Reyshawn Watch: Day 2 in Houston

HOUSTON – Reyshawn Terry is here. There's Andre Gould on the R.J. Reynolds bench. But where's Chris Paul? Where's the (Kappa) Magic? And where's the dominant RJR of old?

Not to bring up guys who are going to (gasp!) somewhere other than Carolina – especially not another ACC school! – but dig in for a second here.

Everything at the Academy National Invitational has been a chore for Howard West's now 5-2 Demons from Winston. This whole Swoosh-sponsored affair has been downright laborious for the three-time defending 4A state champions.

And for their UNC-bound wing.

For the year-round hoop hound – for anyone who watched the Gould-coached Kappa kids play their way to an AAU national championship – the scene this week just screams for Paul, the baby-faced Wake Forest signee, a born leader who has a tank-full of that something-or-other that makes some point guards extra special.

As for Terry, he's more of a follower, a potentially fine piece to a potentially fine puzzle. There's nothing at all wrong with that, of course. The Tar Heel-to-be does have a number of qualities that make him the promising prospect he is. Of that there's no question.

He's long, he's active (when he wants to be), and he can do a lot of things well enough to pose a bunch of different problems for different kinds of opponents – and that's why he's a Top 35 type of signee.

"He has his good days and his bad days," Demons boss Howard West said Saturday. "He's the kind of kid who wants to do well and wants to win. Sometimes he loses perspective and tries to do too much. He's definitely very talented, though."

But …

Terry's like most young athletes: He needs something – or, even better, someone – to make him go. And that's what Paul does so well in circuit ball.

He seems to just know when Reyshawn needs what. And how. He pushes the right buttons, so to speak, massaging the proper pressure points when necessary.

By no means is this meant to be a sideswipe at Reynolds guards Justin Henderson and Frank Brown – that's neither here nor there, and it has more to do with Terry than it does them – but there's clearly something missing at this juncture.

Not to say that lets Terry off the hook. Ultimately, though, this is going to have to be about him – and him only.

"He's got to do it himself," said Gould, an off-the-court father figure of sorts. "There's nothing we can do. It's not up to me. It's not up to Coach West. The only thing I can do is make sure he does what's right."

And he didn't on Saturday morning.

For the stat fan, Terry tallied two points, three rebounds, two turnovers, a steal and a foul. But it was that foul – a technical – that kept him on the bench for most of the final three quarters of the Demons' 56-51 win over Memphis power Booker T. Washington.

He threw an elbow at BTW's Andre Allen – one directed not so secretively at the guard's noggin – and he got caught. And he found himself on the bench.

With the exception of a brief cameo in the third quarter – he was actually put into the game by accident – that was it for Terry on the day.

"I have a policy about that," West explained. "Other coaches might've put him back in the game to try to win. A game isn't worth that to me. It's something I've done since my first year as a head coach. This is high school basketball. It's a learning experience."

"It wasn't because of the elbow," Gould added. "It was because of the blatant elbow. You can't do that. You can't defame our program like that."

But say this much for Terry: Even with all that time spent on the bench, he didn't turn sullen, and he didn't get indignant. What he did was cheer on his teammates and clap his hands and yell out encouragement.

And that's the crux of the matter: Reyshawn Terry isn't a standard-issue sourpuss. He's not a sourpuss at all. He's just a complex character and a hot-and-cold hoopster. He's high-maintenance, is what he is.

It's Reynolds' issue right now. But it's going to be Matt Doherty's issue. And Raymond Felton's. And Rashad McCants'. Because Chris Paul's going to be doing his thing an hour and a half down I-40.

"I'll be honest," West said. "Before he goes to Carolina, Matt and I will have a talk. I do that with every player of mine. I'll explain everything – every facet of their being. That's just the way I think it should be done."

As well as the way it'll need to be done with Terry.

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