Lyles still buzzing from 'Madness'

Trey Lyles

Trey Lyles' unofficial visit to Kentucky's "Big Blue Madness" left a lasting impression on the five-star 2014 Indiana forward and his family.

It's been a couple of weeks since Trey Lyles made his way down to Lexington for Kentucky's "Big Blue Madness," but the five-star Indiana junior forward and his family are still buzzing about the visit.

"We really enjoyed it," said the player's father, Tom Lyles. "It was a great atmosphere, great fans and a really fun time. Very, very impressive in every way. They know how to put on a good show."

Trey Lyles was one of nine prospects on hand for the event, including five who have committed to the Wildcats in the Class of 2013 (Andrew Harrison and Aaron Harrison, Derek Willis, Marcus Lee and James Young). The group also featured five-star 2014 point guard and fellow Indiana product Jaquan Lyle, five-star 2014 Chicago center Cliff Alexander and five-star 2015 New Jersey center Karl Towns.

The 6-foot-9, 225-pound Lyles is currently rated the No. 1 power forward and No. 6 over prospect in the Class of 2014 by Scout and FoxSports. In addition to Kentucky, the one-time Indiana verbal commitment is also considering schools like Butler, Duke, North Carolina, N.C. State, Florida, Texas, Georgetown, UCLA and Stanford.

"There haven't been a lot of changes in his recruitment lately," Tom Lyles said. "... He's only had a couple of months to digest it. He's open right now, trying to take everything in."

Many programs conduct extravagant "Madness" events these days, but UK's version was a can't miss for the Lyles family. "It's the only one he wanted to go to," Tom Lyles said.

Asked if fans could read anything into that, he added: "No. Not really. But he had heard a lot about it, and that's the one he wanted to see the most."

The trip did not disappoint.

"There were a lot of things that stood out," Lyles said, "but I think the fans really made the strongest impression -- how they gravitated to all the kids and knew who they were and really appreciated them being there.

"From the time we walked in, it was pictures, pictures pictures and autographs, autographs, autographs. Trey had a lot of fun with that... He understands the fans and the support that they give are such a huge part of college baskebtall."

The event also gave the players a chance to interact with each other in a different setting than they're accustomed.

"They all know each other from the (AAU) circuit," Lyles said, "but this was a chance to hang out and get to know each other a little better outside of the gym. They all seemed to get along really well."

Lyles is currently preparing for his junior season, which gets under way on Nov. 20. Indianapolis' Arsenal Tech begins practice on Nov. 5 as the No. 2 team in the state preseason poll.

"Lyles is one of the top junior post players in the country," said Scout national basketball analyst Evan Daniels. "He's advanced offensively and is a prospect that can not only score on the block, but also by facing the rim. His hands, touch and feel offensively are impressive for such a young big man."

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