Burlington (Kan.) High
The single most important thing that needs to be pointed out about Reed is that he's a winner. Since he first donned a Burlington jersey in the seventh grade, he's only lost one game on the middle school or high school level. He's already got one state championship on his resume and with his team currently ranked No. 1 in Kansas class 3A, Reed is on track and hungry for state title No. 2. He doesn't just win in high school either as he and his KC Pump ‘N Run 16-and-under team won a handful of titles during the summer, including the 16 U division of the Adidas Super 64 in Las Vegas last July.
Now, let's focus on what it is about his game that allows him to be such a winner. For Reed, it all starts with his fundamental soundness. He uses the dribble not to showboat, but to get exactly where he needs to go and in the most direct way possible. He's a crisp passer who rarely forces things and he always plays with his head up. If you watch him on defense, he always sees the man and the ball and he is very intent on keeping his opponent in front of him and uses quick hands to create steals.
What really separates Reed is that he is a dangerous scorer
So we know that he can handle, dish and play defense, but what really separates Reed is that he is a dangerous scorer. There are plenty of other point guards who can score on the high school level, but often times it is almost exclusively off of the dribble drive and they need a lot of shots to put up numbers. What makes Reed so dangerous is that he is a very good shooter from beyond the three-point line and he's got an absolutely lethal mid-range game. Pressure him and he'll shot fake you or use a quick crossover to blow by you, right or left, and pull up to bank home a pretty jumper from 15 feet. When the game is on the line, he's not afraid to take a shot and he's constantly communicating with his teammates.
Basically, Reed is the type of kid who has a key to every gym within driving distance and he's going to spend every available second he has improving his game. Tell him he can't do something, and he's going to do everything he can to prove you wrong. It shows in his record on the court and it shows in his record in the classroom where he is also the top-ranked student in his class.
As successful as Reed has been on the high school level, the level of competition that he faces is a great concern to many. He's expected to dominate, which he does, but the bigger the question is how much can he improve against small-school Kansas competition. In some respects, that is a valid concern because Reed is good enough that he could toy with defenders on a nightly basis. However, he faces every junk defense known to man and is learning that he has to take the game to opponents.
In the past, Reed has been content to let the action come to him and not to force anything. He doesn't lack for any aggression and he certainly plays hard, but learning to attack and go for his opponents heart from the opening tip is something that people would like to see a little more of.
He faces every junk defense known to man
The other areas that most are going to point to are his athletic ability. Many say he's not quick enough laterally or that he lacks explosiveness. He's certainly not Stephon Marbury, but he's also a much better athlete than given credit for. A little more quickness and decisiveness of the dribble wouldn't hurt, though. He also needs to add more strength in both his upper and lower body. He spends a lot of time with a personal trainer in the offseason, so it is clear that he's dedicated to making himself as quick and strong as possible.
Reed is a natural point guard who will undoubtedly play that position on the college level. But, because of his 6-3 size and ability to shoot the ball it won't be a surprise if his future college coach uses him off of the ball as well in order to maximize his ability.
It's tough to project exactly where Reed ranks among the country's best right now, but he's certainly a top 75 prospect, at minimum, nationally. It wouldn't be a surprise for him to emerge as a legit top 50 prospect as people see more of him and he matches up with more well known players in the spring and summer of ‘06.
Tyrel Reed is driven to maximize his potential and there are few players in the country who can match his focus, work ethic and ability. Ask any coach who has seen him play and they will tell you that he is the type of guy you have to have on your team in order to win. He's sure to rise in national prominence (as more scouts and analysts see him on the AAU circuit in the coming months), but how much so remains to be seen. One thing is for sure, he isn't the type of kid that you want to bet against.