Swing and a miss for JT3 and the staff this evening as Class of '17 PG Chris Lykes has committed to Miami:
Lykes was targeted by the staff as the point guard of the future for the Hoyas, who now will look elsewhere for an impact player at the 1 spot. Perhaps incoming freshman Jagan Mosley can help ease some of the sting of losing DC native Lykes to a team in Florida, especially when both John Thompson III and new assistant coach Akbar Waheed went to Gonzaga High School, Lykes' alma mater.
Oh well, onto the next one!
Below was our post on Lykes back in January:
Potential Hoya: Chris Lykes
Georgetown Head Coach John Thompson III has had a lot of success as a recruiter, but one area in which the Hoyas have struggled in recent years is in recruiting athletic guards. Chris Lykes, a 5-foot-8 sparkplug from Washington, D.C., is a potential target who could change that trend.
Weight: 155 pounds
Year: High school junior
School: Gonzaga College High School (Washington, D.C.)
Recruiting Profile: Class of 2017
ESPN: 4-star recruit, not in the ESPN Top 100
Rivals: 3-star recruit, not in the Rivals150
247Sports: 3-star recruit, #139 prospect
As unfair as it is, the first thing you notice about Lykes it that he is tiny. Listed at 5-foot-8, Lykes may actually be even shorter than that — he is listed as low as 5-foot-6 on other sites. In a sport where height is often viewed as critically important, Lykes appears to be at an immediate disadvantage compared to his peers.
Well, here's what Chris Lykes thinks of that:
Aside from that astonishing and spectacular series of chase-down blocks, Lykes brings a series of other skills to the table. He is a skilled ball-handler who is adept at navigating tight spaces, an area in which his size can actually be an advantage for him.
In addition, he has a clean release on his jump shot, with range well beyond the high school three-point line. One thing that stands out about Lykes as a shooter is his elevation. He is able to quickly and effortlessly bounce off the floor in order to release his shot over taller defenders. His combination of quickness, shooting ability and ball-handling makes him difficult to contain on the court.
Still, it is hard to ignore the potential negatives of recruiting a 5-foot-8 point guard to the Big East level. With big point guards like Kris Dunn, Billy Garrett Jr., and Edmond Sumner roaming the Big East (yes, those guys may be gone by the time Lykes arrives, but the same types of players will still be around), Lykes might struggle with those types of defensive matchups.
In addition, going up against Big East-caliber big men might prevent Lykes from having the same amount of success near the rim. In high school, he has shown a knack for a series of floaters and crafty scoop shots near the rim, often releasing them a split second before the shot blocker arrives. Still, he would have to adjust his game to deal with Big East shot blockers.
These negatives may sound daunting, but the fact remains that Lykes's height has never stopped him before, even against top high school competition in Washington, D.C. There are a lot of strong positives to Lykes's game that might help him overcome his lack of height at the next level.
As shown by the recruiting rankings above, Lykes is not yet regarded as a top prospect in the Class of 2017, at least by recruiting websites. However, he has dominated the Washington D.C., high school circuit this year with a series of spectacular performances and seems primed to rise in the rankings. His offer list now includes George Washington, Richmond, George Mason, and VCU, and recently he added offers from Georgetown and Villanova.
Georgetown would seem to have a geographical advantage in Lykes's recruitment, as he is a local kid who attends Gonzaga College High School, a primary rival of St. John's College High School, current Georgetown sophomore point guard Tre Campbell alma mater. In addition, John Thompson III himself is a fellow former point guard for Gonzaga, a connection that could only serve the Hoyas well.
Lykes was in attendance at Georgetown's recent loss to Villanova and figures to have several other opportunities to attend games at Verizon Center in the next two years. Although he is only a junior, the Hoyas should be expected to be right in the mix in Lykes's recruitment.
Lykes has lit up the Washington, D.C., high school circuit this year. Here are some of his more memorable performances this year.
34 points against Roman Catholic (Pa.) and 6-foot-4 senior guard and Penn State commit Tony Carr
28 points against St. John's College and 6-foot senior point guard and Maryland commit Anthony Cowan
30 points, including a go-ahead three-pointer in the final minute, against DeMatha and 6-foot-4 senior guard and Washington commit Markelle Fultz and 6-foot-6 junior forward D.J. Harvey, both top 20 recruits in their respective classes
In many cases with recruits, the scouting report is more important than the high school statistics, as it is difficult to determine how a player's game will translate to the college game. In Lykes's case, his height would seem to exacerbate this conundrum, as he would have to deal with players who are even bigger and more athletic.
Still, you cannot ignore the fact that Lykes has been a sensation in Washington D.C., high school basketball. In addition, he displays a number of key traits that could make him a useful player for Georgetown. The Hoyas' offense has stagnated at times in recent weeks, and Lykes is a quick guard who can penetrate defenses and create opportunities for himself and his teammates.
Georgetown's depth at the point guard position is lacking, and the team has spent long stretches operating without a true point guard on the floor. With D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera graduating after this year, that problem would be even larger by the time Lykes arrived on campus. Although the Hoyas have already recruited guards in Jagan Mosely and Tyler Foster who will arrive in the next couple of years, neither of the two are true point guards, and Lykes would not create a logjam at the lead guard position.
When Lykes arrived on campus, he would be part of a backcourt that would feature senior versions of Tre Campbell and L.J. Peak alongside Foster, Mosely, and Kaleb Johnson, assuming no transfers or early departures. He could take on a complementary role early in his career before assuming more responsibilities later on.
"They have told me that I can be a game changer for them because they are looking to change their style of play," he said. "Coach Thompson and his staff want to match the intensity of all the other big east teams in the conference. They want me to come in and be that factor that will change things for them."
I am a big fan of Lykes. When you watch him play, he jumps off the screen, and he brings a different type of explosiveness and excitement that Georgetown's guards have not had in recent years. He would bring a different element to the Georgetown roster, an element that could be particularly useful in breaking press defenses and handling quicker guards in the mold of Creighton's Maurice Watson, Jr.
There's no doubt that Lykes's size could raise question marks at the next level. I hate to keep harping on it, but it would be a big adjustment for him to play against the athleticism of Big East defenders. However, in my opinion, Lykes's skill set, particularly his outside shot and his uncanny ability to release his floater at just the right moment, could allow him to overcome that obstacle at the next level.