It did not take long Friday night for Trey Lyles to prove that he is healed from a knee injury that has kept him sidelined since March.
Playing for Spiece Indy Heat as part of the Bill Hensley Memorial Run-n-Slam Basketball Classic, Lyles threw down an emphatic dunk early in his team's rout of the Peoria Irish as part of the first day of the weekend event that features some of the best prep talent in the country.
No player was more excited to hit the floor on Friday than Lyles, ranked the No. 4 best player in the Class of 2014 by Rivals.
“I am just happy to be out here being able to play and get back on the court with the guys,” Lyles said. “This is the first time I ever had to go that long without playing basketball.”
Lyles, a 6-foot-10, 245 pound power forward, initially committed to Indiana in 2010 but backed away from his verbal last August. He now is focusing on six schools at the next level, Kentucky, Butler, Duke, Florida, Louisville and UCLA.
He does not expect to make a decision on a college until after his senior season.
“(Recruiting) has really slowed down since I narrowed it down to the top six,” Lyles said. “I haven't talked to a lot of coaches since I haven't been playing, but no one is really standing out above anyone right now.
“Everybody is equal.”
Lyles looked as smooth Friday as he did for Arsenal Tech before suffering a left knee injury in sectional play. He was able to cut and get to the basket with relative ease and showed no ill effects from the injury, especially when elevating around the basket.
Lyles said he was not concerned with any post-injury jitters after suffering the first major injury of his playing career.
“I am so eager to get back out there I am not too worried about (re-injury),” Lyles said. “If I feel something I will stop, if not I am going to keep going.”
Lyles admits he may be a tad out of game shape after not playing in a game for nine weeks. It may take a bit to get his conditioning back to pre-injury levels and be able to be 100 percent comfortable.
“I definitely was in the weight room a lot when I was down, and when I got better I was able to work on my shot and hands,” Lyles said. “I know I am not going to be in the best shape out there at first, I just need to get back into it.”
His goals remain the same as he hits the summer AAU circuit.
“I want to try to become the No. 1 player in the country,” Lyles said. “I want to showcase my abilities and play my hardest.”