Indiana loads up on high school freshmen

If the NCAA is indeed serious about its proposal to ban early scholarship offers, Tom Crean is beating it to the punch.

Indiana has picked up its second verbal commitment for the class of 2014, with forward Trey Lyles joining guard James Blackmon Jr. as in-state recruits deciding to become Hoosiers before even beginning their high school playing careers.

The two are AAU teammates, with ESPNU ranking Blackmon as the No. 6 overall recruit in the class and Lyles at No. 56. The Herald-Times reported that Lyles committed during an unofficial visit to campus Sunday.

"It is what Trey wanted to do," said Tom Lyles, his father. "He has been talking about it for a while. I had told him, 'No, you don't want to do that for a while.' But he was adamant. Me and him and his mom talked about it and he proved positive that he wanted to play for coach Crean and IU."

Trey Lyles is 14 years old and 6-foot-9, according to the Indianapolis Star, with his commitment coming after the 15-year-old Blackmon gave his pledge earlier this month.

Is this a smart decision by all parties? Crean could see his aggressiveness pay off if he has successfully identified and sold his program to top talents at an early stage. The kids did stake their claim to free educations.

Or is it all too much, too soon with puberty and the pressure to live up to expectations colliding? The NCAA is looking into banning scholarship offers to recruits until the summer before their senior years in high school, though it's unclear how that could be enforced.

Time will tell how things will play out, and there's plenty of it before either prodigy puts pen to paper and signs with Indiana.