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That February night at Antelope Valley playing in front of his future college coach, Chris Reyes probably got a few calls against him that he didn't deserve.
As such, the then-freshman forward had to settle for 28 points, 22 rebounds and eight blocks, very nearly one of the better triple-double performances Larry Krystkowiak has seen in his scouting days.
"He should have had double-digit blocks, but he got a couple bad fouls," Utah's coach said. "He would've had a triple-double - an amazing triple double. We kind of know what he's capable of doing."
For a player that spent last season leading Citrus College in points (18 ppg) and rebounds (12 rpg), it's a little odd that the 6-foot-7 Western State Conference MVP has simply blended in. To go quickly from the do-it-all star on his JuCo team to a reliable 6-point, 7-rebound per-game guy might be a tricky adjustment for some people, but not for Reyes.
It's a nose-to-the-grindstone deal for the sophomore at the start of his Utah career: If he keeps getting rebounds and setting screens like he needs to, he'll get his points.
"I'm totally fine with that," Reyes said. "We have a lot of great players on the team, we're gonna run plays for them. But if I get points off misses, I'm totally happy with that."
For Reyes, it's hard to believe that's simply a company line. He seems cheerful after most practices, even if the coaching staff has bugged him about improving his conditioning.
At 230 pounds, Reyes is wider and stronger than most other posts on the roster. He's also one of the fastest Utes running the court end-to-end, and his comparatively stocky appearance belies his inherent athleticism. He's happy to run or get physical, whichever is required.
"He's bounced a few people around at this point in the season," Krystkowiak said. "I wouldn't say he's an enforcer, but he's certainly harder to move down there."
If Utah has done one thing at an elite level so far this season, it's hitting the offensive glass. Utah has a Pac-12-leading 46.7 percent mark in offensive rebounding opportunities. KenPom.com lists freshman center Jakob Poeltl as the fifth-best player nationally so far in this statistic. Reyes is No. 6.
If you ask Citrus College coach Chris Victor, it's no surprise. Victor recalls Reyes one-season campaign for the Owls as "one of the best years in California junior college ball in a long time." As a featured player, Reyes was enforcing his will on both ends of the court.
"He can score in the paint or at the perimeter; he has great instincts on defense; he can rebounding on both ends," Victor said. "As he gets more comfortable up there in Coach Krystkowiak's system, that will start to show."
The major thing Reyes worked on, Victor said, was his academics. After a less-than-stellar redshirt freshman year at St. Mary's in the classroom, he transferred to Citrus to be closer to home and improve his grades. Victor said Reyes' consistency with school has improved, and he puts more effort into it than he did starting out.
Krystkowiak hopes Reyes' physicality will pay off in games against other forwards who aren't afraid to rumble down low. Not only is Reyes an asset because he can play strong, he can help get Utah's less-sturdy posts ready for that kind of contact.
There may be plenty more to Reyes' game Utah fans have yet to see. For now, he's just happy just doing the dirty work.
"Some of these guys don't like to hit people that much," he said. "So me going out there, I hit them really hard during practice. It shows them it's fun to hit people sometimes - that's what I think."
Utah's Thanksgiving tournament
O Wednesday Jon M. Huntsman Center
Utah vs. Texas-Pan American • 6 p.m., Pac-12 Networks
Radio • 700 AM
Records • TPA 3-0; Utah 2-1
Series history • First meeting