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.
For at least one game this summer at the Nike Global Challenge, Trey Lyles was more impressive than his Canadian teammate Andrew Wiggins.
The 6-foot-9 power forward raised more than a few eyebrows among the nation’s elite coaches when he put up 27 points and 11 rebounds in Canada’s win over Brazil.
So when Lyles decommitted from Indiana and opened up his recruitment, it’s really no surprise that virtually every top program in the nation wants to get involved.
Kentucky head coach John Calipari — in the midst of a five-state recruiting swing — and assistants Kenny Payne and Orlando Antigua watched Lyles play Monday at Indianapolis Tech, according to the Indianapolis Star.
Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo and assistant Dana Fife, Butler head coach Brad Stevens, Duke assistant Steve Wojciechowski, Stanford assistant Mark Madsen and Georgetown assistant Kenya Hunter were also in the gym.
Still, Lyles was hurt that neither Indiana coach Tom Crean nor any of his assistants bothered to show.
“It really hurt that they didn’t come today,” Lyles, who was the Indianapolis City Player of the Year as a sophomore, averaging 21.0 points and 14.2 rebounds, told the paper. “Hopefully I’ll get on the phone with coach Crean in the near future and see what’s going on.”
Jason Delaney, Lyles’s high school coach, added in a phone interview with SNY.tv: “His feelings were hurt more than anything.”
Lyles spoke briefly with Calipari after his workout, the Star reported.
“It was good,” Lyles told the paper. “A lot of coaches watched us and we really performed. Early on this morning we had Michigan State, and everybody was in there competing. Tonight we had a lot of schools and guys went hard and tried to push through the tiredness from this morning.”
Delaney said he expects Louisville coach Rick Pitino, Florida coach Billy Donovan and coaches from Gonzaga, Ohio State, Illinois, Purdue and — yes — Indiana this week, with Pitino and Donovan expected Wednesday.
“It’s all new to him so what’s he’s doing is listening to what the schools have to say and then he’s going to sit back and take it all in,” Delaney told SNY.tv. “And eventually make some visits and take his time in making the decision and make sure he makes the best one for his future from an athletic and academic standpoint.”
Delaney said Lyles is a true student of the game who loves to go home and watch old tape of Magic Johnson, Larry Bird and Hakeem Olajuwon.
“He’s a fabulous player,” Delaney said. “He just continues to get better and better. He lives in the gym or the weight room. His idea of a good Friday night is hitting the weight room and going home and studying old film.
“His basketball IQ is outstanding.”
Delaney said Lyles has no visits currently planned.
“He’s more focused on this season than anything else,” he said.
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
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.