The fifth ranked recruit in the class of 2014, Trey Lyles, has cut his list of potential schools down to four. From CBS sports, the final four candidates have come down to Louisville, Kentucky, Butler and Florida.
The 6″9 power forward is one of the most enticing big men of his recruiting class because of his complete versatility. He has great size, can play inside, has a nice shooting stroke, great footwork and amazing ball handling ability for a man his size. His addition to any roster would make them instantly better and could push a very good team immediately into contender status. Lyles is ready to play at the NCAA level right now and he still has a year left to his high school career.
Because of this, the four schools left in the running should be ecstatic that they are this close to landing a power player. For Louisville, he would form a duo with incoming 2014 recruit Jaquan Lyle, an explosive guard who can also distribute the ball. Joined together, Lyle and Lyles (I know, confusing) would become a guard/forward tandem as good as any in recent memory. Those two, in addition to the roster that the Louisville Cardinals already have and Rick Pitino’s coaching might make them the early favorites for the 2015 tournament.
These days, it seems like Kentucky is always in the midst of top recruit’s decisions. A lot of that has to do with the Kentucky Wildcats’ coach, John Calipari and his ability to transform college players into high draft picks. His resume speaks for himself and his coaching abilities are not anything to laugh at either. The possibility that Lyles could join a roster that could have some stay overs from the 2013 recruiting class, James Young and Dakari Johnson being the most likely stay overs, would make the Wildcats one of the most potent and versatile rosters in the NCAA.
As for Florida, they have always found themselves at the top of recruit’s possible landing destinations. Coach Billy Donovan is an institution at the school and has proven that he can run a system that will highlight players’ talents. Choosing Florida would be a great choice for Lyles because Donovan would make sure to use him in ways that would make him look his best.
The most interesting of the four schools has to be Butler. Not only are they not typically the type of school that gets involved in five star prospects like Lyles, they have just recently lost their head coach, Brad Stevens. Stevens was the heart and soul of the program, he built the Bulldogs’ system from the ground up, recruited the type of players he needed to make it work and made Butler into a perennial powerhouse. It was one of the most impressive jobs in NCAA coaching history and one of the reasons that Butler was such an attractive learning spot.
Knowing all of this, Lyles still decided that Butler would make his final four. That says a lot about the legacy Stevens left behind and how it will survive but the time being, Lyles’ recruitment is the number one priority for the Bulldogs. They have never landed a star player like him and this would cement them as a serious recruiting school after having survived mostly on recruiting the right players.
Not matter Lyles’ decision, it will change the NCAA’s future landscape in a matter of minutes. So for these four schools, the future is now as they will try to convince Lyles to join their team and help lead them into the promise land.