Sometimes, a simple change of scenery is all it takes to jump start a prospective athlete’s recruitment. For 2015 Fairfax (Va.) Paul VI wing Josh Reaves, it was swapping AAU teams.
Reaves made the switch from Fairfax Stars to Team Takeover.
Linking up with Team Takeover for the July live period, Reaves traveled with the 16U team to the Nike Sweet 16 Invitational at the Peach Jam, among a number of other events.
“I think July went pretty good,” said Reaves. “Playing with different kids has really improved my game. Especially practicing with the 17’s, there’s a lot more competition there that made me tougher. Playing with Team Takeover really got me a lot more exposure than I would have had with most teams.”
At 6-foot-4, Reaves has played on the wing at the three for both Takeover and Paul VI, but projects as more of a two guard at the next level. The junior went on to explain his game in more depth.
“Defense, steals, scoring and starting fast breaks were all a part of what I was expected to bring to the court,” said Reaves. “I just - a lot of players don’t really admit this - but I really love to play defense. That’s something I have loved to do since I was younger, just stopping my opponents 1-on-1.”
Sporting offers from Villanova, Penn State and VCU, in addition to interest from Cincinnati, Georgetown and Virginia Tech, Reaves has seen his recruitment pick up.
The Nittany Lions recently threw their hat in the ring, offering the 2015 prospect after following his progress through July.
“Coach Dwayne was the one that contacted me,” explained Reaves. “He used to play in the WCAC, went to Villanova, and played for Takeover. That’s how he heard of me, and how we started talking.
“I don’t really know much about Penn State, but I’ve heard the coaches are really good. The people at Team Takeover say it’s a good program, and that it’s a great school academically.”
Despite just being hired earlier in July, Dwayne Anderson is already utilizing his contacts to make headway on the recruiting trail. Reaves talked about what the Nittany Lions’ assistant had been telling him.
“Coach Dwayne said they really love the way I play. At the Peach Jam, he said it was a coming out party for me. He really loved the way I stepped up when we were losing players to injury, and my competitiveness.”
The other two programs to get in early were Villanova and VCU, who have both extended offers in the past month and a half.
“They’ve both been saying that I’d be a great fit there,” said Reaves. “VCU, they really play fast, and it’s a lot of fun watching them play. I know one of the kids that goes there - Mo Alie-Cox. Just seeing him play was really cool. He’s helped me know about the school a lot more.”
With AAU in the rearview, Reaves is looking to take the next step and to see some of the schools recruiting him in person. He was originally scheduled to visit Villanova in the next week, but the visit has been postponed because head coach Jay Wright wasn’t going to be on campus. Reaves did say a trip to State College is in the works during the weekend of Sept. 7, when the Nittany Lions’ football team plays host to Eastern Michigan.
With two years of high school to go, Reaves does have a clear picture as to what he’s looking for in a college.
“The major thing is academics,” said Reaves. “Also, a coach who can teach me to play the game the right way and loves to interact with his players.”