Antonio Reeves comes into his fifth and final year of college basketball as a projected second-team All-SEC selection. After winning SEC Sixth Man of the Year, Reeves has the opportunity to lead a talented but young Kentucky Wildcats squad.
After bypassing the NBA Draft, with some off-season drama sprinkled in the mix, Reeves returned to Kentucky and led the team in scoring for their GLOBL Jam trip to Canada, winning MVP while averaging 23 PPG.
While he can light it up from the field, there are areas to improve on, as he spoke to during SEC Media Days this past week.
One area of concern? Defense.
“Defense. I definitely learned a lot when I was traveling, how important defense was,” Reeves said on what he’s worked on the most this offseason. “I definitely try to emphasize that every time I step on the floor here. Just being a dog.”
“All parts of defense. Being in the right position at all times. I feel like my on-ball defense is pretty good, it’s just when I get off the ball, sometimes I would be lolly-gagging, and that’s important if you just make sure to stay in the right spot.”
Coach John Calipari also spoke on how Reeves is a much different person on the court than he was at Illinois State. Reeves has a new-found confidence in Lexington, some of that coming with the pressure of playing at Kentucky:
“Antonio Reeves was not sure. Came from Illinois State. You’re walking in, it’s Kentucky — every shot is life and death. Now you watch him, sure of himself. No anxiety. (He) Talks more,” Calipari said on Wednesday.
“(I’m) more confident,” Reeves added. “Just being more of a leader out there to the younger guys. We got a bunch of younger guys out here.”