Jared Reiner suffered lapses in concentration in his play last year. Remember the old joke about your last blind date; "Her light bulb was on but nobody was home." Only in Jared's case, he was home in Iowa City, but his light bulb was not always on. The competition at his high school in Tripp, South Dakota allowed him to play on cruise control. Do you really think that he had to concentrate when his opponents were six feet three? The big shoe camps never revealed this because they are basically guard camps. Take the ball over the line and look for the twine.
The Big Ten created a whole new world for Jared. He had to have his head in the game at all times. Some players were quicker and stronger. He had to learn how to use that huge frame to his best advantage. Don't get me wrong here, I am a big fan of Jared Reiner's. After all, big men are usually slow to develop. Remember Acie Earl, Brad Lohaus or Les Jepsen as freshmen? How about Matt Bullard? He was so rail thin and weak that Iowa didn't offer the WDM Valley product as a high school senior. Therefore, Matt went to Colorado before transferring to Iowa. Didn't Matt just sign a multi-million dollar deal with the Charlotte Hornets after already playing TEN years in the NBA?
Jared Reiner's light went on in the Big Ten Tournament Title run. He began to grasp what is required in the conference of Big Shoulders.
At Pete Newell's Big Man Camp, Jared was, as they say, a shining light. Not only did he compete in all the drills and instruction during the day, his energizer bunny buddy was still shining well into the night. During the day, he worked out with Chris Mihm, the 7 foot one former All American center from Texas. Chris empathized with Jared because he had just endured a rookie year in the NBA with the Cleveland Cavaliers. At the NBA level, the Texas background was like the Tripp background was to the Big Ten. The instruction didn't end at camp because the two hung out together at night.
Iowa Assistant Coach Rich Walker is responsible for the Iowa big men. Rich is very confident in Jared's future saying, "His development is just a natural evolution. He has to grow into that big frame."
So look for Jared to have renewed confidence, some polished skills and some new moves. But please don't let the rest of the Big Ten know. After all, Mihm's the word.