Kyisean Reed becoming a leader for Aggies basketball
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After a week in which senior forward Kyisean Reed averaged 16.7, 7.7 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 2.0 blocks and shot 57.1 percent from the field, he was appropriately honored with the Western Athletic Conference's player of the week award.

It's a tough thing to be a high-motor guy on a given night, much less three nights in a row. But Reed might've just had his best week as an Aggie in the World Vision Challenge, reaching the 20-point mark twice, and offering a number of plays that simply lit up a Spectrum crowd somewhat diminished by the holidays.

And characteristically, he understated his performance on Saturday night — and given the power of his dunks, it would've been hard for anyone to be humble.

"I think I'm well-conditioned, so I just come out and bring the energy every night," he said. "They were giving me a lot of one-on-ones. I thought they were going to double team me, but they didn't. So I just took advantage, took my time, made my shots."

That comment points to something striking: Reed is now a guy who must be double-teamed?

So what about Jarred Shaw, who is averaging right around a double-double? Or Preston Medlin, who had 39 points on back-to-back nights this weekend?

Utah State didn't always play its best basketball in the World Vision Challenge, and coach Stew Morrill has preached his team needs more consistency in its practice habits as well as its games.

But the Aggies are a versatile group: The front court can score and rebound with competitive teams, and the back court can make shots when called upon. It was telling that one of Utah State's best wins, the 70-58 victory over Southern Illinois, came without Danny Berger and Spencer Butterfield. There's some decent depth here, and the role players are getting a better handle on their roles.

And Reed might be the great X-factor to it all. His consistency has shined through to Morrill and the staff, even as the Aggies have had their swings.

"He's practiced with a lot of energy," Morrill said. "He's like a whole different guy this year, just day-in and day-out. He's just playing his tail off. ... Much more physical, much more active. Not just having those times when he's just out there. He's doing well."

From Morrill, that's pretty high praise.

Utah State has a lot of good parts, but they don't often unify in a single game. If the Aggies can be fully in sync — with the frontcourt scoring and rebounding, and the backcourt defending and shooting well, they could actually be a dangerous team as we get through conference play.

— Kyle Goon

kgoon@sltrib.com

Twitter: @kylegoon