We have reached the top 5 in our countdown of Outside the Huddle’s Top 50 boys basketball players. This is No. 4 in our annual preseason crowning of the top 5 players in northeast Indiana that we call the ‘First Five;’ our highest individual preseason honor.
The ‘First Five’ was started in 2018, following in the 35-plus year tradition of naming the top five area basketball players, started by a now defunct prep sports department in Fort Wayne. It is our honor to pick up and carry on that tradition with the ‘First Five,’ including our fourth group of honorees coming this season at the top of our Top 50 countdown.
No. 4 Joe Reidy, Woodlan
Reidy’s body of work speaks for itself. Since the moment he debuted as a freshman, he has been a game changer for a Woodlan team in the thick of the ACAC conversation. Heading into this season, the lasting image of Reidy is his late season near buzzer beater that sunk eventual state runner up Leo. That is what Reidy has had to deal with for years: teams throwing absolutely everything they have at him yet him finding ways to succeed loudly. He uses his length extremely well, finding ways to maneuver his body around interior defenders, but he isn’t afraid to clash at the rim and see who is stronger. He has never been a traditional post, yet as his years have increased, so has his muscle mass and his ability to handle bigger guys at the rim.
Reidy’s rebounding prowess has been high end. He works his angles well and knows how to position his body successfully, especially on the the offensive end. You rarely see a player of Reidy’s size at this level that can handle the ball, read the defense and make passes the way he is able to going into his senior year. He doesn’t just make the right reads with his back to the basket, which he can do finding cutters, but he is a heads up guy in transition too. Reidy can initiate the offense when needed and plays with purpose even when he is screening and creating. That patience and savviness is an underrated part of his game because of how loud his offensive effort is.
Reidy averaged 23.2 points per game last season to lead the ACAC. He also averaged 11.7 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game while shooting 48.2 percent from the field.
COACH’S QUOTE ON JOE REIDY
“Joe will go down as one of the best players in the history of the Woodlan High School Boys’ Basketball Program. He came into high school as a tall, skinny kid with good instincts and the ability to drive to the rim. Through hard work and determination, Joe has made himself into a strong, dominant player that can do everything on the floor at a high level. His versatility on both ends of the court is what makes him truly special. Offensively, he can handle the ball, make any pass on the floor, shoot from the outside and mid-range, drive the ball, and mix it up inside. Defensively, he has shown that he can guard any position on the court. Joe uses his length, feel, and drive to impact games as an elite-level rebounder and shot blocker. There is no question that Joe is primed for a big Senior season and I am excited to see what his future holds.” – Woodlan coach John Baker
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