Lehigh University Men’s Basketball Head Coach Brett Reed joined John Canzano on the Bald Faced Truth Tuesday afternoon to talk about Lehigh's star guard CJ McCollum, Portland’s 10th overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft.“I was watching him [at the Barclay Center] to share in that moment because it’s an accomplishment that is a childhood dream. It was really kind of special to watch that.”
Reed said that, as many organizations micro-analyze potential draft picks, discussing Reed was an easy task.
“The biggest thing that people wanted to know was “Well, what kind of person is this?” and that was an easy answer. He’s got a great deal of character, a high level of humility. As people peel back the layers, they see someone who is going to be a great help to an organization.”
McCollum suffered a college career-ending injury during his senior year, one that Reed suggests
“I think we would have been well on our way to three championships during [McCollum’s] college career if he had been healthy.”
Reed said that not only has McCollum’s strategic game changed, but his literal physical development as well.
“The biggest thing that I’ll remember is kind of a skinny kid on the basketball floor playing in front of all these college coaches, and me walking away saying ‘That guy can really make a difference for our program.’”
Though McCollum’s life may have changed on June 27th, Reed is confident that McCollum will always be the humble player he coached at Lehigh.
“He always deflected all praise to his teammates. He was more focused on the team than his individual self. Now you fast forward years ahead. I know he’ll have new challenges, he’ll have new opportunities, but I think at his core he’s going to remain consistent with who he is.”