Will Reid Travis be willing to “buy in” at Kentucky?

Reid Travis

By LARRY VAUGHT

Give Reid Travis credit for not giving a lot away about what his plans are now that he’s leaving Stanford as a graduate transfer. He made that announcement when he took his name out of the NBA draft, but while everyone is assuming either Kentucky or Villanova will be his next stop, he’s not said.

Villanova won the national title and certainly has openings for playing time next season. However, Kentucky should have far more talent overall going into next season than Villanova would have even with Travis and winning seems to be what Travis values the most right now. He wants a chance to win a national title, something he didn’t have at Stanford, and UK would seem to give him a better chance to do that than Villanova.

Travis to Kentucky has been a hot rumor for over a month and those I know at Kentucky still seem very confident he’s going to pick playing for coach John Calipari. He’s a two-time all-Pac 12 player and at UK he would get a chance to develop his perimeter skills more and that’s something he also wants. Kentucky is already a top 10 team going into next season. With Travis, that jumps to at least top five.

“He’s a very accomplished player,” UK Radio Network analyst Mike Pratt, a former UK All-American, said. “But a transfer is a two-sided coin. They have to buy in to what you are wanting. You have to communicate how he can benefit and how the team can benefit.

“You have to get him to accept things he has not seen before and accept the way things are done at your school. It’s a big change. But if you can walk down the road hand in hand, it all can go really well.”

Pratt believes Travis’ talent — he’s a two-time all-Pac 12 player — would fit well at Kentucky if he buys into what Calipari wants.

“Part of that would be communicating what is expected of him and what he can do for the team,” Pratt said. “He doesn’t have to average 19 points a game at Kentucky if he comes. The pros have seen him. They have told him what is good and what is bad with his game and what he has to work on. But at Kentucky he would have a chance to win a national championship and he just has to decide what that would mean to him.”

3 comments

  1. Pratt’s right, Travis would not have to average 19 points at UK, but his work on the boards would definitely make that a possibility. The SEC has gone to a physical style of play to counter KY’s talent and it has worked to a certain extent. Travis would give KY a bruiser to go with Washington to match up with Schofield and Williams at UT. Add Montgomery to that front line and it would be only second to the Kansas frontline at the beginning of the season. By tournament time, KY could be the best because I see Richards getting better in year 2 and Johnson will add versatility at the 3 spot. If Travis wants to win a national title, his best shot at that with with KY. This of course assumes Cal can teach his guards how to run the pick and roll and make post passes. With this lineup there is no reason to ever go to a 3 guard lineup.

  2. I think he will end up at UK , but there is no way he will be allowed to play on the perimeter at UK like he would at Villanova. Nova shoots about 3 times as many outside shots as UK, and they live and die with their outside shooting. Towns was a pretty good outside shooter when came to UK and he very seldom was allowed to shoot outside. Also, PJ Washington’s dad just recently mentioned that PJ was glad he got the opportunity to show the NBA he could shoot outside because he was not allowed to at UK. If this kid comes to UK, there is no way Calipari lets him play on perimeter very much at all. Outside shots are not how Calipari wants to play. Every year he talks about taking the ball to the basket because that is what he wants to do.

  3. Cal talks “pick n roll” much more than he walks it. We have desperate need for outside shooters and Reid would fit the bill nicely. With Coach Mike’s mentoring he would give us a big edge to the big NC.

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