Jan. 31, 2007
After losing 13.2 points and 7.4 rebounds per game to the NBA Draft last year when former Seminole Alexander Johnson decided to go pro, the Seminoles were looking for help inside and someone to step up and guard the opposition’s top big man. Enter Ryan Reid, a 6’8″ freshman forward from Lauderdale Lakes, FL.
“I love it. I enjoy playing here,” Reid said.
The Seminoles enjoy his play here as well. Reid’s size and athleticism, coupled with his hard work, have paid off, earning him time on the floor in every game this season.
The only freshman with substantial playing time this season, Reid has quickly learned in his first year the difficulty in transitioning from high school into the highly competitive Atlantic Coast Conference.
“High school is so much different than college. I didn’t expect to come here and be the same [player] I was in high school. You have to work hard… you have to work hard so you get to that point where you’re the best,” he said.
According to Head Coach Leonard Hamilton, Reid’s effort to work hard and to try to become the best player he can be has really shown to the FSU coaching staff.
“He has demonstrated the desire to become a better basketball player and that desire will help him grow as a player. What we like [as a coaching staff] about Ryan is that he works each day to better understand the game and to become a better player,” head coach Leonard Hamilton said.
Not only has Reid worked hard to get better, but he was pretty good to begin with.
Recruited by Florida, Georgia, Houston, Pittsburgh, and Miami (FL) during his senior year, Reid was wanted by a lot of big-time schools, and for good reason as well. Not only was he a standout defensive player but he also averaged 15.5 points a game in his senior season for Boyd Anderson High School. Reid, however, is now content playing tough defense and making teams work for points, instead of trying to put up 15 points a night.
“We have guys that can score like Al [Thornton] and [Jason] Rich. I didn’t expect coming from high school to just start putting up shots. I’m playing to my strengths right now which is playing tough defense. The scoring will come to me,” Reid said.
Defense certainly has been his strength so far this season. He is among the team leaders in rebounds and ranks 10th among ACC freshman in total rebounds. If the NCAA kept stats for being on the receiving end of a charging foul, he’d probably be near the top in the conference in that category as well.
“Right now we’re not that big of a team. I don’t really want to always jump trying for blocks and get fouls at the same time because we don’t have many big men coming off the bench. But, I’m pretty good at taking charges,” he explained.
With three years of eligibility left after the season and his big frame, Coach Hamilton thinks the future is bright for Reid and the rest of FSU basketball.
“Once he learns how to correctly utilize his size, he will more rapidly show improvement on the court. We are looking forward to watching Ryan improve as he helps our team continue to improve,” Hamilton said.
Continuing to improve isn’t the only thing that Reid wants to accomplish while he’s at FSU, though. He has much higher goals not just personally, but for the team as well.
“[I just] go to practice and work hard. I just want to be there for my team. [I want to] win that [national] championship!” he said enthusiastically.
“We’re trying to get there,” Reid said talking about the NCAA Tournament.
By putting his body on the line by taking those charges, hustling after every rebound, and doing all the little things right, Reid is doing his part to get the Seminoles their first NCAA Tournament bid since the 1998 season. That would make a lot of folks in and around FSU basketball extremely excited come Selection Sunday in March.
Word Association: Leonard Hamilton - Good coach, like a father. The ACC - Different from high school. Al Thornton - Great team player that you love to have. Tyler Hansbrough - Good competitor. Nice player. Big Ticket - That's my nickname from high school. They changed that up here though.
Quick Questions: Traditional Pre-Game Meal? Shrimp. Favorite hobbies? Just hanging out with my teammates. Favorite NBA Player? Jermaine O'Neal. What did you want to be when you were a kid? Police officer. Your biggest fear? I don't have any right now. Favorite singer? Lil Wayne.
By Brett Brecheisen FSU Sports Information