Reed Shines, Eager to Join Terps

HYATTSVILLE, Md. -- Trayvon Reed gave the hometown fans a taste of what they can expect next year in College Park, Md., when his Life Center squad traveled down from Burlington, N.J., Dec. 14 for the Holiday Hoops Fest at DeMatha. ... Plus, see Dan Painter's scouting report at the end.

HYATTSVILLE, Md. -- Trayvon Reed gave the hometown fans a taste of what they can expect next year in College Park, Md., when his Life Center squad traveled down from Burlington, N.J., Dec. 14 for the Holiday Hoops Fest at DeMatha. The 7-foot-1, 215-pound four-star Maryland signee poured in 18 points on 6-of-6 shooting, converted four three-point plays, corralled 13 rebounds and blocked a shot. Life Center ended up losing at the buzzer, 66-65, but Reed certainly proved his mettle.

"The loss was difficult to take. We'd been working hard, and we did play hard, but we just didn't get it done," Reed said. "Sometimes that happens.

"But [personally], I felt I did well. In the first half I could have played way better, but I picked it up in the second half, just getting to the rim and rebounding better."

Reed said his game has picked up exponentially since last year, when he attended Shiloh High in Georgia. He said Life Center head coach Pervis Ellison has toughened him up and helped hone his fundamentals.

"Day by day I'm getting there, getting better," Reed said. "It's going real good; I'm playing hard and trying to get ready for college. I've picked it up a lot on defense, and I'm working harder and harder every day. Something I've done way better than last year is rebounding and blocking shots. I've gotten a lot tougher in the pain, and just dominating the rim."

While Reed's game has benefitted from the Life Center move, the adjustment to the school has taken a bit more time. He said the lifestyle in general is just different than what he's used to in Georgia.

"It's way different down south, to be honest. It's just a different atmosphere, different folks," Reed said. "But it's been good. I've got a lot of people here who have showed me around, showed me a good time."

Soon, though, Reed will be heading back south (though not too far) to College Park. He said he's eager to get his college career started and suit up for Mark Turgeon's program.

"I talk to Coach Turgeon and Coach Bino [Ranson] every week," Reed said. "They basically say I'll be OK when I get to college, I just have to pick up weight and I'll fit in well in their system. Mainly they stay on me about my grades and just being focused in school, and then just staying in the weight room and getting better all-around. They can't wait for me to get there."

Who could blame them? Maryland's frontcourt hasn't played up to expectations this year, especially on the defensive end. With Alex Len off to the NBA, the Terps have lacked a true rim protector, which is something Reed specializes in.

"Most definitely, I think I can come in and make an impact. I think I can have a big impact defensively right away," Reed said. "I feel like just looking at the frontcourt, I can help them there."

Reed went on to say that Maryland's had a rather schizophrenic year so far. He's watched most of the games and described the team as "up and down."

"They've had some problems, but they've played well too," Reed said. "I talk to the guys [on the team], and I tell them to keep going hard and they'll get there. I feel like they're going to be fine."

Reed, who committed to Maryland during his official visit Aug. 22, hasn't been to a Terps game this year, though he plans to attend a couple prime ACC matchups. He was last in College Park for the team's Midnight Madness event, which gave Reed an opportunity to connect with the rest of the Terps' 2014 class, while reconnecting with the coaches and current players.

"It was real cool, it was a great atmosphere and I enjoyed it. I got to see all the other guys [in the 2014 class] and that was cool to see them all," Reed said. "I talked to Dez [Wells], Nick Faust, and they were good. They stay in touch, tell me to go hard and get ready for next year."

The Georgian hadn't had a chance to see Melo Trimble, Jared Nickens or Dion Wiley play yet, but he got his first glimpse of the latter guard Dec. 14. Wiley's Potomac squad played a couple hours after Life Center, allowing Reed to see his future teammate in action.

"It's great to check Dion out; he can shoot, that's for sure," Reed said. "I haven't see [the 2014 Terps class] in a good bit, so it's good to see him. But I text those guys all the time, and we joke about how next year we're all going to come in, make an impact and try to help the Terps win it all next year.

"It's a great class we have coming in. With Dion, Melo, Jared, those guys can all shoot, and then me inside for defense, that's a tough, tough class right there. It should be real good. I'm excited."

***

Dan Painter's Scouting Report

Player: Trayvon Reed
Height: 7-1
Weight: 225 pounds
School: Life Center Academy (Burlington, N.J.)
Venue: DeMatha HS (vs. St. James School)

Athleticism: Reed is still quite thin, though the upper body is developing nicely. He's a fluid athlete, who goes end to end very well. He's coordinated and LONG.

Shooting: For the most part, it's all 5 feet and in right now. He's got fairly nice form from the line, but you won't see Reed shooting jumpers, and he'll have to develop at least one go-to move before he gets to college. Reed is still quite raw offensively.

Ball-handling: Similar to his jump shooting, you won't see him putting it on the deck too often. He simply doesn't get many touches.

Passing Hard to gauge...as we said, very few offensive touches.

Rebounding: The big guy was out of position on occasion, but for the most part he rebounded well (13 boards against St. James) -- and with authority.

Defense: At a legit 7-1 with long arms and good lift, the Georgian is going to be a factor in college on the defensive end of the court, and the Terps badly need that right now. What he'll have to avoid is swiping down on the shooter though, instead of staying vertical and keeping his arms up. Fouls can be a problem if that is not corrected.

Intangibles: To his credit, Reed doesn't try to do anything he is not yet capable of doing. He played hard and within himself versus St. James, and had excellent numbers (shooting 6-for-6 from the floor), while dominating the boards. Reed seems to want to be a better player, and with Pervis Ellison as his coach, it will be interesting to see how he progresses during his senior year.

Summary: Make no mistake, Trayvon Reed still has a long way to go before coming a dominant collegiate basketball player. But there is no denying his physical gifts. He runs very well, has a good feel for the defensive end of the court, and as we said, doesn't try to do things he can't. He'll need to work on his offense, and his body, but he has lots of upside, and some God-given tools that few his size possess. I'd expect him to get some minutes next year, since Maryland is lacking anyone who can alter shots in the paint.

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