Nothing in a game played at such a fast pace with five parts moving in scripted symmetry and five others trying to disrupt those movements is ever as simple as it seems, but on the surface, it appears nobody will benefit from the addition of freshman Josh Selby more than senior Tyrel Reed.
Selby has the potential to quickly become the Kansas University basketball team’s best penetrator, and Reed is the best pure long-range shooter.
Maybe it’s just a coincidence that Reed set career highs in points (18) and rebounds (seven) in his second game playing alongside Selby, against California, but it didn’t seem that way. They looked to be a pair of guards already showing strong chemistry.
“I just know what Tyrel likes to do,” Selby said. “He likes to shoot from the corner. I drive and I know if I kick it out to him, he’ll knock it down.”
Selby’s arrival has made Reed a better player.
“I think it’s going to help everybody, including myself,” Reed said. “He can get in there and he’s a great passer as well. A lot like Sherron (Collins), he can penetrate and pitch to all the different guards. I think Tyshawn (Taylor) can do that as well, so we have a lot of different weapons.”
Selby seemed to know where Reed was going to be when. That’s not by accident.
“We work on a ton of different things every day, when a guy penetrates, where we need to be,” Reed said. “When a guy drives baseline, we’ve got to get to the corner. It’s just all about angles and staying in their vision. (Assistant) coach (Joe) Dooley is really good at working with us on that. It just comes down to our guards having vision and finding you in open spots.”
Reed has developed into more than just a spot-up shooter. His relentless drives to the hoop in victories against Arizona and Cal — two of the four Pac-10 teams KU has beaten — were nowhere to be found in previous seasons.
“That was a big part of my game in high school,” Reed said. “I wasn’t just shooting every time I caught it on the three-point line. Coach Self wants me to shoot when I’m open and I want to be aggressive, make plays at the rim, drive and make plays for my teammates as well.”
He’s even rebounding, taking advantage of his exceptional leaping ability, which tends to be overlooked because it’s not matched with similar lateral quickness.
“I definitely need to hit my man and go get the ball,” Reed said of what it will take to continue his recent trend toward rebounding better. “I think that’s probably what I wasn’t doing. I was probably just boxing out my man, making sure he wouldn’t get the rebound, and I wouldn’t go and get the ball.”
Reed played 35 minutes against Cal, but with Selby on board, Reed’s minutes could decline, to which he says big deal.
“There are going to be less minutes and guys will get fresher legs,” Reed said. “I definitely think for shooters and scorers, that helps. You have to look at it like it’s a good thing and not like someone is taking away minutes.”
Typically positive attitude from a guy who’s had an increasingly positive impact on the program since the day he signed up.