitment.

"He really hasn't talked about that, ... but I'm sure that's in the back of his mind," the elder Blackmon said of his son. "Kentucky is one of the top programs in the country.

"I'm pretty sure he has some thoughts about that, and getting the opportunity to play in front of the Kentucky fans — I think he wants to show them that he could have been a Kentucky Wildcat."

Kentucky-Indiana All-Stars

Friday: at Transylvania's Beck Center

Girls' game at 5:30 p.m.; boys' game at 8. (Televised by CWKYT)

Tickets: $20 and $30 at KYallstars.net

Saturday: at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis

Girls' game at 5 p.m.; boys' game at 7.

Tickets: $10 and $25.

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