The Indianapolis Star

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

Louisville campus police reviewing escort allegations

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Louisville campus police now say they are reviewing allegations that a former men’s basketball staffer hired escorts to dance and have sex with recruits and players in a dormitory.

Katina Powell has alleged in a book released online over the weekend that former Cardinals director of basketball operation Andre McGee paid her $10,000 for dancers to perform 22 shows from 2010-14 at the players’ Billy Minardi Hall dormitory. The school reported those allegations to the NCAA and has launched an investigation.

“The University of Louisville Police Department, in consultation with the Louisville Metro Police Department and the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office, is reviewing allegations regarding the men’s basketball program,” University police chief Wayne Hall said Tuesday in a statement.

It was the first confirmation that police are looking into the allegations. When contacted last week, a campus police operator said they weren’t aware of the book allegations, and it was unclear at that time if an investigation had been launched.

Cardinals coach Rick Pitino has said that McGee denied Powell’s allegations.

McGee left in 2014 and is currently an assistant at Missouri-Kansas City, which has put him on paid leave.

Pitino said Saturday that he hasn’t read Powell’s book titled “Breaking Cardinal Rules: Basketball and the Escort Queen” and doesn’t plan to. The 104-page book was published by an affiliate of the Indianapolis Business Journal and is scheduled for hardcover release Oct. 12.

The woman said that she and three of her daughters, along with other women, danced and stripped for Louisville recruits and players and performed sex acts with them, according to the book. Powell, 43, also said McGee offered recruits alcohol at those parties.

Upon hearing of the allegations, Pitino said he did some investigating on his own before being told by the school’s compliance department not to talk to players. But the coach said he talked to other assistants about the allegations and all of them denied knowing of the activities outlined in Powell’s book.

“I’m going through 15 people who worked here, and not one person even had a premonition of something wrong,” Pitino said. “Not one person living in the dorm had even the slightest premonition. It just doesn’t make sense to me.”

Louisville has hired Chuck Smrt of the Compliance Group, which assists schools in NCAA cases, to review the allegations.

McGee left Louisville in 2014 to become an assistant at Missouri-Kansas City under Kareem Richardson, who was a Cardinals assistant from 2012-13. He was placed on paid administrative on Friday and has been unavailable for comment. McGee’s Louisville attorney, Scott Cox, didn’t comment because the investigation is ongoing.

St. John’s hires Mitch Richmond as a special assistant

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St. John’s added its second Hall of Famer to the coaching staff on Tuesday, announcing Mitch Richmond had been hired as a special assistant to first-year head coach Chris Mullin.

Mullin and Richmond, along with Tim Hardaway, made up Run TMC, the short-lived, high-scoring offense the Golden State Warriors played from 1989-91.

Mullin was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as a player in 2011. Three years later, he was a presenter to Richmond’s enshrinement in Springfield.

“Mitch is committed to helping us build this program and develop an environment for sustained success at St. John’s,” Mullin said in a statement. “He has tremendous basketball insight, a vision for the game and a passion to share his knowledge. Obviously, his experience in different roles throughout his career as a player, scout and mentor will have an impact in many areas.”

Earlier this summer, Mullin bolstered his coaching staff with the additions of associate head coach Barry Rohrssen and Matt Abdelmassih. Greg St. Jean was hired later in the summer.

The Red Storm open the 2015-16 season on Nov. 13 against Wagner.