Freshman center Trayvon Reed is expected to compete for playing time at center, but will miss the next 8-12 weeks with a broken ankle. (Mandatory Credit: Tug Haines/City of Basketball Love)

The Potential Is There With Trayvon Reed

 

On Saturday, I traveled down to the Philadelphia suburb of Rosemont to see Maryland 2014 commits Jared Nickens (Westtown School) and Trayvon Reed (Life Center Academy). Westtown (PA) was facing Life Center Academy (NJ) in the Kobe Bryant Classic, which pitted the two future Terrapin teammates against one another. I did some scouting of Nickens and Reed, along with 2015 targets Georgios Papagiannis (C, Westtown) and Malik Ellison (G, Life Center Academy). I’ll have scouting reports on Reed, Papagiannis, and Ellison in the coming days. Next up is Reed.

Big man Trayvon Reed can be described as somewhat of a raw prospect. However, that doesn’t mean that his potential isn’t through the roof.

Reed displayed many of his key strengths in a losing effort for Life Center Academy on Saturday afternoon. The future Terrapin scored six points while grabbing nine rebounds and a blocking a shot against Westtown.

While it wasn’t an eye-popping performance by any stretch, Reed seemed to play much better as the game went on.

At first glance, you wonder how Reed will fare against top competition given his thin frame. However, the Life Center Academy star has a clear post presence and knows what to do down low.

The weight is definitely a concern with Maryland being Big Ten bound come July, but Reed is hard at work to shed that label.

“I went in at 218 and now I’m at 232,” Reed said. “It’s a big difference. Lifting weights help since I live right across the street from the gym, so I’m in the gym 24/7. I’ve just been working, trying to get bigger for next year. I know when I get there (Maryland) in the summer, I’m going to get even bigger.”

Reed is an extremely athletic big man that runs the floor very well. His athleticism is quite impressive and was displayed as he caught a beautiful alley oop, which he slammed home with authority. He is a long and lanky defender that can guard the paint pretty well.

The Georgia native did have one of his toughest assignments to date in having to keep Westtown center Georgios Papagiannis under wraps. Papagiannis did most of his damage in the fourth quarter, which Reed didn’t play much of due to foul trouble.

Reed only had one block, but altered several shots. That’s a pretty solid accomplishment with the talented guards that Westtown has in Jared Nickens and Jair Bolden.

Shot blocking is one of his strongest qualities as evident in his play this season for Life Center Academy. Any opposing shot that is lofted towards the rim is in danger of being swatted away when Reed is stationed in the paint. If you’ve never seen Reed play, just search for his highlight reels on YouTube and you’ll be truly amazed.

Another attribute that really stands out is his ability to rebound. Reed uses his large frame to take command of the paint and get in great position for rebounds. One of the Terps biggest weaknesses is their inability to clog the paint, so the addition of Reed next season will be a welcome sight.

“I know I can bring toughness and a defensive presence right away,” Reed said of what he can bring to Maryland next season.

Overall, Reed played a remarkable game despite not putting up gaudy numbers.

The only instances in which Reed didn’t impress on defense were against some of the smaller Westtown guards. Once he gets more comfortable with a larger frame, Reed may be able to get stops against quicker perimeter players. On the other hand, Westtown has some of the best guard play in the Philadelphia area.

The offensive part of his game looks to be where Reed needs the most improvement. The seven-footer does have a few nice post moves and can sky above the rim with the best of them. As was mentioned above, Reed has the athleticism to throw any dunk down. That’s mostly what he seemed to do against Westtown and did so with extreme fluidity and enthusiasm.

While his offensive repertoire may need a little work, Reed has a great teacher in former NBA player Pervis Ellison. Ellison averaged 9.5 points-per-game and 6.7 rebounds-per-game over the course of his 11-year career. He played for the Sacramento Kings, Washington Bullets, Boston Celtics, and Seattle SuperSonics before retiring after the 2000 season. That type of experience can be a huge blessing for a player with the potential of Reed.

“It’s a good experience because he (Ellison) is teaching me things that I never knew. My first full year of basketball was my sophomore year, so I’m not really adjusted to the game. I feel like I’m maturing with him.”

Reed should see solid minutes from the moment he steps foot on the College Park campus. As we’ve seen throughout this season, the Terps have struggled to get production from their interior players. Guys like Evan Smotrycz and Charles Mitchell aren’t rim protectors like Reed is. Even if the offensive aspect of his game isn’t there, Reed will still see minutes based on his defensive prowess and athleticism. It may be a work in progress, but coach Mark Turgeon seems to have a way with transforming big men into talented collegiate players and even NBA players.

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Tags: Life Center Academy Maryland Terrapins Trayvon Reed Westtown School

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