Antonio Reeves Kentucky

Reeves on the Roster: What to Expect This Season

Antonio Reeves is the lone transfer of this year’s newcomers, and the verdict is out – if you want to score, you need him on your team. Here’s what we know about him so far!

Stats on Reeves

Reeves is an incoming Senior from Illinois State University, and the 6’6” wing can flat-out score. Last season, Reeves averaged 20.1 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 1.5 assists per game – all while scoring 46.9% clip from the field, 39% from behind the arc, and 81.8% from the line. It’s no secret that this man is an absolute bucket. He will add a vital scoring threat from the guard position to this year’s team after losing TyTy Washington, Kellan Grady, and Davion Mintz.

The Player for You

Sam Vecenie and CJ Moore recently gave a breakdown of Reeves in a piece published by The Athletic. They highlighted the top available transfers from this past off-season and deemed Reeves the “player for you” if you want someone who can score.

He averaged 20.1 points per game in the Missouri Valley this year on his way to winning second-team all-conference honors as well as the league’s Most Improved Player award. Above all, he’s a pull-up maestro, capable of getting his shot from wherever on the floor at just about any time,” they wrote. “He finished second in the conference behind Isiaih Mosley from Missouri State in scoring, hitting pull-up jumpers at a 51.4 effective field goal percentage, a very high number given his volume of shots. Among the 227 players nationally to take at least 100 pull-up jumpers, Reeves finished 19th in his efficiency in terms of making them, per Synergy.” 

Expect Reeves to take on a similar role that Kellan Grady did for the Cats last season. While Grady was strictly a spot-up shooter, Reeves is known for his ability to create off the dribble – which will prove much more valuable in the long-run, especially come March. According to early reports, Reeves is one of the notable standouts at summer practices. Jack Pilgrim of On3 & KSR says that Reeves is adjusting to the Kentucky system quicker than Grady did, and his performance in the first couple of practice sessions is stronger as well. And perhaps the best report coming in thus far about Reeves is that he is a solid defender — specifically better on-ball than Grady or Davion were last season. Coach John Calipari is known as a defense-first type of coach, and having guys like Reeves on the squad definitely align with his mindset. 

This Season’s Lineup

As of right now, four players have pretty much locked up spots in this year’s starting lineup. Sahvir Wheeler and Cason Wallace will handle the back-court duties while Jacob Toppin and Oscar Tshiebwe will man the front court. The one spot remaining is the 3-position – will Cal go big and play freshman Chris Livingston, or has Reeves impressed him enough this summer that Coach will decide to go with a three-guard lineup once again? Thankfully we won’t have to wait until November to find out, as the Cats’ first Bahamas matchup against the Dominican Republic is just two weeks away.

While questions of playing time and rotations still remain, one thing’s for certain – this team is lightyears better with Reeves on the roster. We can expect some major scoring performances from the veteran this season.