While recently committing to join the University of Miami men’s basketball program took a load off of his mind, Davon Reed is not about to relax as he plays his senior year for the Princeton Day School boys’ basketball team.
“The foot is still on the throttle; I still have personal goals I want to achieve at the high school level,” said the 6’6 Reed, who announced his college decision in late September.
“I am not looking to college, that is there and we know where that is. I am just here to encourage my team and look for us to get better and finish this season out on top. The goal is to win a state championship and to win a Mercer County Tournament so we are looking to do that.”
Last Wednesday, PDS certainly looked like a title contender as it raced out to a 27-1 lead over visiting Solebury School (Pa.) on the way to a 57-10 rout.
“We came out and just tried to play our game, regardless of any situation,” said Reed, reflecting on the team’s sizzling start.
“We wanted to execute and get ready for the rest of the games on our schedule. We try to take every game one game at a time and just come out and play in the moment.”
Reed helped set the tone as he scored 15 points in the first quarter. “I just wanted to come out and play as great a game as possible,” said Reed, who ended the game with 18 points.
“I try to execute on all cylinders. That’s what I try to do in my performance and see what happens.”
Coming off a 2011-12 season in which he averaged 24.3 points a game, Reed still saw plenty of room for improvement in his game.
“I worked on my shot consistency, trying to make better all-around decisions as a player,” said Reed, who poured in 30 points a day later as PDS topped Conwell Egan (Pa.) 70-53 to improve to 5-2.
“I am still working on that. I just want to be a leader, an all-around complete player. At the next level, you have to be an elite defender so that is something I have been working on as well.”
In Reed’s view, PDS is raising the level of its play collectively. “Last year, we started out undefeated at this time of the season,” said Reed.
“We have got two losses already but I like where we’re at versus last year. Last year we played a couple of cupcake teams at the start of the year but this year we are growing slowly so we are going to be fine.”
PDS head coach Paris McLean, for his part, liked the way his team started in the victory over the Solebury School.
“We said we needed to come out and we needed to set the tempo; I thought we did at both ends of the floor,” said McLean.
“We had high pressure defense and execution on offense. I would have liked to see us work the ball there a little more. When we had open shots we took them and we made them. We are coming off a high competition weekend at the Hill Tournament so it fed us well into this game.”
In McLean’s view, Reed has been able to open things up in the wake of making his college decision.
“He is able to play carefree and he is able to focus,” said McLean. “There are not eight coaches here observing him and critiquing him. He is able to just play ball and you can see that. He is smooth and carefree. He is tough defensively.”
The Panthers have been playing some good ball, benefitting from facing some tough competition in the early going.
“We are very pleased with where we are,” said McLean. “There was a lot of talent, a lot of high-powered prep school teams at that Hill Tournament. So to be sitting at 4-2 right now in December is great. There is always room for improvement though.”
PDS will be working hard over the holidays to hone things. “We have to go back to what we call “the lab;” the lab is the practice room and that’s where you experiment and that’s where you try things,” said McLean, whose team plays Robert Faux (Pa.) on December 27 in the opening round of the PrimeTime Shootout at Trenton Catholic Academy and will then play in either a consolation or championship game in the event on December 29.
“I think we need to get better at team rebounding. I think we can communicate better. It gets quiet out there, sometimes you only hear a couple of guys calling out defensive signals but we need five men calling out defensive signals. I think that our new guys are feeling more comfortable with the team.”
Reed, for his part, is comfortable with PDS’s prospects. “We have got the pieces now,” said Reed.
“We have a couple of new faces and a new coaching staff so hopefully all of these things will help us come together and evolve into a better team.”