Compiled by Leif Thulin
TREY LYLES, Kentucky
Height w/ shoes: 6’10.25
Standing Reach: 9’
No Step Vert: NA
Max Vert: NA
Measurable Comps: Josh McRoberts (via draft express)
Power forward who makes plays. Won’t wow you with his athleticism, but he is consistently making plays. Had to play much of the season at Kentucky out of position as a small forward. Will be a 4 in the NBA. Good passer, with a solid handle. Strong post moves that can beat someone on a switch. Has not shown the ability to shoot the 3 but was solid in mid range shooter. Has a decent off the bounce game. Defensively is very solid but isn’t a high flyer. Very similar to Patrick Patterson when he came out of Kentucky. Brandon Bass is another solid comparison
Trey Lyles played for the 38-1 Kentucky Wildcats, starting every game once Alex Poythress tore his ACL. Lyles came into Kentucky as the sixth ranked recruit in the nation, playing alongside 9 All Americans everyday. Trey Lyles projects as a late lottery to mid 1st round pick. He was a strong defender in college, both at the three and the four. Weighing in at 6’10” and 241 lbs, Lyles should be able to play the four in the NBA, and maybe even the three if he can improve upon his three point shooting and speed.
Indianapolis Player of the year
Born in Saskatoon, Canada
Originally committed to Indiana and then decommitted and went to Kentucky
Played for Canada at U19
Chad Ford: 11th
Jeff Goodman: 15th
Draft Express: 15th
Sports Illustrated: 14th
NBA Draft Net: 8th
CBS Sports: 15th
SB Nation: NA
Points per game: 8.7
Rebounds per game: 5.2
Assists per game: 1.1
Steals per game: 0.5
Blocks per game 0.5
Field Goal Percentage: 48.8%
Three Point Percentage: 13.8%
Free Throw Percentage: 73.5%
Spot Up Shooting: 36.4 EFG% (26-77)
Post Ups: 50% (12-24)
Isolations: 1 for 9
P&R Man: only 9 possessions
P&R Handler: only 3 possessions
Jump Shots: 39.1% EFG
Around the Rim: 67% – very high number
Catch and Shoot: 33.7 EFG%
Catch and Shoot Open: 45.2 EFG % (13-31 overall) (3 of 21 guarded)
Jump Shot off the bounce: 47% EFG (45.5% overall)
17 feet to 3 point line: 40% (16 of 40)
EXPERTS ARE SAYING
DRAFT EXPRESS (April 22nd 2015)
Lyles has excellent size and length for a power forward, measuring 6-10 in shoes, with a strong 235 pound frame, and a huge 7-3 ½ wingspan. He is a fluid and mobile big man, but not overly quick or explosive, lacking a degree of athleticism that may limit his long-term upside to a certain extent. He’s done a good job of working on his body over the past 18 months, as he has struggled in the past with his conditioning level, but has worked hard to maximize his physical tools after looking somewhat out of shape in the past.
Lyles has a very nice skill-level for a player his size. Showing advanced footwork and very soft touch, he’s strong enough to make some plays with his back to the basket, something that wasn’t a featured part of his game at Kentucky, but he’s nevertheless capable of. He finished 50% of his field goal attempts in the post according to Synergy Sports Technology, and drew a free throw on 25% of his possessions on top of that.
He also shows nice potential as a ball-handler on the perimeter, being capable of attacking his man off the dribble smoothly driving in either direction, mixing in crafty spin-moves with strong body control and choppy footwork, and often finishing with a floater or using the glass with his soft touch. While he’s not overly quick, his strong frame and solid timing and patience helps, and as he goes back to playing at the 4/5 spots like he did earlier in his career, he’ll have even more of an advantage taking opposing players out on the perimeter.
Another area NBA teams will likely try to learn more about is Lyles’ potential as an outside shooter. He was somewhat of a mixed bag at Kentucky in this area, only converting 4 of his 29 3-point attempts (14%) on the season, and 32/87 jumpers (37%) overall according to Synergy
Lyles has a good feel for the game and is a solid passer, not turning the ball over very frequently as well. His basketball IQ shows up with his ability to crash the glass, where he posted 3.2 offensive rebounds per-40, despite seeing heavy minutes on the perimeter. He’s been a solid rebounder throughout his career—aided by his huge wingspan, as well as good timing and soft hands—and should continue to hold his own here in the NBA despite his average athleticism and the fact that he’s not overly physical.
Lyles is somewhat of a divisive prospect among NBA scouts. He has some very obvious tools, with his size, length, high skill-level and strong feel for the game, but wasn’t overly productive (15.5 points, 9.3 rebounds per-40) or efficient (55% TS%) in college, which is easy to understand due to the circumstances. Power forwards who aren’t great perimeter shooters, athletes or shot-blockers are not the most en vogue players in today’s NBA, so he’ll have to be drafted into the right situation with the understanding of what his strengths and weaknesses are to reach his full potential. Nevertheless, only being 19 years old, time is clearly on Lyles’ side.
I have seen Lyles at his best around the basket. Ultimately, his skills will fit better in the NBA as a face-up power forward with the skill to hit midrange jumpers and, ultimately, the ability to score around the basket in the NBA. His size, athleticism and game remind me of David West at Xavier, although West played all four seasons there before heading to the league.
Lyles has the size and body frame to score around the basket, although he is not an explosive athlete. In fact, while he made 74 percent of his shots around the basket this season, his game is often based on guile and intelligence. He is an up-and-under guy who will not be able to score over length early in his career. Watch how many times he double-pumps while in the air around the basket.
I’m a big Lyles guy,” one scout said. “Watched him a bunch in high school. The Kentucky thing is helping a lot of these guys, but we’d be talking about him higher if he was on a team that really ran things through him. He’s not a crazy athlete or anything, but he’s bigger than you think and just knows how to play. He’s a power forward in the NBA and once he’s in that position, everyone’s going to like him. If you get him in the middle of the draft? You got a steal.”