It's Cats over Cards for 5-star Trey Lyles

Five-star Indianapolis power forward Trey Lyles, the top-rated player at his position in the Class of 2014, announced Tuesday afternoon that he'll be playing for John Calipari at Kentucky.

If Kentucky head coach John Calipari is to notch his sixth-consecutive No. 1 recruiting class since arriving in Lexington, Tuesday went a long way toward helping make it possibe.

Five-star Indianapolis power forward Trey Lyles, the top-rated player at his position in the Class of 2014, announced during a live ceremony on ESPNU that he will sign with the Wildcats.

The 6-foot-9, 240-pound Lyles picked UK over Louisville on his 18th birthday in one of the first major head-to-head recruiting battles between Calipari and the Cardinals' Rick Pitino.

"Just because of Coach Cal's record with players like me, what he's able to do with guys such as myself, and just getting us to that stage that we want to be at, which for me is the NBA," Lyles said of his decision.

"I want to be an all-star, and he's had a lot of guys who have been able to step up on that stage and become all-stars in the NBA. His overall pitch to me was just perfect."

The one-time Indiana Hoosier commitment had also considered offers from Florida, UCLA, Georgetown and Butler. His play style has been compared by some analysts to a former Duke and current Chicago Bulls power forward Carlos Boozer.

"Where Lyles is impressive is on the offensive end," said FOX Sports national basketball analyst Evan Daniels. "He's arguably the most skilled power forward in the 2014 class. He can score in a variety of ways both facing the rim and with his back to the basket.

"Lyles has great touch around the basket and a variety of moves on the block. His shot is consistent from both mid-range and from three off the catch."

Lyles, who recently attended Big Blue Madness, gives UK four players on the commitment board for 2014. He joins five-star New Jersey center/forward Karl Towns Jr., four-star Chicago point guard Tyler Ulis and four-star Mississippi shooting guard Devin Booker.

Since being named UK's head coach in 2009, Calipari has now landed 21 five-star commitments.

The addition of Lyles pushed the Wildcats to the No. 1 spot in the Scout and FOX Sports Next national team recruiting rankings, jumping ahead of North Carolina and Ohio State.

"With the Lyles pick up, Kentucky currently has the best recruiting class in the country," Daniels said. "Their two post players are both skilled and effective scoring weapons inside, to go with two multi-year guards that can help them right away. Great group for the Cats."

Two major UK targets have yet to make their college decisions. Five-star California small forward Stanley Johnson and five-star Texas center Myles Turner are the top 2014 prospects still thought to be seriously considering the Wildcats at this stage in their recruitments.

Jeff Drummond has covered University of Kentucky sports for daily newspapers, magazines and online publications since 1988 and for FOX Sports since 2012. A Richmond, Ky., native, he currently resides in Lexington.

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