If you don’t know by now, Juvonte Reddic is spending the better part of this week at the Nike Big Man Skills Academy (featuring Amar’e Stoudamire and Anthony Davis’ unibrow) in Union, N.J. For three days, Reddic, a rising senior, will compete against some of the best big men in the country. The last Ram to appear there was Larry Sanders in 2009, and it helped him catch the attention of NBA Scouts. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves here, but it is worth noting that Reddic was one of only 13 players chosen nationally for this camp. Clearly, his skills are catching people’s attention. And while it’s only three days, Reddic stands to gain quite a bit from playing against the best bigs in college hoops and around two of the NBA’s best. This is a big win for the VCU forward.
On a larger scale, it’s all part of an offseason that pales in comparison to last summer. What hasn’t been discussed much, and we’re partially responsible for this, is that Reddic’s summer of 2012 was largely a wash. That’s because Reddic had back surgery last summer and sat out the majority of his offseason workouts, as well as much of VCU’s Italian tour. Despite that setback, Reddic averaged career highs of 14.6 points and 8.1 rebounds per game, while shooting .569 from the field.
Yesterday, Nike released player measurements from the camp. Reddic was 6-9 1/2 in shoes (actually a 1/2 inch taller than he was listed last season) and 248 pounds. When he arrived at VCU, Reddic was around 205 pounds. He told me last year he never lifted weights in high school. Last season, he played at around 235-240 pounds. Since the end of the 2012-13 season, a healthy Reddic has already added anywhere from eight to 13 pounds, which is great news. As he’s added weight over the years (and worked on his post game), Reddic has become more comfortable in the paint. As opposing teams found out last season, it’s getting increasingly difficult to push Reddic off the low block. There were some bigger, physical post players who were able to bother Reddic at times last season, but with even more muscle on what was once a slender frame, Reddic should have greater success controlling the painted area.
I’m looking forward to hearing his thoughts on it, but my assumption is that with a full offseason to work on his game and move heavy stuff in the weight room this summer, Reddic can be better than ever in 2013-14.