Originally published January 7, 2009 at 12:00a.m., updated January 7, 2009 at 05:10p.m.
Even when he was slumping, Tyrel Reed wasn’t bumming.
“I never worry about my shot. I feel like I’m a good shooter,” the Kansas University guard said. “Sometimes, they just don’t fall. Lately, they’ve been falling.”
Reed didn’t have any problems getting his shots to go down Tuesday.
The sophomore posted a career high with 14 points in KU’s 91-84 victory over Siena. His previous best was 12 points, a number he’d hit three times already this season.
“Tyrel’s been good. He’s made some big shots for us and knocked his free throws down,” KU coach Bill Self said. “I’m not being remotely negative — I’m just being real about this — he’s a guy that needs to make shots for us because that’s what he does. He’s a terrific shooter.”
Reed did most of his damage in the first half.
He went 3-for-5 from the floor and 2-for-4 from three-point range in the opening 20 minutes, tying Cole Aldrich for the team lead with 10 halftime points.
“It wasn’t anything special — just a guy finding me at the right time,” Reed said.
Reed and KU’s other guards broke open many times because the Jayhawks were able to get the ball inside to Aldrich.
Once the sophomore center was double-teamed, he located his teammates.
“Our team shares the ball really well,” Reed said. “Whether you get it to the post to Cole — he’s really good at kicking out and finding open players. I think that’s just a testament to our team that we want to share the ball.”
Added Aldrich: “It’s real exciting they’re getting it in the post. They know if they get it in the post, I’ll throw it out if I don’t have it. I won’t be selfish, and they’ll get open shots.”
Reed also came through with clutch free throws.
He made all four of his foul shots in the final 1:56 and also added a crucial defensive rebound to help KU hold off Siena in the final minutes.
“I think there’s been a little bit of maturity toward the end of the game where we don’t get rattled as much,” Reed said. “I think Sherron (Collins) and Cole do a great job of keeping everyone’s composure. It’s finally showing through.”
After going 6-for-6 from the free-throw line against Siena, Reed is 20-for-21 (95 percent) this season.