Seven-footers don't need much time to make their presence known on the hardwood. In fact, that phenomenon occurs each time they walk through the door.
Such was the case for Trayvon Reed, who emerged as a freshman and immediately held the rapt attention of college coaches. His career didn't explode as did that of the elite big men in the 2014 class, but never was there a question about whether he'd receive major conference scholarship offers.
The Georgia native stepped up in competition when he attended the 2012 NBPA Top 100 Camp. Not only were elite 2014s such as Cliff Alexander on hand, many of the nation's top 2013 prospects participated as well. Although Reed mostly was quiet and suffered a severe weight disadvantage, he had his moments and did affect games with his length.
He put together a solid, if not spectacular year at Shiloh and took to the 2013 spring travel circuit. At the Hoop Group Pittsburgh event with Atlanta Xpress, he performed extremely well on defense and firmly implanted in the minds of coaches how he'd likely make his greatest early impact in college.
By late spring, he said that Auburn had been his most loyal suitor. But Maryland made its move in June, jumping into the race and making a very strong push. The Terps took the lead in August, and Reed issued a commitment to Mark Turgeon's program in late August.
Reed is finishing his prep career at Burlington (N.J.) Life Center, before making his way to College Park.
Reed is tall and long, and he's reasonably athletic as well. He elevates for numerous blocked shots and should become a good rebounder over time. His ability to affect games defensively offsets the fact that he can be quiet statistically.
He also runs the court well and, unlike most seven-footers, isn't a liability in an uptempo game. He possesses good coordination and, with experience and strength, might develop into a consistently effective finisher in traffic. After all, his shot release is very difficult for opponents to alter.
He also buries jumpers to 17 feet. It's not a reliable weapon yet, but down the road he could be effective in that offensive role.
Reed is very, very thin. He weighs only 215 pounds and severely lacks lower body strength, making it difficult for him to hold his position inside, finish through contact, rebound or play interior defense. Those are big ticket items for any big man, and how rapidly he gains muscle likely will determine his ability to earn playing time early for the Terrapins.
Meanwhile, he must develop more back to the basket offense as well. His limitations in that area once again owe primarily to strength, but eventually he'll need to have a turnaround jump shot in his arsenal with range to 10 feet. If he can add that, he'll become a well-rounded player.
Reed won't get to college and dominate; he may not even play much as a freshman. That said, centers with that kind of reach and long-term defensive prowess always warrant benefit of the doubt. He's a developmental player, without question, but his natural talent and promise are evident as well.