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Kansas’ Reed may supplant Battier as game’s winningest player


UPDATE: According to BTNStatsguy, Reed only played in 114 of those wins. Meanwhile, Ohio State’s David Lighty has won 129 games as a player. Four more wins would give him the record. I’d side with Lighty in that argument. Memphis’ Robert Dozier and Antonio Anderson won 138 games during their careers, but won’t have the official record as the NCAA vacated 38 of the Tigers’ wins.

Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski isn’t the only one closing in a major college basketball wins record. Kansas senior Tyrel reed could leave as the game’s winningest player.

Yes, Tyrel Reed.

He’s just two victories from tying for Duke All-American Shane Battier’s mark for 133 victories in a career. Maybe it seems odd the 6-3 guard, who didn’t start regularly for the Jayhawks until this season, could supplant one a former national player of the year atop the wins chart.

But that’s what happens when you spend your career with a successful program, focus on playing hard, playing defense. Being a sharpshooter from beyond the arc doesn’t hurt either.

“These last two years, he’s been a big part of us winning. Last three years, really,” junior guard Tyshawn Taylor told the Lawrence Journal-World. “Maybe not so much his freshman year, when they won it all, but the last three years, we’ve won a lot of games because Tyrel made some big shots for us. We call him ‘Big Shot Ty,’ and he got that name for a reason.”

His career breaks down along these lines, provided by Matt Tait’s story in the J-W:

Reed averaged just six minutes and two points per game as a freshman, but Kansas won 37 games and a national title. His numbers jumped to 21 minutes and 7 points per game the next year and KU’s win-total stayed high at 27. Last season, Reed’s numbers dipped a little, as he played just 16 minutes a game and averaged 5 points per outing. KU won 33 games. And this year, with Reed starting all 36 contests and averaging 10 points a game, KU’s win total has remained elite. The Jayhawks are 34-2 entering Friday’s game.

Two more wins and he’s secured a spot in the record books. Not bad for a kid from Burlington, Kan.

“I’m just a normal kid who grew up in a small town in Kansas,” Reed said. “That’s just me. But it would be awesome if it happened. Coming from a small town like that, it just shows it can be done.”

You also can follow me on Twitter @MikeMillerNBC.