Kentucky Basketball: How Important Is Beating out Louisville for Trey Lyles?

Bobby ReaganFeatured ColumnistSeptember 24, 2013

Trey Lyles will be the most hated player in the Commonwealth no matter what his decision is. After sending out a picture on Instagram of him in a Kentucky jersey on one side and him in a Louisville jersey on the other, Lyles announced he will decide between only these two rivals when it comes time to make a college decision.

While it isn't known which school Lyles currently likes more, what is known is Kentucky needs Lyles to commit to Lexington. 

After missing out on arguably the top point guard in Emmanuel Mudiay and most recently having Cliff Alexander, the No. 1 player in the class take Kentucky off his list, John Calipari and the Wildcats need to land another top-10 player to help replace those expected to leave after this season.

Lyles can do just that. At 6'10" and 245 pounds, Lyles is the No. 8 prospect, according to He originally verbally committed to Indiana before decommitting earlier this year. 

Besides the obvious reason of losing a top recruit to your archrival, Kentucky needs Lyles to decide on the blue and white to be the go-to scorer for the Wildcats in 2014-15. The Indiana native is a big-time scorer who can help stretch the floor with his height.

Besides being able to finish at the rim, Lyles has the capability to step out to the elbow and hit mid-range jumpers all day. Playing with another big man in Karl Towns will make it only easier for Lyles to score. 

Despite his lack of athleticism, Lyles would be another strong rebounder at the power forward position for Calipari. He also provides the ability to finish at the rim with both hands.

Most importantly, his commitment to Kentucky will help the progression of point guard Tyler Ulis, who already committed to the Wildcats earlier this month. Ulis, a four-star point guard, is expected to be more than a one-and-done player due to his lack of height and recent explosion on the scene. 

Despite these reasons, the argument could be made that Lyles needs to commit to Kentucky to keep Big Blue Nation sane. If they were to lose a top player to Louisville, there would be some angry fans across the Commonwealth.