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By LARRY VAUGHT
When Indianapolis Arsenal Tech coach Jason Delaney conducted his team meetings after last season ended, Trey Lyles had a simple message for him.
“His personality is one of the most impressive things about him,” said Delaney. “He said, ‘Coach, I have scholarship offers. I want to make sure my teammates get offers, too. You don’t hear that from many kids. He is worried about his teammates having the same opportunity as him. That says a lot about his character.”
The 6-10 Lyles is one of the top players in the 2014 recruiting class, and will play in the Marshall County Hoopfest Dec. 6-7 in Benton. He originally committed to Indiana in September of 2010 when he was only beginning his freshman year of high school. However, about a year ago he de-committed from Indiana and now he has Kentucky, Louisville, Florida and Butler as his final four schools.
“He is getting ready to start doing his visits now. He’s in no rush to do it,” Delaney said. “He wants us to win. That’s his big thing. Every time I talk to him, it’s about winning a state championship. Our school district has had players like Rod Woodson, George McGinnis and other greats, but he has a chance to be our first McDonald’s All-American. The school opened 100 years ago, and he could be just our second Mr. Basketball. But he focuses on the season, not recruiting. He has narrowed his schools to four, so we’ll just go from there.”
Delaney did not see a lot of Lyles during the summer. Lyles, a Canadian, averaged 20.3 points and 10 rebounds per game in the FIBA Under 19 World Championships in Prague where Canada lost to Spain in the fifth place game.
He also help his team win the 2013 adidas Nations in Long Beach, Calif., when he had 10 points in the title game against an all-star cast. The second-place team included UK recruiting targets Jahlil Okafor and Stanley Johnson, who had a game-high 17 points.
“He was in the Czech Republic a long time and was the second leading scorer in the FIBA Under 19 Championships,” Delaney said. “He is 17, playing against guys 19 years old. He was playing with Marcus Smart (of Oklahoma State), who could have been the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft. That says a lot about him. (Kansas signee) Andrew Wiggins didn’t play for Canada, so that put more focus on Trey and he was able to produce. Then I saw him on ESPN (in the adidas Nations) and he ran the floor and played great again and once again was very unselfish.
“Trey is a quiet kid. He is very loyal. Once you have that relationship with him, he will do anything you ask him to do. We have to get on him about shooting more. He doubled his assists last year and led our team in assists, rebounds, scoring and blocked shots. He led in every category and yet he sacrificed to make sure his teammates stay involved.”
Delaney will join us on Sunday Morning Sports on WLAP (630 AM, wlap.com) at 10:05 a.m. to talk about Lyles, his team and the Marshall County Hoopfest.