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Herndon All-Met Reynolds to Play for Sooners

By Josh Barr
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, April 15, 2005; 1:11 AM

After getting a phone call and a text message from a fellow rising senior halfway across the country, Herndon All-Met guard Scottie Reynolds decided to tell Oklahoma Coach Kelvin Sampson he would accept a scholarship offer to play for the Sooners.

Reynolds made a believer out of Sampson beginning at a camp last summer. However, Reynolds knows it might be some time before he is able to convince others that he can play point guard at an elite college program.

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Herndon All-Met guard Scottie Reynolds accepts a scholarship offer to play for the Oklahoma Sooners.
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At 6 feet, Reynolds often handles the ball for the Hornets, but not in the role of a traditional point guard. And in the offseason, playing for the Boo Williams AAU program, Reynolds does not get a lot of time at point guard -- All-Met teammates Eric Hayes of Potomac (Va.) and Chris Wright of St. John's often fill that role.

But while Reynolds does not play the point often -- and his height might make it difficult to play shooting guard in college -- Herndon Coach Gary Hall is certain Reynolds will be fine.

"I'm amazed at the people who question whether Scottie can play point," Hall said. The schools that did not recruit Scottie or the schools that did not offer a scholarship, had that concern. I do understand it, because they haven't seen him play."

Hall then referenced that Michigan was among the schools that had offered a scholarship.

"If [Michigan Coach] Tommy Amaker thinks Scottie can play point, that's validation enough," Hall said. "Scottie almost gets penalized because he can score.

"People aren't going to offer Scottie a scholarship based on me telling them he could play point. But if you know anything about the kid's work ethic, you know he is going to be a good point guard. If you want him to come down the floor, hold a finger up and run a play, he can do that. But that's not taking advantage of his ability. . . . The worst thing you can do with Scottie is put him in a mold as a point guard. That would be ludicrous."

Reynolds, whom Hall said Sampson compared to former Sooners standout Hollis Price, is bothered by the concerns.

"Point guard is just a name," he said. "When you go out on the basketball court, you're just a player. I don't worry about it too much because I know what I can do and hopefully others will see that too.

Reynolds said he has worked on his ballhandling for the past year to try to make himself a better player.

"I had to work on it," he said. "I like what I did this past year in high school ball. I think I showed everybody what I'm capable of doing, what type of guard I am. As a shooting guard or a point guard, you always have to stay sharp with your dribbling skills."

As for making his decision, Reynolds said he followed his gut, but that he was persuaded to make his choice by Damion James, a 6-foot-8 forward from Nacogdoches, Texas.

After committing to Oklahoma this past Monday, James called Reynolds and asked how he felt. The following day, James sent Reynolds a text message on his cell phone during the school day.


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