Monday, October 14, 2013
Biancardi's Breakdown: Trey Lyles
By Paul Biancardi
Trey Lyles is the nation’s No. 7 player overall and No. 2 at power forward.
Trey Lyles, the nation's No. 7 prospect, has both patience and poise in the post.
Lyles will play his college basketball in the state of Kentucky, as his top two choices are Kentucky and Louisville. His final decision is planned for early November.
Here's a breakdown of his game.
Fundamentally sound All the physical tools are in place for Lyles to be an outstanding big man. Let’s focus in on his hands, head and footwork. To say he possesses a secure pair of hands is an understatement. His hands are large, and once he obtains possession of the ball, he rarely lets anyone take the ball or bat it away from him. He also has soft finger tips that create a release and rotation on his jump shot, which is impressive. He can use either hand to finish at the rim. He has a big advantage in releasing the ball before the shot-blocker arrives. His head is in the game from a basketball standpoint so he can process a play, understand spacing and where he and teammates are at all times.
His footwork in the post or facing the basket is at a premier level, and you don’t normally see that at this stage of a big man's career. He is swift and coordinated for a power forward, and he is under control with pace when he drives. His ability to move with power and fluidity with a low center of gravity is the advantage he has when making his moves. It's hard to find a post player with just one of these abilities. Lyles, however, is superior in all three.
Patience and poise in the post The ability to catch, look, feel and read the game with his back to the basket is advanced. The left block is his sweet spot, as he is proficient going to the middle over his left shoulder. On the catch, he looks for defenders and reads their location. If he has a more athletic player who is longer and taller than him, he will utilize a head-and-shoulder fake as well as a shot fake to lift his man off the group and out of position. He scores through his defender or over him and often times ends up with a three-point play. When finishing a drop-off pass, he powers up strong where he catches it or will go under the rim to the other side to score. His talent and productivity demand double-teams in the low- an mid-block areas. Lyles is strong with long arms and an innate feel for where he is on the court. He can feel his man and read where the help is coming from. And he can beat the double-team and score, or he invite the trap pass out and create open shots for his teammates.
Face-up game Lyles is not limited as only a low-post threat. He is skillful and very effective from the pinch post, the high post and the short corners. He can knock down the jumper out to 17 feet, and when he is covered he can put the ball in the basket with a couple of dribbles and a spin move. Anytime he faces the basket, he is a threat to score or pass for an assist. Speaking of assists, he averaged more than three per game in the Nike EYBL. He can be utilized in isolations, dribble handoffs and ball screens because he functions with confidence when facing the basket.
Rebounding A good, but not great, athlete, Lyles jumps well enough with his long arms and desire to go and find the missed shot. He's an excellent defensive rebounder, as he plants his body on the offensive player, gets low, makes contact and shields his man off the glass to snatch the ball. And on a missed basket, he has the ability to throw an accurate outlet pass to start a fast break. On the offensive backboard, he wedges his way inside a defender and can grab the ball for second-chance points. Lyles is not a high-level rebounder, but he's a dependable board man who makes an effort to limit teams to one shot.