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The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

Fit to be king
Lilli Dellheim '25 M.A., Special to the Hawk • July 13, 2024

Erik Reynolds II is grooving and growing in his first year

First+year+guard+Erik+Reynolds+II+extends+for+a+layup.+PHOTO%3A+MITCHELL+SHIELDS+%E2%80%9922%2FTHE+HAWK
First year guard Erik Reynolds II extends for a layup. PHOTO: MITCHELL SHIELDS ’22/THE HAWK


Erik Reynolds II is starting to find his groove on the St. Joe’s men’s basketball team.

In the team’s last four games, the 6’2 first-year guard has averaged nearly 19 points per game on over 50% shooting from the floor. Reynolds has also made just above 40% of his shots from three-point range, going 13 for 32 in that same stretch. Defensively, Reynolds has recorded a block in each of the last three games.

This hot stretch is a byproduct of confidence that stems from more experience with each passing game and the team’s belief in him, Reynolds said after St. Joe’s game against Fordham University.

“The confidence given from my team and the coaches allows me to not be so anxious to do certain things,” Reynolds said. “I can just play through the system that Coach has us doing. Plus it comes with the experience of [facing] different defenses and different people I have to guard.”

Reynolds scored 15 of St. Joe’s final 28 points en route to a career-high 23 points against Fordham University on Feb. 5. Head Coach Billy Lange said during a press conference Reynolds is a natural scorer, and once he gets the ball, the other team can’t keep up with him.

“He’s arguably the fastest guy on the court in every game we play,” Lange said.

Reynolds is also learning how to become a point guard, Lange said. In the three of the last four games, Reynolds has had an assist to turnover ratio of three to one or better. He had no games with a ratio as good or better than that in the team’s first 17 contests. 

Still, there are nuances that come with being a lead guard that Lange hopes Reynolds will develop with more experience.

“At the end of the [Fordham] game, you need someone that knows how to cut, knows how to foot fake, knows how to get open, knows how to eye fake and come back and get the ball,” Lange said.

Reynolds, who said he’s traditionally operated as a secondary ball handler throughout his career, called learning the balance between scoring and facilitating a “journey.” He said he is learning to make quicker decisions with the ball. 

“If I’m stuck in a position where I’m thinking too much, I just slow down everything,” Reynolds said. “I try to slow my mind down in different situations.”

Whether it be as a scoring guard or a floor general, Lange said he ultimately wants Reynolds to be himself on the court.

“I just want him to be Erik Reynolds,” Lange said. “He’s such a beautiful human being and is compliant almost to a fault sometimes.”

On Feb. 7, Reynolds received his fourth Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Year Award of the season. While some first-year players may get caught up in the accolades, Reynolds is the type of person to stay grounded, according to Bruce Kelley, Reynolds’ high school coach at Bullis School in Potomac, Maryland.

“He doesn’t get caught up in the hype and try to be a persona that he’s not,” Kelley told The Hawk in Sept. 2020. “He’s a genuine person who people can have genuine relationships with.”

Reynolds said he has gained confidence in not only himself but also the future of the program.

“Since the beginning of the season, you can see that everybody’s attitude has changed and it’s going in a very good direction for us,” Reynolds said. “I think things are looking up.”

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