Update on future Grizzly: Billy Reader

This is another update on a future Bobcat or Griz player today I am going to look at Billy Reader.

Billy Reader 6-8 Lake Oswego high school in Lake Oswego Oregon

Last spring Billy Reader was considered a D-1 prospect but not a lot of schools were tripping over themselves to get to him. He averaged a very modest 9 points and 6 rebounds a game his junior year albeit on a very good Lake Oswego team, but when you are in the 6-8 to 6-9 range recruiters do tend to pay attention. Last spring and summer though he definitely piqued the interest in a handful of D-1 programs with his play in the AAU circuit. Reader was considered to be the #2 big man on his AAU with the #1 distinction falling on Portland State signee 6-10 Brandon Cataldo, but what playing with Cataldo did do for Reader was allow him to move out of the center spot to the power forward spot and it is here that Reader really caught the interest of D-1 coaches.

What coaches’ saw in Reader were some athleticism and offensive skills that would definitely allow him to play the forward spot in college and at 6-8 great size also. The word that started to be bounced around was potential. Montana, Montana State and Portland State really thought they had a real sleeper in Reader and were all recruiting him very hard. He of course eventually signed Montana.

This past year it appears that Reader showed some of that potential for Lake Oswego. Reader averaged 16 points, 8 rebounds for them this year but was sort of up and down. He had high games of 21, 22, 24, 27, 28 points as well as lows of 4, 8, 8, 9, & 9. His rebounding was like wise a little up and down. It also seemed for the Lake Oswego team as Billy Reader went so did the fortunes of LO.

I really like Reader, and I see him as a player who will only get better. The progress he has made in the last year has been remarkable. I think he will battle Grizzly redshirt freshman Eric Hutshison for playing time next year. Hutchison is more of a banger journeyman type of big man for the Griz and his year in the system will be his advantage. Reader is a much more dynamic aggressive player who should have a bright future, but it will all depend on who works harder in the summer and fall. These two should make for a great front court tandem down the line for the Griz.

Here is what ESPN has to say about Reader. Note the differences between the 12/08 and 8/09 evaluations.

Billy Reader

Hometown Lake Oswego, OR
High School Lake Oswego High School
Position rank Power Forward # 225
Height 6’8″
Weight 230 lbs.

ESPN Overall Rating 78
ESPN Point Guard Rank #225


August, 2009: Reader has added some good weight since watching him during the regular season. He has always had a solid looking frame with long arms, but now he has the strength to bang inside. He isn’t overly bouncy or quick off the floor, but he does have a knack to grab rebounds and block shots. He struggles against better athletes in the paint area due to being too mechanical, but he is a battler. Although he isn’t a great low post scorer, he has the ability to shot the jump shot at the elbow. He could be very good in a pick and pop set because he is a very capable screener. Reader is that prototypical blue-collar type that should excel in the Big Sky Conference.

December, 2008: Reader is quite gangly at this stage and doesn’t have great feet, but he is very effective. His long arms, good hands, and toughness are attributes that stand out about his game. He is a blue collar prospect that is a very good rebounder and post defender. His offensive game is still raw, but he does have a solid drop step and he hits the offensive glass hard. In addition, he has a solid looking stroke out to the elbow area. Reader may never be an offensive force, but he is a tough 5/4 that knows how to win.

As I stated before Portland State, and Montana State were heavily involved with Reader before he signed, but I hear Portland, and Eastern Wash. were also involved, and I would guess there would be a heck of a lot of more interest this spring if he was still available.


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