Lyles decommits from Indiana ... for now

Trey Lyles (Indianapolis/Arsenal Tech), ESPN’s No. 7 junior and one of the elite power forwards in high school basketball, rescinded his commitment to Tom Crean’s Indiana Hoosiers program on Monday. Lyles originally made his commitment in September of 2010 prior to his freshman season of high school basketball.

Over the last three recruiting classes, eight players ranked in the top 25 overall have decommitted and C.J. Leslie (NC State), Ricardo Ledo (Providence) and Myck Kabong (Texas) are the lone members of the club that returned to their original committed teams. Statistically, there’s a 38 percent chance of a top-25 player returning to the team he made his original verbal commitment with. The Indiana Hoosiers would like for that number to increase.

Indiana is 45 minutes away from Lyles' home and the Hoosiers, though on the canvas and knocked down, by no means have lost the fight.

“It wasn’t any one particular thing that happened,” Trey's dad, Tom Lyles told ESPN. “Trey made that verbal at such a young age. Indiana’s a great school and program that’s on the rise. He made it at such a young age, got a little older and started realizing and seeing things and said maybe he should have listened and waited.

“In Trey’s case, in a nutshell, he made the commitment so early that he didn’t give himself a chance to get to experience anything else other than Indiana. He would tell you himself that Indiana is his No. 1 option. That’s the university he intends on being a part of but he wants to experience something else so he has something to compare it to.”

From our perspective, the early commitment trend may be slowing down. Lyles isn’t the first underclassman -- and won’t be the last -- to cite making the decision too early as a reason for decommitting. High-profile players like Lyles, when they decommit, have the attention of their peers and their reasons might be slowing the commitment train down.

Another plausible reason is change in the recruiting calendar itself. During July, many college coaches said they simply weren’t able to get out and watch as many underclassmen as they had in the past. The reduction in days on the road and difficulty traveling to different venues made it tough to do a lot of advance scouting on young kids. One coach said the U-16 AAU Nationals was basically a ghost town. He was alone in the lot of gyms watching underclassmen.

Lyles is going to have his choice of colleges. North Carolina, Florida and Harvard reached out already and others will follow ... quickly. “The schools that he’s mentioned the North Carolina’s, Duke’s, UCLA’s, Syracuse places like that is what he’s mentioned but I would say his main one might be North Carolina or Duke,” Tom Lyles said. “Trey’s mentioned Georgetown too.”

Lyles decommitment comes at a unique time in Indiana Hoosiers basketball. Crean has the program trending upward in a big way as evidenced by their lofty preseason ranking and potential lottery pick Cody Zeller. While it undoubtedly will take some by surprise, Lyles’ father made it clear this was something his son had been contemplating at length. Indiana sits a top the list.

“He definitely sees it as being on the up rise. I think he does see Indiana as a school that is heading in the right direction and getting back to the days of old and putting itself in a position to be one of those top notch programs again.”

CJ Leslie. Ricardo Ledo. Myck Kabongo. Trey Lyles? Hoosier Nation wouldn’t mind adding themselves to the list of distinguished returnees.