TSMD got a chance to catch up with Trayvon Reed after his team’s (Life Center Academy) against St. James at the National High School Hoops Festival in Hyattsville, Md. Reed, a 7’2 center and Maryland 2014 commit out of Snellville, Georgia, finished with 18 points on the day and a few blocked shots for Life Center during a last second 66-65 loss. We got a chance to speak with Reed about the adjustment period moving from Georgia to Burlington, New Jersey, where he his now playing his high school basketball under the tutelage of former first round, first overall pick and fellow big man Pervis Ellison.
Ed. Note: The first half of this interview was conducted by Scott Greene over at Terrapin Sports Report (Rivals), we’ve since removed his portion and have only ours.
On how he sees himself fitting in with this Maryland team offensively and defensively:
“I see myself fitting well. I know I have to pick up some weight next year going into college, stuff like that. My offense will get better once I gain weight. Defensively, just going after every blocked shot and rebound.”
On the impact he can make for Maryland his first year:
“Big impact. I know I’ll be a big impact defensively once I get there.”
As a whole, the story on Trayvon Reed is the same as it ever was. The minute he walks into virtually any gym in the world, Reed is going to be one of the two tallest guys on the floor at all times. His wingspan is longer than any prospect I have ever seen, and that includes Alex Len and Nerlens Noel. His size (vertically) at least, is 100% legitimate; he’s at least 7’1 without shoes.
There’s no question in my mind that on the defensive end, he’ll contribute immediately. There is nothing in basketball quite like having a seven-footer with length defend the paint, as Maryland is starting to realize with the departure of Alex Len. Reed loves to block shots, and will go after any ball that comes close to the paint; none are safe from that length. He’s also a solid defensive rebounder who stays in the paint and, should he jump, will assuredly come down with the rebound. He plays the angles well enough, and while his positioning could use some work, with his size it’s hard to be in a bad spot.
Of course, the obvious aspect of his game that is lacking is his offense, most of which stems from his weight. Reed might weigh 220 pounds, and until he adds more muscle to his frame, he’s going to have a hard time getting position in the paint on the offensive end. Since he doesn’t have a developed jumper, he is reliant on cuts to the basket and dunks to score almost all of his points (he’s automatic from three feet in, literally). He may even have post moves, but without strength to back down a defender, that ability will be lost and his absence of strength will be more evident at the college level.
The good news is that Maryland (and Mark Turgeon) have a history of molding big men in the weight room into very competent players on the floor. Alex Len and Reed probably weighed exactly the same heading into college; DeAndre Jordan had a similar issue at Texas A&M; Shaquille Cleare and Charles Mitchell trimmed the fat and added pure muscle. With Maryland’s strength and conditioning regimen and top-notch facilities, it’s hard to envision Reed being skinny for much longer. Once he hits campus, the development will begin. Will he be able to start right away? Probably not. But as a project player, Reed has as much upside as any.