Evidently, Tyrel Reed’s dead-eye accuracy extends to the golf course as well.
While playing with his father, Stacy, on June 1 in Aurora, Colo., Tyrel pulled out a 7-iron for a tee shot from 171 yards out.
After hitting the green eight feet away from the pin, his ball took two bounces and rolled right into the cup.
“I had just gotten a new set of Callaways, and I about threw my 7-iron in the pond that was right next to me,” the Kansas University guard said of his first hole-in-one. “I just threw my club and was real excited.”
Reed, who has played golf as a hobby since high school, has advanced quickly. The Burlington junior typically shoots in the 80s.
“My dad has never hit a hole-in-one, so I think he was excited for me,” Reed said, “but he was also kind of jealous in a way probably.”
Perhaps it isn’t surprising that Reed’s tendency to hit big shots followed him off the basketball court.
Reed, who was known last season as a clutch three-point shooter for KU, believes he once again can fill that role for the 2009-10 Jayhawks.
“Coach (Bill Self) calls on me to make big shots and to shoot when I’m open,” Reed said. “Hopefully, I can do that this year.”
Reed hopes to contribute more than that.
Though he’s known for his shooting, Reed believes he can still become more consistent from long range.
He also sees himself as someone other players should be able to turn to for guidance.
“I just want to be a better defender, a more vocal leader on the court,” Reed said, “trying to tell the younger guys what to do, help them out in the positions they need to be in.”
Away from basketball, Reed has no choice but to stay loose with KU center Cole Aldrich as his roommate.
“That kid’s always got something to say, full of energy. Always wants to crack jokes on somebody,” Reed said. “There’s just never a dull moment in our room.”
Reed was the fastest player at KU coach Bill Self’s annual Boot Camp. Perhaps not coincidentally, he has politely declined to eat almost all the food that Aldrich cooks in the apartment.
“I think he at least knows how to boil water and throw some noodles in there of some sort,” Reed said with a laugh.
Aldrich, who had a front tooth knocked out against Kansas State last year, often cooks without his fake tooth in place. Reed has become accustomed to seeing a 6-foot-11, toothless chef towering over the stove in the apartment.
“He tells me he’s good at whatever he cooks,” Reed said, “but he seems to be always making pasta.”
So far, Aldrich hasn’t let Reed’s snubs bother him.
“I say, ‘Tyrel, what do you want?’ ‘Oh, I’m not hungry. I’m not going to eat your food,’” Aldrich said. “I’m like, ‘That’s all right. My food’s too good.’”
Reed also has grown accustomed to finding Aldrich’s fake tooth in the strangest of spots.
Sometimes, he sees it on the table. Other times, he sees Aldrich put it in his pocket.
Once, Aldrich even used it to play a prank.
“Probably the weirdest place I found it was I’ve woken up in the morning and seen it laying right next to my toothbrush in the bathroom,” Reed said. “I just try to keep the germs away from me as much as I can.”
Reed and Aldrich, along with teammates Conner Teahan and Chase Buford, go golfing together a few times a year.
Aldrich tees off with lengthened clubs and size-17 golf shoes.
“For being his size, he does well,” Reed said. “He’s got a mean slice, but he’s got a long swing, so there’s probably going to be a couple things that are going to be wrong with it to make the ball go not straight every time.”
Though Aldrich isn’t beating Reed in golf any time soon, he is taking credit for being better at another sport.
“He’s not a very good fisherman. I’m a better fisherman than he is,” Aldrich said with a grin. “They don’t have lakes in Kansas. We’ve got 12,000 back home (in Minnesota).”