At College: Marion’s Jarred Reuter is the quiet Cavalier at Virginia
Posted Jan 7, 2017 at 7:20 PMUpdated Jan 7, 2017 at 8:35 PM
Jarred Reuter isn’t a big fan of talking about Jarred Reuter.
Maybe the best example of that is his Twitter feed, which features nary a mention of the 6-foot-7, 243-pounder from Marion who is finding his groove during his sophomore season at the University of Virginia.
His last 36 tweets, dating back to April, are re-tweets. Even his last original tweet wasn’t self-serving; he was sending out video highlights of his younger brother, Grant, during his junior football season at Old Rochester (his younger sister, Gabby, plays basketball at Stonehill).
But for a guy who eschews the spotlight, he might have to watch out. He’s suddenly the leading post scorer for No. 11-ranked Virginia, which is coming off an Elite Eight appearance in Reuter’s freshman season.
“As a whole, I think I’m more comfortable,” said Reuter, a true sophomore who is averaging 6.4 points, 3.6 rebounds and 0.9 assists in 15.6 minutes per game. “It’s nice to be out there and being competitive and having more of a chance. Definitely, I’m more comfortable.”
Reuter, the son of former Bishop Stang and University of New Hampshire star Denise Higgins Reuter, grew up across the SouthCoast, from Wareham to Rochester to Mattapoisett before landing in Marion. He attended the Old Rochester schools through eighth grade before enrolling at Tabor Academy, where he was named NEPSAC Class A Player of the Year in 2012-13 while averaging 23 points and 12 rebounds a game.
From there he went to Brewster Academy on the shores of Lake Winnipesaukee in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire. He helped lead the Bobcats to a 67-3 record in two seasons, resulting in offers from Boston College, UConn, Gonzaga, Iowa, Pittsburgh, Providence, URI, South Carolina and, of course, Virginia.
Reuter was the only freshman not to redshirt last year with the Cavaliers, although playing time was sparse. He averaged 4.8 minutes per game, scoring 1.6 points and pulling down 1.0 rebounds per game while shooting 45.7 percent from the field and 80 percent from the line.
“I just came in with the mindset that I wanted to do anything that was asked of me and do anything to help us win,” he said during a phone interview on Friday. “I learned a lot about how hard you have to work and what they do at this level.”
He did enjoy a few breakout moments as a freshman, scoring 11 points in an overtime win over California and twice leading the team in rebounding.
Coming off a 28-2 regular-season record and No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament in 2014-15, last year’s Cavaliers continued the UVA resurgence, finishing 29-8, with a 13-5 mark in the Atlantic Coast Conference, finishing second behind North Carolina, who they lost to in the ACC Tournament championship game.
As a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament, the Cavaliers cruised past No. 16 Hampton in the first round, 81-45, with Reuter playing three minutes and recording one assist. While he wouldn’t see the court again in the tournament, he enjoyed the ride to the Elite Eight.
“It was definitely cool,” he said. “It’s something as a basketball fan you watch growing up. To be part of it was cool. It was just great to be around and see the seniors during our run. I saw what it takes to win big games in big situations.”
But the end of Virginia’s run was bittersweet when they lost a heartbreaker to Syracuse, 68-62, in a game they led by 15 with 9:33 to play.
“Obviously, that’s not what we wanted, but it gives us a little chip on our shoulder,” Reuter said. “We learned a hard lesson.”
Amazingly, as Reuter and Virginia were advancing on one side of the bracket, his childhood friend and former local rival Bonzie Colson II was helping Notre Dame to its second-straight Elite Eight.
“He was one of my closest friends,” Colson II said of Reuter during last year’s tournament run. “Playing at the Boys club, it was always me and him going at each other. He was like my arch nemesis growing up. I’m happy for him.”
For the two, who grew up playing with and against each other at New Bedford’s Boys and Girls Club and on the BABC AAU team, it was almost surreal.
“I’m always following him,” Reuter said of Colson II, the son of New Bedford High boys basketball coach Bonzie Colson. “We’re still close. It’s great to see the success he’s having. I’m a big fan when he’s playing. We still work out together and talk and (reaching the Elite Eight) is something we talk about.”
oming off the deep tournament run, Reuter spent about four weeks back in Marion last summer, working out with New Bedford High legend Marcus Wills and putting up thousands of shots as he looked to improve his range.
“I was just trying to expand my game offensively,” he said. “It was a lot of shooting, just getting up shots.”
He also traveled with his Virginia teammates to Spain for a two-week barnstorming trip. The team traveled to Madrid, Valencia and Barcelona, playing local pro and semi-pro teams.
“It was a really good experience,” Reuter said. “We had played all summer, but it was our first time in game situations. It was fun.”
Coming into his sophomore season, Reuter knew he’d gain playing time with the graduations of Anthony Gill and Mike Tobey. He started earning minutes against the top competition, playing 16 minutes against then-No. 6 Louisville, 11 minutes against then-No. 11 West Virginia and 10 minutes again then-No. 20 Florida State. He scored a career-high 14 points and pulled down nine rebounds in 21 minutes on Nov. 25 in a win over Iowa.
“He’s a great passer for a guy that’s big,” UVA assistant coach Brad Soderberg told the Daily Progress. “He has a great skill set around the rim. He’s very, very physical. He’s got great feet. I think he’s a great fit for the UVA program, and a guy I think is going to really become a star.”
While Reuter hasn’t ranged too far from the hoop this season, his offseason work with Wills is already paying dividends. He’s increased his shooting percentage from 45.7 to 64.4 while connecting on 81.3 percent of his free throws.
I like to play in the post,” Reuter said, “but I think it’s helped me a lot to step out and shoot a little bit.”
The soft-spoken, but competitive, Reuter has also been impressing his coaches off the court.
“I really like him,” Soderberg told the Daily Progress. “He’s got a dry sense of humor. He’s a really confident kid in his abilities, but he’s not outspoken at all. He’s just a real gentleman – a guy I’ve really come to enjoy.”
Soderberg went on to compare Reuter to former Iowa State standout Georges Niag, who scored 34 points against the Cavaliers in last year’s Sweet 16 and was selected in the second-round of June’s NBA draft by the Indiana Pacers.
“He doesn’t shoot the ball at the 3-point line like Niag,” Soderberg said. “But he’s got a lot of other things like him.”
Right now, Reuter is focused on helping Virginia end a two-game losing streak today against Wake Forest.
Still, the Cavaliers are 11-3 and primed for another big season. Reuter has scored in double-figures four times and went for 10 points in 23 minutes on Wednesday against Georgia Tech.
“We just take it one game at a time,” Reuter said. “We’re looking to get back on track.”
And that may be the perfect platitude to represent Reuter. Simple. Straight-forward. Self-effacing. And, most importantly, primed for more.
Follow Brendan Kurie on Twitter @BrendanKurieSCT
University of Virginia will be up north tonight playing at Boston College at 8pm. Don’t miss it. Many locals of the tri-town will be there including Denise Higgins Reuter of BOLD Moves Real Estate, Jarred’s Mom. She’s looking forward to the nearby game.
Visit www.boldmovesrealestate.com with local BOLDIES who are committed to the local communities they live and work in.
This blog was posted on www.boldmovesrealestate.com on January 18, 2016.