HARRISONBURG — It was supposed to be a seamless transition between Angela Mickens and Logan Reynolds last season.
Reynolds spent her freshman year watching Mickens be the dynamic play-making point guard for James Madison, and she was challenged to take the reins of the offense and flourish as a sophomore. It might have been more than the demure 5-foot-7 guard from Norton could handle at that moment in time.
The now-junior struggled in her newfound role early last season for the Dukes, committing 30 turnovers and dishing out just 28 assists in 11 starts in the non-conference portion of the season.
“What plagued me at the beginning was playing too fast and not being confident in myself, and the turnovers played a significant role in that,” Reynolds said. “Honing in my energy and what I can control and how I can contribute and knowing my role as a point guard, I think uplifted me in the later half of the season.”
When JMU started the Colonial Athletic Association portion of its schedule, coach Sean O’Regan inserted Hailee Barron into the starting lineup at point guard and used a platoon system with her and Reynolds. The move transformed Reynolds into the point guard O’Regan said he always thought she could be. In the Dukes’ final 24 games, Reynolds contributed 65 assists while limiting herself to 31 turnovers in her revised role.
Now O’Regan is challenging Reynolds, who has been limited by an ankle injury early in practice, to assert control over the offense on a more consistent basis. The second-year coach said much of Reynolds’ duties last year centered around finding ways to get the ball to former JMU guard Precious Hall, but he wants her to expand her game and own the point guard spot, which would allow Barron to slot into her more natural role as a shooter.
“I just want [Reynolds] to take the reins,” O’Regan said. “What I’d like to have is Logan taking it over and being the aggressive floor general/scorer that I want her to be. She’s got all the capabilities; she’s got leaderships, she’s got charisma — the whole team likes her — so just owning the role that I want her to have is the challenge.”
Reynolds said she feels more prepared to step into that role after going through the struggles of last season. She said she learned a lot from her sophomore campaign, which has helped her grow and develop into a more confident leader ready to handle more responsibility within the offense this year.
“It’s definitely helpful to have the support system of Hailee and my other teammates, but I think I’ve matured in a sense that I’m more comfortable with carrying a weight on my back,” Reynolds said. “It comes with it. It comes with the game, it comes with the position and I’m welcoming it with open arms.”
Before Reynolds gets the chance to don the No. 13 for JMU this season, that number will be retired in her honor at Wise County Central High School at halftime of the school’s football game against Union today. Reynolds finished her high school career with 1,742 points after leading the Warriors to back-to-back Virginia High School League Group 2A state championships in 2014 and 2015. She was also the 2015 VHSL 2A state Player of the Year.
Reynolds said she was surprised when she received the call that she was going to be honored and was humbled by the recognition she is receiving.
“It’s something that every college player aspires to reach to,” Reynolds said. “I’m just very thankful that I had the coaching staff, teammates, and most importantly, my family to support me and keep me driven during high school. It’s a great honor.”