DePaul Blue Demons forward Paul Reed, who declared early entry for the 2020 NBA draft, is considered one of the top players at his position.
Reed, who is 6-foot-9, won the Big East’s Most Improved Player in 2019 and then was honored as second-team All-Big East in 2019-20. He averaged 15.1 points, 10.7 rebounds, 2.6 blocks and 1.9 steals per game as a junior.
The prospect, who ranks No. 37 overall on our most recent aggregate mock draft, recently caught up with HoopsHype.
Note: This transcription has been very minorly edited for clarity.
What have you been doing to keep busy during the quarantine?
Paul Reed: I was mad when the season ended. But I’ve just been working and preparing myself for the next season. So I’ve just been working out. Otherwise, just doing school work and hanging out with my family.
You got so much better during each season at DePaul. What are some things you took away from your experience of playing college basketball?
PR: Thinking back to my time at DePaul, it taught me how to play without the ball in my hands and having plays run for me. I just learned how to hoop with plays, getting it out of the muscle, for real. That is one of my biggest takeaways.
What are some of your favorite memories from playing college basketball?
PR: I loved hanging out with my teammates, getting wins. I loved getting wins, to be honest, and how it made us feel. Whenever we won, that was the best. I loved the Butler game because, before that, I went to my coach’s office and told him plays that we should run. He listened to me. We did them and it worked. I missed only one shot and ended up with a double-double.
You are a double-double machine! How much is that part of your identity as a player?
PR: That’s a given. I expect myself to get a double-double every time I play or step on the court. That’s just a part of my game. That’s what you are going to get out of me, at least ten points and ten rebounds. Then, some steals and some blocks. That’s just part of my game.
I love the way that you can record a steal or block on defense and then turn that into a transition bucket.
PR: In high school, I used to bring the ball up a lot. I got the rebound and then brought it up myself. I’m not where I want to be at yet. Last season, I would lose the ball sometimes after I would get a steal or a block. That’s what I’ve been working on this offseason, my handles. I want to make sure they are nice and tight so I don’t make those same errors again. But that is part of my game. I’m an all-around player. I feel like I can do it all. If I get a steal, I can go coast-to-coast and make something happen. That’s just part of me.
Tell me about your mentality as a shot-blocker, rim protector as well as recording defensive rebounds.
PR: It’s just instincts, playing with a motor. I’m always trying to stay active. For my team, I’m always the last line of defense. That is my mindset. It’s up to me to not let the other team score. Defensive rebounds are also extremely important because if I don’t get the rebound, most likely the other team will. Then they will get another chance to score. We need defensive rebounds. It’s super important. I’m that guy that’s going to get them.
I think you are a fantastic finisher near the rim on offense, too, recording 32 dunks. How do you think that will translate to the next level?
PR: At the next level, I think that because the court is more spaced out, I can actually showcase my ability to dribble the ball and make moves. I couldn’t really showcase that at DePaul because that wasn’t my role. I had to box my game in. But in the NBA, once I’m on the court and I have someone in front of me, I’ll be able to go around them.
You averaged 1.8 shot attempts from beyond the arc as a junior, which was by far the most in your collegiate career. Where is your confidence right now in your jump shot?
PR: I can shoot the ball pretty well. My midrange is knockdown and my three-pointer is getting knockdown. I think I’m going to be able to come in and knock down open shots, easily. If there is a dude in my face, I feel like I’m still going to be able to knock a shot down. I’ve been working on it every day. That’s a plus about my game. I showcased that ability at DePaul, being able to knock down shots.
How would you describe what your role will look like in the NBA?
PR: I expect to be an energy guy on offense. I can be a cutter and slasher. If you pass it to me and I’m open, I’m going to shoot it. I’m going to be an all-around type player, getting offensive rebounds. Defensively, I think that I’m going to be the person who is guarding the best player most of the time. I can use my length as well as my athleticism to block shots and get steals and turn defense into offense. I am going to be a glue guy for any team I play for.
Positionally, where do you think you would have the most success?
PR: I don’t have a preference between the four and the five but at the next level, I’ll also be able to play the three. I didn’t get to showcase it but my ability to handle the ball and shoot the ball and guard one through five will make me able to play at the three, too.
Are there any goals that you have set for yourself that you can share?
PR: On the court, whatever team I go to, help lead them to the playoffs and hopefully win the championship. Another personal goal: I want to lead the rookies in rebounding. Off the court, I want to help my family get their house together. Fix all the things that are wrong. Do it up for my mom so she can be comfortable, super comfortable.
What are some of the things that you like to do when you are not playing basketball?
PR: I like to watch movies, go for walks. I’m a Christian. I love God. I put all my faith in God. I had a church in Chicago that I was going to. I’ve also been doing online services here in Orlando.