I had planned, as of Thursday, to write a fairly lengthy piece on 2014 Indianapolis Arsenal Tech forward Trey Lyles prior to his visit last Sunday to Bloomington.
But alas, life happens and I never got the opportunity to write a story after my conversation with Trey’s father, Tom, last Wednesday night. So as an alternative, here are a few key quotes I took away from talking with Tom Lyles last week about his son:
+ I asked Mr. Lyles to explain why he believed his son was garnering so much recruiting attention at the age of 14. Since Trey’s father played professionally and also serves as an assistant coach for Tech, I asked him to answer from a coach’s perspective rather than as his father. And in talking with many parents and recruits over the past three years, this was one of the most impressive answers I’ve ever been given:
“First of all, Trey studied the game. He was truly a student of this game. Not just the running and gunning, the shooting, the dunking. He was a student of the game as in he went back and kind of checked out the legends of the game. And studied a lot of what Rick Barry was doing. Jerry West, Hakeem Olajuwon, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Darrell Dawkins, Moses Malone, Tiny Archibald, Pete Maravich. The kid’s done his homework. And I’ve always told him, ‘before you go any place, you have to know where you’re coming from. You have to know where you have been before you can go anywhere.’ So I think that right there, understanding and being a student of the game, I honestly believe that has given Trey the basketball IQ that he has which I think is just impeccable for a kid his age. Second of all, his work ethic. The kid will work. And he wants more, he wants more, he wants more. 6 o’clock in the morning workouts. We hit 6 o’clock in the morning workouts twice a week, sometimes three days a week. And the 6 o’clock in the morning workouts are harder than any workout that he’s probably been through with any other coach because like I told him, ‘being in middle school, I was training you for high school. Now that we’re in high school, I’m training you for college.’ “
+ And along the same lines, more on Trey’s game:
“Right now the kid is about 6-10. And as a father, I’m very, very happy for him. As a coach, it’s pretty impressive that a kid his age at that size can play every position on the floor and play it fluently. If you need him to be the point, he can run it. He has the handles of some of the best point guards out there. He might not be as fancy with his ball handling, but that’s not what we work on. We don’t work on being fancy, we work on being precise. Fanciness causes turnovers and it’s just for show. We’re about being precise and making things happen. If you need for him to go in the post and play that five position, that’s where he started at. We started on the footwork and the fundamentals, understanding the basics of the game. If you need for him to step out and shoot that midrange shot consistently, he can do that. If you need for him to step out and hit the long ball, college or NBA distance, he can do that consistently. If you need for him to be that wing man and fill the slots and run the floor, he can do that. I’m strictly speaking in a second-party sense, as a coach. It’s amazing that a kid 14 that’s his size, for him to be able to do that, that’s probably the part most of the coaches are impressed with.”