NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. — Trey Lyles narrowed his list of college choices to four schools Thursday night.
On Friday morning, he talked about why he cut Duke and UCLA from consideration and what he thinks about the remaining programs on his list.
“I just thought this was a good time to do it,” Lyles said. “Trying to get it over with early and if I would have done it later I still would have had the same response.”
The four schools that made the cut were UK, U of L, Butler and Florida.
Butler represents the hometown choice for the Indianapolis power forward: “I like the campus. I like the school. It’s close to home and my parents could come watch me play.”
Florida is the only school remaining that’s more than three hours away: “I like the coaching staff. When I get down there for a visit I’ll be deciding whether they stay in my top schools or if they’re going to get cut.”
Then there’s Kentucky and Louisville, the two schools perceived as the favorites in Lyles’ recruitment.
The 6-foot-9 prospect stirred up Twitter on Thursday night when he said that U of L develops players better but Kentucky gets them to the NBA faster. He clarified Friday to say that U of L develops players because the Cards usually have them longer.
“Louisville develops them better because they have them for longer periods of time,” Lyles said. “When Kentucky gets them they get them for usually one year. Louisville gets them for three or four years. They have more time to develop their players.”
He said UK’s recent success with one-and-done players is a selling point.
“Kentucky, they’ve had a lot of guys go one year and done,” he said. “A lot of guys want to do that. They’re getting guys into the league, and when they’re in the league they’re actually doing something for their teams.”
Lyles — the No. 4 overall recruit in the class of 2014 — said he’d like to explore the one-and-done route if he has the opportunity. But he added that he thinks he could do that at both UK and U of L.
UK’s John Calipari and Butler’s Brandon Miller were the only two head coaches who watched Lyles’ first Peach Jam game Thursday night. He said he appreciates it when the head coaches come to see his games, even if they’re not the primary recruiters.
UCLA Coach Steve Alford was there for his first game Friday, but Lyles said his list of four finalists was set.
Lyles wants to take official visits to all four schools on his list. He just returned home from the FIBA under-19 world championships in Europe and hasn’t made any plans for midnight madness or any other visits. He also doesn’t have a timetable for a decision.
“None of those things are set yet,” he said.