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Auburn Basketball: What to Expect from Trayvon Reed

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An Introduction to Our Likely Newcomer

John Reed-USA TODAY Sports

Over and over again this season you've heard that Auburn's biggest weakness on the basketball court is our inside game.  When Matthew Atewe went down in an exhibition, Cinmeon Bowers and Jordon Granger were the only inside players left. As Bruce Pearl often laments, we don't have any players who play above the rim.  Good news, help is on the way

HELLO! Snellville, Georgia!

And maybe sooner than we thought.  As you may have seen in Monday's Coffee and Magnolia, Trayvon Reed is clearing up his legal issues and may be eligible to play sometime in December.  Trayvon was a four star center who was ranked the 91st best prospect and  8th best center in last year's recruiting class by Rivals.

Reed graduated from a high school in New Jersey but spent his early life in Alabama and Georgia so he's familiar with the area.  Scouts say that Trayvon is long, athletic, and rebounds and shoots the ball well.  Film study supports that.  He moves smoothly for a 7'1" man.

A highlight near the beginning of this video shows his touch as a shooter:

Trayvon has good shotblocking skills.  He anticipates the shot and swats it out of the air.  Some of these may have been goaltending but still, it's impressive:

Here's more film of Reed:

And still more:

So what can the Tigers expect?  At a minimum, more depth at a time we really need it.  Also, Auburn can expect a boost inside with scoring, rebounding, and defense.  We hope he can contribute immediately.

Despite his potential, Tiger fans should temper their immediate expectations for Trayvon.  Unlike Cinmeon Bowers who arrived on the Plains a 270 pound man, Trayvon is definitely a work in progress.  With his size and coordination, he has the parts of the game you can't coach down pat.  But at times he looks like a tall, skinny kid.  He may get outmuscled in the paint by stronger, more mature centers. Trayvon reminds me of Mamadou N'Diaye who also always had great height and coordination but had to develop into the NBA caliber center he ultimately became.  He may turn out to be Auburn's best center since Mamadou but it may not happen this spring. Don't be too quick to pull the plug on this special talent if he struggles early.

It also may take him time to get up to speed on Coach Pearl's playbook.  The highlight reels above don't show him being asked to do much more than be tall and clean up the middle on both offense and defense.  He may have a very sound knowledge of the game but the film above just doesn't show enough to say that with confidence.

The addition of a highly-touted center is exciting for long-time Auburn basketball fans.  Auburn has produced a long list of solid power forwards but few true centers.  It will be exciting to watch Trayvon develop.  War Eagle, Trayvon.  Hope to see you on the Plains in time for the Xavier game.