The first quarter against Greene Central was a great example of why Kinston wins so many games and why coach Wells Gulledge loves Reggie Bullock so much.
When you look at Bullock's stat line in the first quarter, it's OK but entirely forgettable. He was 1-for-2 from the field, making a three-pointer from the left wing two minutes into the game and missing another three-pointer from the right wing two minutes later. But what you notice when you look beyond the stat line is Bullock's ability to play within an offense.
Greene Central started out in a box-and-one defense with the intent of taking away Bullock. Most high school players in Bullock's situation would've ignored the defense and fired away. But Bullock took what the defense gave him, hit the open man and kept moving.
Kinston is one of the best passing teams in the state and Bullock is a big part of that. His willingness to trust his teammates allowed the Vikings to go on a 12-2 run to end the quarter and build a nine-point lead.
Kinston 21, Greene Central 12|
Bullock's 1st Quarter Stats - 3 points, 1-2 FG, 1-2 3FG
Perhaps the most exciting thing you take away from watching Bullock play is how good he is and how much room he still has to grow. Right now, Bullock is a top 15 player in America but he's still realizing just how big he is and how he can use his frame – especially defensively.
In the second quarter against Greene Central, Kinston switched in and out of a one-three-one sagging press with Bullock at the top. Bullock was able to use his length to cause a lot of problems and was an asset at that spot. He's still learning how to get into that extra gear on defense but the potential is definitely there.
Two minutes into the quarter, Bullock was subbed out with his team up 25-12, sitting for nearly four minutes. Bullock re-entered the game with Kinston up 33-16 with 2:41 left.
Bullock didn't waste any time upon re-entering, missing a three pointer just three seconds in. Forty-five seconds later, he scored his first points of the quarter, getting an easy lay-in off a scrum for the ball.
It might not sound like a skill but Bullock has a knack for being in the right place at the right time for loose balls. He crashes the boards hard for a guard and comes away with a lot of garbage baskets as a result.
With 32 seconds left in the half, Bullock finished an alley-oop on a fast break, pushing his total to four points for the quarter and seven for the half. Kinston closed the quarter on a 14-2 run in the last 3:21, extending its lead to 28.
Kinston 46, Greene Central 18|
Bullock's 2nd Quarter Stats - 4 points, 2-3 FG, 0-1 3 FG
Bullock has the skill of knowing when to defer, but he also knows when to turn it on.
Greene Central switched from the box-and-one back to a zone in the third and it didn't take long for Bullock to pick up on it. He got out on transition, led the break and after missing a finger roll, collected the rebound and put it back in. On the next possession, he hit a catch-and-shoot three-pointer from the left wing.
Bullock picked up two more points on a fast-break dunk 1:45 later, giving him seven points in the first three minutes of the quarter.
Over the next two minutes, Bullock was 1-for-3 with a missed three-pointer, missed put-back and finally hit a beautiful step back three-pointer from the left corner. He finished the third with a rebound and put back, giving him 12 points for the quarter as the Kinston lead ballooned to as high as 40.
Bullock has obviously gotten stronger in the last eight months and it's helped him become a more aggressive player on offense. He's able to crash the boards a lot harder and finish more consistently.
You have to give Bullock a lot of credit for his basketball IQ in this quarter. He realized with the defensive switch that this was his time to make a push and he did. It was an extremely efficient quarter for an already efficient scorer.
Kinston 71, Greene Central 33|
Bullock's 3rd Quarter Stats - 12 points 5-9 FG, 2-3 3FG
Bullock started the fourth on the bench with his team up big. At the 5:49 mark, he came in for a quick two-minute stint.
In his two minutes, Bullock didn't take any shots but he did give a great microcosm of his defensive abilities in the fourth. Just a few seconds into his brief stint, Bullock used his athleticism to cut off the baseline on a drive and force a defender out of bounds and into a turnover.
Two possessions later, Bullock got caught not paying attention and was beat baseline and picked up a foul under the basket.
Bullock has every physical tool he'll need to be a great defender at the next level but he does have momentary lapses of focus. Once he gets the right mentality for defense, he'll be a good one. Of course against Greene Central, it was understandably hard to stay focused with such a big lead.
Bullock came out at the 3:38 mark with his team up 38.
Kinston 85, Greene Central 44|
Bullock's 4th Quarter Stats - 0 points 0-0 FG, 0-0 3FG
Bullock's Final Game Stats – 19 points 8-14 FG, 3-6 3FG
On his and his team's unselfishness early in the game
"He's always been that way. These guys growing up have been really unselfish. There are times when we'd like to see them make one more pass but I told them at halftime, I was as proud of them tonight as we've been all year because we did make the extra pass. It's a lot of fun to play (this way). You can see it on their faces." – Wells Gulledge
On his 12-point third quarter
"I just knew I had to pick it up. They went back into a zone and I love to see zones. Any time I see a zone, that's my bread and butter – or even if it's a man to man. I just hate when teams run triangle and two, box and one, just because you have to run around every where." – Reggie Bullock
On his defensive ability
"I just know that with my length it's hard to make passes. My coach tells me to keep my arms wide and I've got a 6-foot-9 wing span, so I just go out and play defense and try to get early steals off of it." – Reggie Bullock
"Those are the little things that – just moving his feet, because of his length and his arm span, he can be a great defender and I think he will once he gets out on the passing lanes and challenges ball reversals and those types of things, not taking any time off. That's when he'll become a great defender." – Wells Gulledge
On his rebounding
"It was tough tonight because we were in a box and you're a better rebounder in a zone anyway. In the man-to-man, a lot of times you'll see him come through there. He's averaged a double-double almost the entire year. He's only had three games the entire year that he hasn't had a double-double." – Wells Gulledge