Top 2014 prospect Trey Lyles taking his time with the recruiting process

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FORT WAYNE, In. — The Bill Hensley Memorial Run-N-Slam is always one of the most well-attended high school basketball events of the spring and this past Friday there was even more of a local buzz then usual as some of the best travel teams from the Midwest took the floor at the Spiece Fieldhouse. For host Spiece Indy Heat, that buzz was centered around the return of power forward Trey Lyles, who made his 2013 debut on the grassroots circuit on Friday night as he returned to action for the first time since injuring his left knee in sectional play of the Indiana state tournament.

Lyles is regarded as the No. 4 player in the country according to Rivals and although his Spiece Indy Heat team is loaded with talent, none of his teammates have the package of skill, size and upside that the 6-10, 245-pound Lyles possesses.

For Trey, it just felt good to return to the hardwood and get back to playing in games with his teammates.

“My return has been good so far. I’m missing some shots that I usually wouldn’t miss but that’s to be expected after missing so long and I’m not really worried about it. But it feels good to be back out there,” Lyles told NBC Sports.  “Health-wise, I’m 100 percent, but conditioning I’m probably at 95 percent. Workout conditioning is different from game condition, so I just have to get back in game condition.”

It also doesn’t hurt that Lyles is surrounded by a very talented supporting cast. Teammates Jaquan Lyle (No. 17), Trevon Bluiett (No. 46) and Indiana commit James Blackmon (No. 47) all rate as top-50 prospects in Rivals’ 2014 national rankings and have helped ease Lyles back into the flow of the game. Throughout the weekend, local fans often packed all four sidelines in standing-room only fashion to get a glimpse of Spiece Indy Heat when they took the floor.

“I feel no pressure at all, we’re just coming out here and trying to have fun and trying to win games,” Lyles said. “It’s definitely fun (playing with this team). Everybody can score, everybody can play, everybody can do everything. You’re playing with the best guys and hanging with them. It’s like you’re with family so it’s a great time.”

Now that Lyles has rehabilitated his knee and returned to action, recruiting has naturally become a topic of discussion when Trey speaks to the media. Trey maintains a list of six schools that he’s actively considering.

“I have six top schools: UCLA, Butler, Florida, Kentucky, Duke and Louisville and all of those schools are ones that I’m really looking at,” Lyles said.  “They’re all kind of (recruiting me) the same; I hear from every school every week.”

With a list of schools that includes perennial Final Four candidates, Lyles is taking his time with the process and hasn’t set any official deadlines.

“I’ll probably make a decision after the next high school season. I’m undecided on visits, but I’ll probably take some this summer,” Lyles said.

Scott also writes for NY2LA Sports and can be followed on Twitter @sphillipshoops

Memphis lands commitment from 2018 center Connor Vanover

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Memphis picked up its first commitment in the Class of 2018 on Wednesday night as unique center prospect Connor Vanover announced his decision on Twitter.

At 7-foot-2, Vanover brings elite size to the interior for the Tigers and he’s also skilled enough that he was a 43 percent three-point shooter during his stint playing with Pro Skills in the Nike EYBL this spring. Although Vanover needs to add strength and athleticism to adapt to the college level, he simply has size that you can’t teach. Pair that size with an intriguing perimeter jumper and it’ll be interesting to see how head coach Tubby Smith is able to develop Vanover the next few years.

A three-star prospect according to Rivals, Vanover averaged 9.1 points, 5.5 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game during the spring. Originally from Arkansas, Vanover is spending his senior season of high school ball at prep school powerhouse Findlay Prep.

Bill Self unsure of how long he will continue to coach

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Kansas head coach Bill Self is one of the most decorated college basketball coaches of all time.

Recently inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame earlier this month, Self has won a record 13 consecutive Big 12 regular-season championships while also claiming a national title for the Jayhawks during his storied career.

But while most legendary coaches in contemporary college basketball have stayed around to coach well into their late 60s or early 70s, the 54-year-old Self doesn’t necessarily see his career playing out that way.

Speaking with ESPN.com reporter Myron Medcalf on Wednesday, Self acknowledged that he’s thinking about potentially retiring once his next contract ends after the 2021-22 season. With five more years left on his current deal, that would mean that Self would be retiring before he would even turn 60.

“I’ve said all along that if I could go to my late 50s, that’d be good for me,” Self said to Medcalf. “Now that I’m getting close to my late 50s, I’m like, ‘Well…’ but my contract runs until I’m 59, so I’ve got five more years left. I definitely want to do that. Then whatever happens after that I’d be happy with whatever. But I don’t want to [coach too late].”

While Hall of Fame coaches like Syracuse’s Jim Boeheim (72 years old), Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski (70 years old) and North Carolina’s Roy Williams (67 years old) are showing no signs of slowing down, Self acknowledged to Medcalf that coach, and specifically recruiting, has started to take its toll on him.

“With recruiting the way that it is, it just wears you down,” Self said to Medcalf.

With Kansas pursuing so many potential one-and-done prospects over the past few seasons, it means that Self usually has to recruit sizable recruiting classes

Self is certainly entitled to do what he wants with his career and his life but it would be a shame to see one of the game’s greats hang it up at that point in his career. Potentially retiring at that age means that Self won’t chase 1,000 wins or any additional longevity records

Ohio State lands second pledge in two days with 2018 guard Duane Washington

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Ohio State stayed hot on the recruiting trail on Wednesday as the Buckeyes landed a commitment from Class of 2018 guard Duane Washington.

The 6-foot-3 Washington is the second commitment for Ohio State and new head coach Chris Holtmann in the last two days after four-star forward Jaedon LeDee pledged to the Buckeyes on Tuesday.

One of the better shooters in the Class of 2018, Washington averaged 14.9 points per game on tremendous shooting splits (48% FG, 87% FT, 45% 3PT) playing with The Family in the Nike EYBL this spring. A Michigan native who now resides in California, Washington gives Ohio State a much-needed guard commitment in the Class of 2018.

With the Buckeyes needing to fill a lot of scholarships due to roster turnover, Washington is a solid start to their perimeter class. While Washington isn’t likely to play point guard, he can play multiple perimeter spots and should be a solid addition to the Buckeye rotation.

Syracuse walk-on accused of sexual assault

Syracuse Post-Standard
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Dominick Parker, an 18-year old freshman who was added to the Syracuse roster as a walk-on just 12 days ago, was arrested last Friday and charged with sexual abuse in the first degree, reports Syracuse.com.

Parker is accused of having sexual contact with an 18-year old female student while she was incapable of giving consent. His name and picture have been removed from the Syracuse athletics website.

“Sexual and relationship violence is not tolerated at Syracuse University,” the school said in a statement. “We are now doing all that we can to support and provide assistance to those affected by the alleged incident. As this is an ongoing investigation, Syracuse University will not be providing further comment.”

Wichita State to sell beer at Koch Arena

AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall
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As if it wasn’t already hard enough to win games at Koch Arena.

Starting this season, Wichita State fans will be able to buy beer during games at their home arena, a fact that should ensure that the raucous home environs that have made the Shockers so difficult to beat in Wichita remains the same.

That’s not a bad thing to add to a home court advantage while making the move into a new conference, the American, for the 2017-18 season.

Once a rarity, beer at college sporting events in a growing trend. Minnesota, Florida and Texas, among a number of others have added alcohol sales in recent years. Given the money that would seem likely to be generated, it’s a trend that will probably become even more pervasive in college athletics.

Let’s just make sure that everyone partakes in moderation.