Reed Drawing Early UNC Interest

Heading into his junior year at Burlington (Kan.) High, Tyrel Reed isn't exactly a household name in the recruiting world. While his name doesn't appear on any national rankings yet, those who have done their homework know that the 6-3 point guard can play on the high major level. Among the schools involved early is North Carolina, and as it turns out Reed and Roy Williams have known each other for quite some time.

Before Williams left Kansas for North Carolina, Reed's father Stacy -- who doubles as his high school coach -- was working for Williams at his summer basketball camps while Tyrel played in them. That early relationship has fostered some sincere interest.

"From what they've told me, he's one of six juniors that they are really looking at," the elder Reed said. "(Coach Williams) told me point blank that he's only going to call six kids and Ty's one of them."

In fact, the Heels will be traveling out to Burlington during the fall evaluation period to watch Reed. They won't be alone as schools cuh as Kansas, Illinois, Iowa, Stanford and Gonzaga along with a host of others have indicated they'll be making the trip to watch him as well.

Because of his small town background -- Burlington has a population of 2,795 -- Reed has already heard from his fair share of doubters. He uses it as motivation.

"When you are from a small town people think that you won't make it or you won't be good enough," said Reed. "I think there's that bar that people want to set like a limit so you have to play up a level and be even better."

After averaging 18 points, five rebounds and six assists a game as a sophomore, Reed proved he could compete on the national circuit. Playing for Kansas City Pump 'N Run's 16-and-under squad, he led them to a championship at the Adidas Super 64 and also stood out at Adidas' young camp. However, national recognition has eluded him to this point and Reed admits that it bothers him some.

"When you see people getting ranked and getting more rep and you feel that you are better, or have shown you are better than them it motivates you," he said. "But, once you get to college it's all different. Being ranked is only good to a certain point, look at Kirk Hinrich. What was he ranked?"

It isn't surprising that Reed mentions Hinrich because he's already drawn several comparisons to him. From his similar size and look, to the way he can score or run a team. It's a comparison Reed has heard a lot.

"Too many times to count really," said Reed. "That's a great guy to be compared to so if people want to say that I take it as a compliment."

Still very early in the process, Reed hasn't narrowed things down very far. According to his father, schools have trouble getting in touch with him because he's always in the gym - besides, all Tyrel has to say to the coaches calling is that he is looking for somewhere that he'll be able to run.

"I love to run, I'm a point guard and I like to push the ball," said Reed. "I like to make plays and I like to score so I'm looking for a place where I can get out and do that."

For now Reed is focusing on his junior season and working out with a personal trainer three times a week to add strength and improve his lateral quickness. He's also looking forward to speaking with Coach Williams a little more and finding out what else he needs to work on.

"We talked a little when I was younger and he was always saying that I had to work if I wanted to play at this level," said Reed. "Now we've gotten closer and I've gotten comfortable talking to him. He's going to be straightforward with me and tell me the truth, I trust him like that. If I'm not good enough, I hope he'll tell me because it will just make me work harder."

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