Bruce Pearl notes that the freshman is making progress. “This is his ninth day so we haven’t even had him for a couple of weeks,” Auburn’s coach says.
“Number one, he is not afraid,” Pearl says on why he is encouraged by Reed’s start as a college player. “Number two, he has already become a crowd favorite and since he is 7-2 and a freshman he can do things that most human beings can’t.
“He has been a good teammate,” Pearl adds. “He has been coachable and likeable. Our guys are glad that he is here. He has a great sense of humor. He makes you laugh and he laughs at himself and he laughs at others. He’s been a good fit from a chemistry standpoint.”
Senior guard K.T. Harrell, the SEC Player of the Week, agrees with Pearl. “He has gotten so much better in such a short amount of time,” Harrell points out. “The way he blocks shots and his timing is crazy. His length and athleticism brings a different dynamic to this team. He is just willing to learn and get better. It helps us out a lot.”
Pearl notes that Reed has a lot to learn and Harrell agrees. “He is confused a little bit,” Harrell says. “I just told him, you can’t think so much. He is still learning. He just needs to go out there and play. Just go out there and block shots and that is what he has been doing. If he can do that and continue to get better, he is going to be a special player.”
Harrell says that he likes the big freshman, but notes he is different. “He is a goofy kid. He is 7-2, but he is goofy and joking around. Having that type of attitude and always being willing to learn is what makes him special.
“He is going to be a heck of player once he understands the game a lot more and understands what his role is in the system,” Harrell predicts. “The way he blocks shots and rebounds and his size, you can’t teach any of that.”
Reed spent fall semester working on his academics at prep school and will begin classes at Auburn in January, but has been eligible since the Tigers’ road game at Clemson.
“He has some confidence and our guys like that,” Pearl says. “Defensively, he has got a real comfort zone. He has got real good instincts, he puts himself in position, which is great as a basket protector and a rim defender. His defense is ahead of his offense so he’s not demanding touches. He is a good patient passer. There’s a lot to work with there.”