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Reed Sheppard draws praise for recent AAU performances

Sheppard believes he proved that he belongs at this level.

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Syndication: The Courier-Journal Matt Stone/Courier Journal / USA TODAY NETWORK

Earlier this week, Kentucky Wildcats’ commit, Reed Sheppard, was the best player on the floor in his ESPN debut, as he led Midwest Basketball Team to a victory over Team Strive For Greatness in the 3SSB Open.

Sheppard finished the game with 16 points, 9 rebounds, and 4 assists in the impressive 78-67 win over the star-studded roster of Strive For Greatness. He was later named MVP of the contest.

Seth Davis of The Athletic was in attendance for the game and came away being very impressed with Sheppard.

“Sheppard has solid size for a lead guard.” Davis wrote. “He’s a dead-eye shooter and a pinpoint passer, and he almost always makes the right decision. He has a reputation for being a liability on defense, but that wasn’t true last week. Sheppard may not be a classic lockdown defender (yet), but he’s an absolute pest on the ball (he reminds me of former Maryland point guard Steve Blake in that regard), and he loves to bang bodies while grabbing defensive rebounds.”

He continued, “In other words, Kentucky is getting a polished, multi-year college player. For all the attention Sheppard is getting, I don’t sense that people are unrealistic about what he’s prepared to deliver. He’s not a savior (nor does Kentucky need one), and he’s not a franchise one-and-done guy, but he’s a terrific piece, and it’s easy to envision him enjoying a bright NBA future.”

On Thursday, Sheppard spoke with the media at the Georgetown ProCamps where he was asked about his performance earlier in the week.

Sheppard acknowledged that his performance proved that he belongs on this stage, but it was more about enjoying his final AAU game.

“I think I just proved that I belong, and I can play at that stage and that level,” Sheppard said. “But at the end of the day it was a fun experience — my teammates, we played a heck of a game. I think we had 11 threes in the first half. Being able to play with my teammates and my friends, it was my last AAU game, so being in that experience was awesome.”

If you didn’t get to see the game earlier this week, you can check out the highlights below.

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