KUSports.com is running an all decade vote during the slow month of May where they gradually widdle a field of eight players at each position down to a starting five. Through the first round and the early semifinals it's been all chalk which says to me that they did a nice job in evaluating seeding. The ONLY upset occurred at the shooting guard position where Tyrel Reed knocked off Kenny Gregory in the #4 vs. #5 matchup.
If you're fielding a team tomorrow do you really take Reed over Gregory? Better yet if you are recruiting as a coach do you target Reed over a player like Gregory?
Part of the upset probably has to do with the fact that Reed is from Kansas, won a National title while at Kansas and gradually developed into a solid contributor as a senior during one of the more successful runs in Kansas basketball history. Reed is at the #5 with Michael Lee at the #6, Luke Axtell at the #7 and Josh Selby at the #8. Minus the shock at seeing Axtell on the list, I wonder how much different the view of Lee would be had things gone a little differently in 2003.
Getting back to Reed vs. Gregory. Gregory was a five star McDonald's All American that arrived in Lawrence in 1998. The lean Roy years if you will. The years following the departure of Vaughn and most of Gregory's most productive years came following the departure of LaFrentz and Pierce.
Gregory and that team had a great deal to live up to and it didn't really shake out that way. For his part Gregory averaged 7.1 PPG as a freshman, 11.3 as a sophomore, 12.8 as a junior and 15.6 as a senior. That would have put him just a hair behind Marcus Morris on today's team. Perhaps Gregory fell short because he played at the beginning of the decade and Reed very recently.
Reed on the other hand really came into his own as a senior and what he provided in terms of intangibles proved very valuable. From a true scoring perspective Reed was a 9.7 per game guy, not knocking your socks off but he could knock down the three.
Perhaps Gregory fell short because his teams aren't remembered as teams that proved as successful on the court. Or maybe he just has to deal with the stigma that follows the Chenowith years. It's the only upset and a mild upset, but it seems curious and I wondered. if you're put in a open gym five on five scenario as a captain, do you really pick Reed over Gregory?