By MARK BAIROS & ADAM ZAGORIATrey Lyles, one of the top frontcourt players in the Class of 2014, is planning to visit Louisville, Kentucky and Florida in the coming weeks, his father told SNY.tv.
Lyles has a final four of those three schools as well as Butler.
The 6-foot-10 power forward from Indianapolis Arsenal Tech is planning an official to Louisville Aug. 31, he confirmed to NextCats.
“As of right now the first visit will be to Louisville,” Tom Lyles told SNY.tv. “it’s actually going to take place at the end of this month for an official visit down there. And then after it hasn’t been confirmed … but we are trying to get down to Florida pretty soon. Nothing confirmed just in conversation.”
As has been reported, Lyles also plans to visit Kentucky for Big Blue Madness Oct. 18, when James Blackmon, Kelly Oubre, Stanley Johnson and Emmanuel Mudiay could also visit. Ironically, both Lyles and Blackmon decommitted from Indiana.
“Yes, we will be there, that’s the plan,” Tom Lyles told SNY.tv.
The senior Lyles actually attended Kentucky himself briefly.
“Attended Kentucky a very short while,” he said, “Kentucky wasn’t the best choice for me. But just because it wasnt the place for me it has nothing to do with where Trey goes or what’s best for him. If it’s the best situation for him then I will do my best to make sure he gets that opportunity.”
Meantime, Butler remains in the mix despite the coaching change that brought in Brandon Miller to replace Brad Stevens, who took the Boston Celtics job.
“One of the first coaches to ever recruit Trey was Brandon Miller, who happened to be at Ohio State as an assistant coach under Thad Matta,” Tom Lyles said. “He was actually heading up the recruitment of Trey at that time. So we have not a strong relationship but we’re not strangers to one another.”
The senior Lyles insisted that all four schools remain equal at this point.
“Everything is neck-and-neck,” he said. “It’s down to four schools. Florida, Butler, Louisville and Kentucky. Each program has expressed superior interest in what they can do for Trey and what Trey can offer them. With the fact that things are very new as to going through this whole process…it’s been quite a eye-opening experience to say the very least.”
Whoever lands Lyles will be getting a special player, a Canadian who could potentially be as good or better than recent Canadian lottery picks Anthony Bennett (No. 1 in 2013) and Tristan Thompson (No. 4 in 2012).
“Trey is kind of a unique player because he is borderline 6-11 and 255 pounds, but he’s a point forward,” his dad said. “There’s not many guys that size that can bring all those things to the table… he can play 1 through 5.”
Meantime, Lyles spent part of this summer playing with the Canadian U19 team at the World Championships in Prague, although he was forced to miss the game against the USA with an ankle injury.
Still, he averaged 19.5 points and 8.8 rebounds.
“Great honour for him to represent Canada, you have no idea how big that was for him,” his father said.
“Was such a thrill for him to represent Canada. Some relationships he established and within a very short period of time. Man, these are lifelong relationships. At the same time it opened doors for him to showcase his talents to his native land that otherwise people probably would not have. Until that day that if he’s fortunate to get drafted they would’ve found out at that time. He loves it. I mean, the kid almost sports his Maple Leaf jersey every day. I’m not joking.”
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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.