Miami’s Davon Reed Has Plenty To Gain In NCAA Tourney

jt block7 Miamis Davon Reed Has Plenty To Gain In NCAA TourneyCBS Miami: Twitter | Facebook

You’d be going out on a pretty short limb if you called Davon Reed the Hurricanes’ go-to guy.

Reed is one of the most experienced players on the roster; he has played in every game this season; he leads the team in points per game, and he could be called the team’s best shooter – since he’s tops in both free throw and three-pointer percentage.

While his resume is unquestioned in Coral Gables, the 6-foot-6 combo guard still has work to do in terms of impressing pro scouts.

With the eighth-seeded Canes getting ready to take on No. 9 Michigan State Friday night in Tulsa, Oklahoma in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament, Reed will have the chance to showcase his skills on a national stage.

Since arriving in Miami from his native Ewing, New Jersey and Princeton Day School, Reed has seen his game and role grow and mature each season.

After primarily coming off the bench during his freshman year, Reed began to show the skills that had him rated as the third-best player in New Jersey and 18th best at the 2-guard position coming out of high school and started carving out a niche in coach Jim Larranaga’s rotation.

Fast forward to the 2016-17 season and Reed has turned himself into a 15-point-per-game scorer while also snatching down five rebounds and dishing out two and a half assists a night – all career highs – and has definitely intrigued scouts.

Reed told UM’s student newspaper – The Miami Hurricane – in January that he spent the offseason prior to his senior year fine-tuning his game. Also saying that he focused on improving “the little things” in his game and that he wanted to “step up as a leader as a returning upperclassman”.

It has worked.

“The senior swingman has the look of a three-and-D prospect with his improved offensive repertoire,” wrote one scout. “And his great athleticism and quickness give him upside defensively. I expect him to get plenty of looks.”

Better yet, Reed also manages to nab at least one steal per game – showing his commitment to the defensive end and fitting snugly into that “three-and-D” label.

Reed, however, is not a household name. Everyone will be paying attention to the likes of UCLA’s Lonzo Ball, Kentucky’s Malik Monk, Washington’s Markelle Futz and Kansas’ Josh Jackson over the course of The Big Dance.

However, Reed can steal some of the spotlight if he continues on his current arc.

Plenty of eyes will watch as the Canes battle with the perennially strong Spartans and their blueblood coach Tom Izzo.

People will be interested in seeing Michigan State’s freshman sensation Miles Bridges, a 6-foot-7 wing with elite hops that averages a team-best 16.7 points, 8.3 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game.

Reed will probably have more than his fair share of opportunities to lock horns with Bridges one-on-one Friday night, thus making his performance against him paramount – not only for Miami but also for himself. The matchup will serve as a window into the future as the Spartans star represents a small sample of what awaits Reed in the NBA on a nightly basis.

As a junior, in three games of action during the 2016 NCAA tourney, Reed notched a double-double (10 points and 12 rebounds) against Buffalo and scored another 10 against Wichita State before being relatively ineffective during Miami’s loss to eventual champion Villanova.

Though Reed started every game UM played in 2015-16 – something he’s on track to do again in 2016-17 – he wasn’t the go-to guy.

As a senior and as one of the team’s captains, Reed’s performance can almost be directly tied to the Canes’ success.

Sure, a win Friday would more than likely mean a second-round matchup with Midwest No. 1 seed Kansas. But it would also mean another big stage and chance for Reed to prove himself.

More from J.T. Wilcox
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