For the next four days the grassroots basketball world rotates around the city of Las Vegas. Why not? Sin City has hot tables and hot clubs, but more importantly -- from a scouting standpoint at least -- it has the majority of the nation’s top high school ballers in town for the next few days and that can’t be underrated.
With three major tournaments -- Reebok Big Time, Adidas Super 64, Main Event -- going on at the same time it is hard to catch as many players as you’d like to see. At the same time, no matter which gym you stop in you are guaranteed to see some players and a slew of college coaches watching them.
REED’S STOCK STARTING TO SOAR
He hasn’t even begun his junior year of high school, but Burlington (KS) High guard Tyrel Reed has started to hear from a bevy of colleges. Among the schools who have already shown interest in the 6-2 PG are Kansas, North Carolina, Southwest Missouri State, UNLV, Purdue, Iowa, Missouri, Illinois, TCU, Creighton and several more.
After an impressive 26 point outing against the Seattle Rotary Select 16’s, Reed admitted that there were a few schools who had taken the early lead.
“North Carolina, Kansas, Southwest Missouri State, UNLV and Wichita State are my early favorites,” said Reed. “Everybody sends mail, but they’ve made a lot of contact with me and have actually been to my games.”
The son of a coach, Reed is a heady point guard who runs the show, finds his teammates and makes jumpers when needed. While he may not be a jaw-dropping athlete, he is more athletic than given credit for and will even sneak in the occasional tip dunk.
“I think I compete, play hard, I can shoot and I’m a heady player,” Reed told Phog.net. “I could work on my ball-handling, strength and getting a little quicker defensively.”
Although it is still early in the recruiting process, Reed has been putting some thought into what type of program he’s looking for. He isn’t near a decision, but he is starting to break things down.
“The types of players that they’re getting, I don’t want to play with a bunch of jerks, and I’m also looking at the type of player they have at my position and what they’ve done with him,” said Reed. “For instance, Kirk Hinrich wasn’t that known out of high school but look at him now. The coach and the type of program they’ve had in the past and if they’re know for winning is important.”
As for Kansas’ involvement in his recruitment, Reed has been going to basketball camp at KU since he was a little kid and the Jayhawks -- who sent Joe Dooley to watch him on Friday -- figure to play a prominent role in his decision should they offer.
“You always watch them on TV and when you see everybody at games or in the gym when you’re playing,” said Reed. “It’s what everybody talks about, Kansas basketball.”
OTHER KANSAS TARGETS IN VEGAS
Julian Vaughn - For whatever reason, the 6-10 BF from Reston (VA) South Lakes has gone relatively un-discussed on the Kansas radar, but maybe he deserves a little more attention. The 2007 stud can shoot all the way out to 22 feet, is a skilled low post scorer, runs the floor and finds a way to stand out on a DC Assault team with much more advertised players -- for instance Mike Beasley and Nolan Smith -- without playing like a complete ball-hog. He drew assistants Joe Dooley and Tim Jankovich in his two games today and Bill Self should be stopping by before the weekend ends.
Travis Releford - While Joe Dooley dropped in to see Tyrel Reed, his visit to KC Pump ‘N Run’s 16 U game also gave him a chance to see the 2008 star. All Releford did was play like his usual self in a solid 16 point, seven rebound and six assist effort. A lot of times you see young guys who rely on jacking shots or monstrous athleticism to get the job done but that isn’t Releford’s game. He plays with pace, control, poise and has turned into a good enough playmaker that it isn’t a stretch to see him playing some point down the road. He also had Illinois and Iowa trailing him on Friday. An anonymous asst. coach was overheard saying “I’d adopt that kid to get him, but I don’t know if that would be enough.”
Thaddeus Young - Not a vintage Young effort on Friday. He made big plays at the end of the game to help secure a victory but wasn’t altogether impressive over the course of a game. Granted he’s still recovering from a bum ankle but that doesn’t excuse him taking off several long stretches earlier in the game. The pressure to be “Thaddeus Young” is only going to grow more intense and it will be interesting to see how he handles it.
Darrell Arthur - We weren’t able to stop by for his game, but Slim Shady supposedly put on a show during his first game of the day. He arrived late but finished strong according to some well placed sources We’ll catch him later on in the weekend.