Reid Travis has skills, leadership, experience to lead Kentucky to a special season

Reid Travis (Bob Drebin/Stanford Athletics Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Only a few hours after Kentucky announced that Reid Travis had transferred from Stanford to join the Wildcats, ESPN adjusted its early preseason top 25 poll to have Kentucky No. 1.

Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook editor Chris Dortch is already contemplating a similar move with his belief now that Kentucky even has more talent than Kansas.

Few can doubt that John Calipari now has the team to beat this year.

Former Arizona State Guard Sabrina Haines Transfers to Kentucky

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Former Pac-12 All-Freshman Team guard Sabrina Haines has elected to transfer into the Kentucky women’s basketball program after two impressive seasons at Arizona State, head coach Matthew Mitchell announced Wednesday. Haines will have to sit out the 2018-19 season due to NCAA transfer rules.

Haines comes to Lexington after starting her collegiate career at Arizona State, where she played in 75 career games with 38 starts before her junior season was cut short after only nine games due to injury. Haines shined on and off the court in Tempe, earning Pac-12 All-Freshman honorable mention honors in 2016, while she was Pac-12 All-Academic honorable mention in 2017 and second-team in 2018.

Stanford grad Reid Travis transfers to loaded Kentucky roster

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Kentucky’s 2018-19 roster was already loaded with what appears to be a powerful mix of talent and experience, but the Wildcats gained another boost of both with the addition of Stanford graduate transfer Reid Travis.

The two-time First Team All-Pac-12 selection announced Wednesday that he will transfer to UK to pursue a master’s degree. Under NCAA graduate transfer rules, Travis will be eligible to play for the Wildcats in the fall after graduating with his undergraduate degree in science, technology and society on Sunday.

Does overall talent at Kentucky lead to limited roles that keep players from showcasing all their talent?

Karl Antony-Towns talks to ESPN’s Shannon Spake. (Clay Jackson/cjackson@amnews.com)

By LARRY VAUGHT

I remember a few years back when then NBA draft analyst Ed Isaacson said he felt John Calipari did a terrific job of hiding players’ weaknesses at Kentucky.

I took that as a compliment to Calipari’s coaching but some close to the UK basketball program were offended.

Now ESPN NBA scouting analyst Mike Schmitz is basically saying the same thing going into Thursday night’s NBA draft where both Kevin Knox and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander could be lottery picks.

What makes Mitchell Robinson so intriguing to NBA teams after he skipped freshman season at Western Kentucky?

By LARRY VAUGHT

If you wonder how NBA teams could risk a first-round draft pick on Kentucky freshman Jarred Vanderbilt because of his injury history, think about Mitchell Robinson.

He was the McDonald’s All-American who signed with Western Kentucky, left campus during the summer, came back when the fall semester started and then left again.

He did not play anywhere last season, but he’s projected as a first-round pick in Thursday’s draft in every mock draft I have seen.

Jacob Tamme, Anthony Davis part of 2018 Kentucky Athletics Hall of Fame class

Jacob Tamme (Keyli Chisesi/Gobigbluecountry.com)

LEXINGTON, Ky. – The University of Kentucky Athletics Hall of Fame Class of 2018 has been announced, with Russ Cochran (men’s golf), Anthony Davis (men’s basketball), Victoria Dunlap (women’s basketball), Dennis Emery (men’s tennis coach), Eric Quigley (men’s tennis) and Jacob Tamme (football) set to be inducted during Hall of Fame Weekend, Sept. 21-22, in conjunction with the football home game vs. Mississippi State.

Russ Cochran, Men’s Golf, 1975-78

Lack of predraft workouts should not impact Shai Gilgeous-Alexanders’s draft position

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (Jeff Houchin Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Bobby Marks, ESPN’s front office insider for the NBA draft, doesn’t think Shai Gilgeous-Alexander avoiding workouts with some NBA teams will have little impact on his draft status Thursday night.

“I think there’s enough body of work for players in college that we’ve seen, either in one year, if they’ve been healthy, to get a clear evaluation than bringing a player in and having him go one on 0,” said Marks Thursday during a teleconference with media members.

Why did James Wiseman not make USA under 17 roster cut?

Kentucky recruiting target James Wiseman of Memphis. (USA Basketball)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Competition was going to be stiff to make the USA under 17 team that will play in the FIBA Championship.

However, there was one huge surprise when the initial tryout list was trimmed to 18 on Monday.

James Wiseman, the No. 1 player in the 2019 recruiting class, was not among the 18 players to advance.

The versatile 7-foot Wiseman helped the USA under 16 team win a gold medal last year. He has scholarship offers from Kentucky, Kansas, Memphis, Florida, Arizona, Alabama, North Carolina and many, many more.

Losing games hurts draft status, but Calipari still thinks first-round possible for Vanderbilt and Diallo

Hamidou Diallo (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Kentucky is likely to have two first-round draft picks — Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Kevin Knox — in Thursday’s NBA draft.

However, coach John Calipari admitted Monday that UK’s 26-11 record last season, and disappointing loss to Kansas State in the NCAA Tournament, hurt the draft status of Kentucky players.

“We lost four (games) in a row (during the season). That hurts your draft position. … If we won 38 straight games (as UK did in the 2014-15 season), what? These guys would have been considered right there,” Calipari said.

ESPN scouting analyst would not be surprised if Cavs used eighth pick on Kevin Knox

Kevin Knox (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

How much has Kevin Knox helped himself with his redraft workouts?

So much that ESPN scouting analyst Mike Schmitz said on a teleconference today that he would not rule out Knox going to Cleveland with the eighth pick overall during Thursday night’s draft.

“It’s really going to depend on where (Michael) Porter goes. If Porter goes higher than expected, is he going to push a guy like Wendell Carter down to them, who I’m sure they would like to have at 8, and Bobby (Marks) mentioned two other guys that are probably in the mix there with Sexton and Porter. I think they’ll probably give the other two point guards looks in terms of Trae Young and Gilgeous-Alexander, if they’re on the board,” Schmitz said.