A Performer at Heart

Trey Lewis. Photo courtesy of Louisville Athletics

Trey Lewis. Photo courtesy of Louisville Athletics

Trey Lewis is one of two “one and done” players on the UofL roster. Lewis, who graduated from Cleveland State University, is the second leading scorer for the No. 22 Cards, averaging 14.1 points per game. He scored 21 points in their 71-67 loss at now No. 1 Michigan State on December 2. Lewis is originally from Garfield Heights, Ohio, and started his college career at Penn State. He played one season for the Nittany Lions before playing two at Cleveland State. He is getting his master’s at UofL in education. Lewis plays the piano and even gave an impromptu performance during his recruiting visit last spring. The Cards host Eastern Michigan on Saturday at 2 p.m.

You scored 24 points against UofL last year in the KFC Yum! Center. How much did that experience weigh into your decision to come here?
Coming to Louisville has been an awesome experience for me. Just the whole journey getting here. I had a great game at the Yum! Center, but I never knew that it would be possible to be here at this school now. It’s a great opportunity.

When did it get into your mind to go the fifth year route and come to Louisville?
My focus was on helping my team at Cleveland State get to tournament, and once that didn’t happen, I just had to sit and evaluate my options. Once I got my release, I began talking to coach Kenny Johnson, and he reached out to me. I was able to come on a visit and meet Coach P. and hear about his vision for me and how much he wanted me. That made me feel unbelievable to be a part of something like this. Playing here, I had a chance to see the amazing fans and the tradition and the culture. That’s something that I had never experienced and something that I had been dreaming about since I was a kid. Playing in that type of atmosphere and playing in these big-time games, that’s all I can ask for.

How important is getting to the NCAA tournament?
That’s the goal; that’s where I want to be. That’s where we’re going to be.

What did you learn about your team in the four-point loss at now No. 1 Michigan State?
I learned a lot about our guys. That was the type of competition that we’re going to see throughout the year with our tough schedule. One thing I saw is that we compete. I knew that about the guys, but it’s good to see us get out there and compete at that level. Obviously, we have young guys on this team, and we’re going to make some mistakes, but one thing you’ll never question is the way we go out there and fight.

How important was it to show that you weren’t satisfied with losing a close one at Michigan State and then respond by beating Grand Canyon by 48?
We expected to go to Michigan State and win that game. A lot of people were giving us pats on the back, but we don’t want that credit. We expected to win that game. We had a bad taste in our mouth. We needed no motivation after losing a game like that. We just wanted to respond.

What will Deng Adel add when he returns to the court?
That’s what’s scary about this team. We’re playing well right now, but when Deng gets back, he brings a whole different element to our team. He’s out best transition player. He’s super strong; he can guard bigger guards. He can guard the post as well.

When you were a kid and you took piano lessons, did you enjoy it?
I hated it growing up, but as I got older, I learned to appreciate it.

Is that a way for you to get away from basketball and relax?
Sometimes when coach yells at us in practice, I just have to get the stress out somehow, so I play.

Were you nervous when Coach had you play at Jeff Ruby’s during your recruiting visit?
I played “The Phantom of the Opera.” I was a little nervous because he put me on the spot, but when it’s time to perform you’ve got to perform.

How many songs can you play?
I can play anything from classical music to R&B songs to a little jazz. VT