Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
FRISCO, Texas — Trey Lyles, one of the top forwards in the Class of 2014, says he’s putting recruiting on the backburner for the summer.
“I’m just trying to focus on this last AAU season,” he told SNY.tv at the Nike EYBL stop here. “Have as much fun as I can, put the college thing on the background until my high school season.”
In February, the 6-foot-10 Canadian cut his list to Florida, Butler, Kentucky, UCLA , Louisville and Duke.
“Every school is even,” he said. “I hear from every school every week. I talk with every school every week. You know the fans are on me every day but every school is even right now. Nobody is going the extra mile above the other ones.”
Lyles plans to take officials to every school except Butler, which is the local school and joins the Big East this season. He will then sign in the spring of 2014.
“Yes, I will definitely take all six school visits,” Lyles said. “Probably the only one that I wouldn’t [take an official to] would be Butler because I am so close. But very other school I will be taking an official to.”
Butler, Creighton and Xavier will need to step up their recruiting in the new-look Big East and landing a player like Lyles would certainly be a big boost to Brad Stevens‘ prorgram.
“Great coach,” Lyles said. “They develop their plays. They’re starting to have a great legacy of winning.”
Kentucky is always in the mix for the top players, and is also hoping for the package of Tyus Jones and Jahlil Okafor, as well as Spiece Indy Heat teammate JaQuan Lyle and Cliff Alexander.
“Great legacy,” Lyles said. “Great coach. Players in the NBA. Fans are great. They develop their players and they make them work hard.”
Fellow SEC power Florida is also in the hunt.
“I know [Billy Donovan] is a good coach,” Lyles said. “I played against him when he coached the USA Team. He knows how to use his players. Great system. Great development. They’ve got guys in the league just now getting their shine. They’re making their players the best that they can be. Coach Donovan makes you feel like family. I talk to him almost every week, so he’s really trying to get me down there.”
New UCLA coach Steve Alford is also making a run at Lyles via assistant Ed Schilling.
“It’s really been Coach Schilling from Tudor that went up there,” Lyles said. “I played for him a couple of summer tournaments and stuff so he really knows me really well and I know him really well. So he has been the one recruiting me mostly.”
For now, Lyles is working his way back from a knee injury suffered at the end of his high school season.
“I sprained my PCL the last game of the high school season and was out for nine weeks…Coming off of injury you got to make sure you’re not going out there and playing your way into shape.”
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Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.