Tuesday, April 9, 2013
Louisville texts top 2014 target
By Dave Telep
There Louisville was, in the locker room, celebrating a national championship on Monday night. Aside from coach Rick Pitino, nobody else in that locker room had ever experienced this before.
Yet somebody, at some point, piped up and the light bulb went on: time to start texting recruits.
So Pitino busted out his phone and hit up No. 4 junior Trey Lyles (Indianapolis/Arsenal Tech). The text from the newly named Hall of Famer and title-winning coach was no surprise -- other than the timing of it.
No. 4 junior Trey Lyles is down to Butler, Duke, Florida, Kentucky, Louisville and UCLA.
Meanwhile, Louisville assistant Kevin Keatts texted Lyles' father, Tom, with a simple message. According to Tom Lyles, Keatts told him that if his son came to Louisville, this could be Trey in a few years. He called Trey the “missing link.”
“Pitino’s been very consistent in everything he’s done and said,” Tom said. “I wasn’t surprised because the communication has been so good. It was quite nice that they took a couple of minutes from their celebrating to shoot off a text, saying what they said.”
Lyles is a potential pro -- the kind of recruit who will come in with huge aspirations and potentially only stay for a cup of coffee. He has five schools on his list: Butler (not likely), Duke, Florida, Kentucky and Louisville. UCLA was in the mix until it fired Ben Howland. Butler is under no illusions about landing the hometown kid. The four most ardent pursuers are Louisville, UK, Florida and Duke.
Aside from Lyles, Louisville has two other top-shelf targets in the 2014 class: point guard JaQuan Lyle (Evansville, Ind./Bosse) and shooting guard D'Angelo Russell (Louisville, Ky./Montverde Academy). Lyle is the No. 16 prospect in the ESPN 60, while Louisville native Russell is ranked No. 24.
In addition, Louisville already owns pledges from a pair of ESPN 60 recruits in point guard Quentin Snider (Louisville, Ky./Ballard) and small forward Shaqquan Aaron (Seattle/Rainier Beach). Snider is ranked No. 31 in the 2014 class and Aaron is No. 51.