WESTFIELD, Ind. - Chris Lykes is no stranger to top competition.
During the high school season Lykes, a three-star point guard from Washington D.C., plays for Gonzaga in the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference, one of the toughest high school leagues in the country. Come travel season, Lykes plays with Team Takeover on the EYBL circuit.
Lykes returned to Team Takeover this spring as a veteran for a final run through the AAU schedule. He expects to emerge tested against the best players in the country.
“This is my second year of EYBL,” Lykes said. “It’s been a great experience playing against the best competition out here. You want to go out and prove that you deserve what you’re getting, accolades and recognition and stuff like that. When you come out here and play you just want to give it your all.”
Team Takeover swung back into action Friday during the second session of the EYBL circuit with Lykes taking the majority of minutes at point guard.
Several college coaches watched as part of the spring live period. Lykes, who teams with five-star wing D.J. Harvey with Takeover, played in front of Mike Brey (Notre Dame) and Jim Larranaga (Miami), among others.
Notre Dame, Miami, Georgetown, Villanova and VCU recently made the top five for Lykes.
“I’m closely examining,” Lykes said. “I had those five schools and I’m still open to new schools as well. I’m still open to all the schools … I’m still closely examining all the schools. I want to be done with this before my high school season starts.”
Lykes scored 16 points Friday on 6-of-9 shooting with three steals, one rebound and two assists in front of Brey and the other coaches.
Brey didn’t need to evaluate that performance as much after offering Lykes a scholarship in March, formalizing a relationship that had been in place for some time. Lykes has been in touch with the Irish staff for awhile.
“Coach Brey is a real laid back guy,” Lykes said. “They came in for one of my practices before the WCAC playoffs. They came in with the coaching staff and told me they were gonna offer me a scholarship. We’ve been in touch since here and there. For the most part, he’s a pretty laid back guy.”
During the season, Lykes also kept tabs on the Irish as they made their second straight run to the Elite Eight.
Winning is something he plans to take into consideration.
“For me success is a part of the decision,” Lykes said, “but the style of play is definitely gonna be the biggest factor for me because I can’t go somewhere where it’s a slow style of play and it’s not really gonna fit me as a basketball player.”
In terms of next steps, Lykes hopes to make some official visits in June during a break in the travel basketball schedule. He listed Miami, Notre Dame, Villanova, Virginia and Georgetown as possibilities for those trips.
Right now, however, there might be more suitors than there are slots for official visits.
“I might have to make some decisions because I’ve been to some campuses already,” Lykes said.
Getting on new campuses will be an important step in the comparison process as Lykes starts cutting the list.
“I want to see the campus and how that is,” he said. “If there’s good camaraderie with the players already and how the coaches interact with them. Players, how they’re feeling about the coach and the program. Those are questions I have to ask on the official visit.”