Following an injury, Archbishop Ryan junior Colin Reed is back on the court — and the team is reaping the benefits.
Colin Reed really didn’t know how to feel.
Reed, a junior on the Archbishop Ryan High School basketball team, was a sophomore last year when the Raiders went on a remarkable run that ended in the semifinals of the state 6A playoffs.
Sure, he was happy his squad was two wins away from hanging a state championship banner, and before that two wins away from winning a Catholic League championship, but he was also a little disappointed.
“I only played in games that were blowouts because I was hurt coming into the year and I was never really able to get into basketball shape,” said Reed, a shooting guard who would have likely been one of the first guys off the bench last year had it not been for the knee injury. “I tore my meniscus, I don’t know how I did it, it just started hurting and I got it checked out.
“I was still around the team all year. Before I was cleared if I wasn’t at physical therapy, I was at practice. But I was around the team, watching and learning all the time.”
The bad news was the knee woes meant Reed saw very little time as a sophomore. But now he’s back and it’s given the Raiders a huge push, especially on the offensive end.
The Raiders brought back talented players Amin Bryant, Jaquil Stone and Devon Vargas, but they needed an offensive spark.
That’s exactly what Reed is.
Reed leads the Raiders in scoring, including Wednesday night when he poured in 23 points as Ryan knocked off the defending Catholic League and state 5A champions Archbishop Wood, 78–74.
The win puts the Raiders exactly where they want to be: in the hunt in the tough Catholic League.
“I think because we lost so many good players, people didn’t think we’d be good,” Reed said. “I think we are surprising some people because we still have a lot of good players and we have guys people don’t know about.
“I think people started to know about me over the summer, but I do think I’m surprising some people. I think if I played more last year, it would have let people know I can score, so it does help a little that people didn’t know coming in.”
Reed is no longer a surprise.
He broke 20 points in two of the first three Catholic League games of the season, and he was one of the top scorers in December, when the Raiders were playing a tough non-league schedule to prepare for the season.
If teams just try to stop Reed from scoring, they’ll be in for another surprise.
“I worked very hard on my shot, but I’m working on everything,” Reed said. “I like to think I’m an all-around player. I’m now getting to the rim a lot and that’s helping my shot. And I’m working on becoming a playmaker. We have a lot of guys who can score, so passing the ball is going to be very important.”
Reed is also focused on defense.
Last year, the Raiders had big men to erase mistakes if someone got into the paint. This year, they don’t have experienced forwards who can protect the rim, so they have to rely on guards pestering opposing ball handlers.
The defense will look different, but so far it’s been effective.
“We’re small, but we’re really scrappy,” Reed said. “We work hard to help each other out, that way we don’t get put in position where we get hurt by our size. I sometimes guard inside because I’m one of the taller guys, but we all kind of do what we need to do. I’ll usually guard (forwards), it depends how we’re playing.”
Right now, they’re playing well, and because of that, Reed got probably one of the best compliments a Ryan player could receive.
“I think Coach (Joe) Zeglinski is on me a lot and always helping me because he told my mom I play like he did,” Reed said. “That meant a lot because I know he was a great player here. I think I try to play like him, like playing tough. It meant a lot that he said that.”
He can throw in hard working.
When the area was hit with a snowstorm and schools were closed, Reed still put in work. When he wasn’t able to get to Ryan, he went to LA Fitness, where he worked out with a personal trainer. Doing cardio might not be as fun as shooting hoops, but as Reed has discovered, it’s just as important.
“I usually go a few times a week to work out, usually after practice,” Reed said. “I’m feeling completely fine with my knee, but I still want to get better, so that means working out as hard as I can.”
Hopefully, that leads to more success, and another deep run in the playoffs.
“We definitely want to make the Palestra and go as far as we can in the playoffs,” said Reed, who lives in St. Matt’s parish. “People are starting to see that we’re good and we’re getting better. That’s what we’re working for.”