The Bobby Petrino situation had an indirect effect on former Razorback star U.S. Reed.
"I kind had my mine made up I wanted a motorcycle," he said during a recent appearance before the Arkansas Sports Club.
His wife nixed that.
"She’s a pretty lady, but she can fight," Reed quipped.
The guard most known for making the halfcourt shot that enabled the Hogs to beat Louisville in the 1981 Midwest Regional Final covered a lot of territory in a short talk.
He even related some summer league experiences involving former University of Central Arkansas and NBA great Scottie Pippen.
"Scottie was a scrawny little thing out of high school who played in the Little Rock summer league; we used to block his shot, slam it against the wall and just laugh," he said. "He wasn’t very good."
Then, Pippen hit a growth spurt on the way to become a UCA icon and an NBA great.
"I remember folks told me after that summer that Scottie had gotten good," Reed said. "I said, ‘Scottie Pippen, good?’"
Then he went to a UCA basketball game Scottie’s junior year. "I couldn’t believe at the time that I bought a ticket to see Scottie Pippen," he said. "Then, I watched him and said, ‘Who is that guy?’"
Later, with U.S. at point guard and Pippen at shooting guard, the two teamed that summer to help dominate the Little Rock summer league, which attracted some top players throughout the region.
"It was great to watch him blossom," Reed said.
He also was a late bloomer. As a child his father, a Pine Bluff physician, asked him whether he wanted a swimming pool or a basketball court. He built him a basketball court. "It was a full court, marked and with lights, that backed him to Pine Bluff High School," he said. "The neighborhood kids thought it was a park."
Reed developed at an early age playing on his court with neighborhood kids.
Even though he led the Zebras to a state championship his senior year, he received only an offer to walk on with the Razorbacks, whom he always dreamed of playing. He walked on and was offered a scholarship only a week before school started because assistant Pat Foster told him the coaches liked his work ethic.
"I had watched the other freshmen practice from the stands," he said. "I learned all their weaknesses. So, I was able to work myself into the sixth man."
But as part of an agreement with his mother in getting the basketball court, he took 10 years of classial piano.
"One of our coaches at the time, Gene Keady, was a former football coach and he said he thought taking piano lessons helped develop rhythm," Reed said. "So, thank you, Mom."
As a homegrown Arkansas talent, he realizes the value of recruiting from the home base.
"If you lose, you’ve got to go back in the hood and face the folks and try to explain why you didn’t win."
(Sports columnist David McCollum can be reached at 505-1235 or firstname.lastname@example.org)