Reed's game grows up at Idaho State

KHS grad, teammates close in on a berth in the NCAA Tournament

RODNEY HAAS/Miner<br>
Lindsey Reed, a 2010 Kingman High graduate.

RODNEY HAAS/Miner<br> Lindsey Reed, a 2010 Kingman High graduate.

Idaho State women's basketball coach Seton Sobolewski first saw Kingman High's Lindsey Reed on game film.

Sobolewski was tipped off about Reed from a friend coaching in Anthem who told him, "Hey, there's this girl that you need to look at."

"When I saw the film, she was athletic and aggressive, she was smooth, she had a winning attitude, so I was instantly drawn to her," Sobolewski said. "I couldn't wait to get to Kingman and do a home visit with her and her family."

Sobolewski continued to recruit Reed and had an opportunity to watch her play at an Arizona elite tournament. He was impressed with how well she competed, how she was fearless, how she shot the ball.

"I thought she had the talent to be successful," Sobolewski said. "I think she has the talent to be better than what she is right now, and I think you are going to see it in the next couple of years."

As a sophomore, Reed is playing a pivotal role for the Bengals, averaging 10.5 points and 32 minutes a game. She has grabbed 125 rebounds, including 97 on defense and dished out 41 assists while helping Idaho State to a 15-5 record, 7-0 in the Big Sky Conference.

Reed had seven points and six rebounds in a 49-44 win over Northern Arizona Jan. 21 in front of friends and family who made the two-hour drive from Kingman.

"We have a really good crowd here and it's just fun to see everyone," Reed said after the game.

She followed her performance against NAU by leading the Bengals with 15 points and nine rebounds in a 64-50 win over Northern Colorado in Greeley Thursday night.

"She has an exceptional ability to play basketball," Sobolewski said. "She can shoot, she's athletic, doesn't want to lose, has the right attitude. I think she is going to be one of our best players in the next couple of years."

Reed has shown glimpses of that greatness, including a 29-point game against Northern Colorado last year and 23 points earlier this year against New Mexico State. She also had games this year in which she scored 19 against the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga, 12 against Tulane, 16 against Utah State and 14 against Sacramento State.

"She's had games like that where she shows the player that she is going to be," Sobolewski said. "I think it comes with getting more Division-I experience. Once she gets more Division-I experience, you are going to see her go from averaging 10 points a game right now to averaging 16 to 20."

Reed and her Bengal teammates have also been collecting frequent flyer miles, with a trip to Cancun, Mexico, on top of the normal travel through Big Sky territory.

While the travel is nice, the idea of it continuing after the conclusion of the regular season is serving as motivation right now for the Bengals. Reed knows that the odds of Idaho State playing in the NCAA Tournament come March get better with each win.

"We just want to keep up the good work, keep doing what we are doing in practice and stay on this winning streak," Reed said. "If we keep on playing like this, we will be in the NCAA Tournament for sure.

"I've never won a championship in high school; it's something that I've always wanted to do, and with this record that we have right now, it's pretty exciting."

Winning a title is an experience Sobolewski enjoyed while he was an assistant coach at UC-Riverside, and it's an experience that Idaho State has twice had, the last coming in 2007.

"I would love to have the girls experience that," Sobolewski said. "The charter flights, first class everything. You play in a environment where everyone is paying attention to you. You play on national television. It's really is a special experience, and I would love to have our team get a chance to experience that."

The Bengals can guarantee themselves a spot in the NCAA Tournament by winning the Big Sky conference tournament March 8-9. There are no promises another Big Sky team will get an at-large invitation.

Charlie Creme's Bracketology on ESPN.com currently projects the Bengals as a No. 14 seed, facing off with No. 3 seed Ohio State in the opening round.

Reed is continuing to improve on her first year at Idaho State, where she finished a couple of votes shy of being named conference freshman of the year after averaging 10.6 points, 6.4 rebounds and 33.4 minutes per game while totaling 58 assists.

"After my freshman year, one of my goals was to be more aggressive," Reed said. "I always looked back at the season and thought that I could be more aggressive."

As Reed continues to improve on the court, off of it she's pursuing a sports management degree.

"I know I want to be around sports for the rest of my life," she said. "That's one thing that I can't go wrong by doing that."

In the near future, Sobolewski thinks he'll see the player he was instantly drawn to on film continue to develop into a very capable NCAA Division basketball player.

"She's doing a great job. She's picked up where she's left off last year," Sobolewski said. "She's one of our best defenders, she's one of our go-to players on offense. She's is a big, big part of our team."