Reid Travis, Kentucky Forward: 5 Fast Facts

Getty Reid Travis #22 of the Kentucky Wildcats shoots the ball against the Tennessee Volunteers.

Kentucky will be missing its leading scorer PJ Washington for at least the first round of the NCAA Tournament, John Calipari said Wednesday. It was previously reported by 247 Sports’ Derek Terry that Washington was in a “precautionary walking boot” earlier in the week.

“The specialists confirmed our original diagnosis that PJ Washington has a sprained foot and there is no fracture,” Calipari said at Wednesday’s media availability. “Once we determined that PJ was not going to play today, they put him in a hard cast for precautionary reasons. He is out for today’s game.”

That means other Wildcats will have to step up, including senior forward Reid Travis on the interior. The 6-foot-8 238-pounder averages 11.2 points per game and is second to Washington with 6.9 rebounds a contest.

Here’s what you need to know, including how he’ll replace Washington tonight in the frontcourt.

1. Travis Was Actually the More Productive Wildcat in Games This Season Against North Carolina and Duke


REID TRAVIS 20 POINTS VS NORTH CAROLINAUNSTOPPABLE!🔵⚪️ LETS GO 🔵⚪️🔵⚪️ LIKE AND SUB PLEASE2018-12-23T02:56:31Z

Washington may get the first-round NBA Draft buzz, but Travis has been the more productive interior presence in several big games. In the opener against Duke (a 118-84 loss), Travis racked up 22 points and 7 rebounds as opposed to Washington’s 8 points when matched up with the Blue Devils’ Zion Williamson.

A month and a half later at the CBS Sports Classic in Chicago, Travis fueled an 80-72 victory over current No. 1 seed North Carolina. He tallied 20 points, 7 boards and 3 assists while Washington struggled to just 11 points on the night.

Following Kentucky’s 86-69 rout over then top-ranked Tennessee in February, head coach John Calipari heaped praise on Travis, who posted 11 points, six rebounds and a pair of blocked shots in the decisive second half.

His physical presence helped limit defending SEC Player of the Year Grant Williams to just four shot attempts.

“The difference maker in the game for us was Travis,” Calipari said at the time. “Now his numbers, 11 and 8, and you can say what you want, but he was a beast against another beast. Like it negated that. ‘You’re not going to dominate us.'”

During the 2018 portion of the season, Travis averaged about the same amount of points and rebounds that Washington has all season. When healthy, he has proven to be a fine replacement. About that health…

2. Travis Suffered A Knee Sprain Just Before the SEC Tournament

A promising season hit a snag in February, as Travis suffered a Grade 1 right knee sprain versus Missouri. The senior forward went down in the second half with a knee injury that forced him to the locker room, though he didn’t need assistance in walking off the court.

Not long after the game ended, head coach John Calipari suggested on his postgame show that this could be a 2-week injury. As Sea of Blue pointed out, noted sports medicine specialist Dr. David Chao thought the injury wouldn’t be a hindrance for too long.

Travis wouldn’t return until the SEC Tournament. In his absence, the Wildcats went 4-1. The only loss was to Tennessee by 19 in Knoxville.

He’s come along slowly since his return. In 23 minutes against Alabama in the tournament quarterfinals, he scored just 8 points, though he asserted himself with 7 rebounds and 3 blocks. The next day against the Volunteers, he muscled his way to 11 points and 6 boards.

Calipari rested him longer than the original prognosis for a reason: he wanted Travis as an insurance option come March Madness time. Let’s see if the insurance claim plays out.

3. Reid Travis NBA Draft Projections and Scouting Reports


VideoVideo related to reid travis, kentucky forward: 5 fast facts2019-03-21T18:07:06-04:00

Travis came to Kentucky to be a “first-round prospect.” It hasn’t quite worked out that way. The New York Times profiled Travis and quoted NBA executives’ opinions of his draft potential.

The jury is still out on whether he has sufficiently improved his draft stock. Two N.B.A. front-office executives, who declined to be named because N.B.A. rules ban public discussion of prospects, delivered mixed reviews. One predicted Travis will not be drafted, and the other argued that thanks to Travis’s time at Kentucky, he had played his way into the low- or mid-second round.

He doesn’t appear on a slew of NBA mock drafts. Bryan Kalborsky of Hoops Hype aggregates 5 different mock drafts (ESPN, The Athletic, SI.com, NBA Draft Net and Bleacher Report) and averages them out to rank 100 potential prospects. Travis appears on none of them, so he falls well outside the second round.

4. He Originally Declared for the NBA Draft After 4 Years at Stanford, But Transferred Instead to Kentucky


Reid Travis vs USC. Full Coverage. 2018.01.07. 29pts, 10rebI do not own content i posted. All videos are property of the NCAA, TV Channels2018-01-11T12:05:30Z

Travis started his career at Stanford, earning First Team All-Pac-12 honors his junior and senior season. He averaged 19.5 points and 8.9 rebounds as a senior, and 17.4 points and 8.8 rebounds as a junior. For his efforts, he decided to test the NBA waters last summer, not signing with an agent.

“Reid is an exceptional player and an even better person,” Cardinal head coach Jerod Haase said at the time. “Reid has established himself as one of the premiere forwards in all of college basketball. This is a great opportunity for him to go through the process and be evaluated by some of the best minds in the game. We are thrilled for him as he has put himself in a very enviable position with a remarkable skill set and an unbelievable work ethic. We will do our due diligence as a coaching staff to help Reid make an educated decision at the end of the process.”

Travis was a 3-year captain and set several records in Palo Alto. He is one of three individuals in Stanford history with to record at least 1,400 points and 700 rebounds in less than 100 career games.

After earning only late second-round looks for the Draft, he decided to transfer to Kentucky after only one visit in May. He decided that Lexington would be best, since his dream was to make the NCAA Tournament. Stanford only made the NIT twice during Travis’ tenure.

“That was right up there with it, if not more important to me,” Travis told the Courier-Journal. “These memories and these life-long things. These are relationships, bonds, thing that you have 40-50 years from now. These games, winning championships, going deep into tournaments, that’s something I always wanted from college basketball.”

As Kentucky.com notes, the closest he got to an NCAA Tournament court before this week was when he was in high school.

Reid Travis’ only in-person experience with March Madness came when he attended a public workout in a year the NCAA Tournament came to Minneapolis. The team was Southern Cal. Seeing DeMar DeRozan was vivid in his memory.

“It’s weird to think I’m going to be participating in one of those open practices here,” Reid Travis said. “It’s kind of a full circle kind of deal that I’ll be on the other side of it now.”

5. Travis and His Family Are From Minnesota


Reid Travis talks about his brother Jonah TravisNCAA.com correspondent Andy Katz speaks with Reid Travis of Stanford. Pac-12's scoring leader talks about what it means to have his brother, Jonah Travis, at every game. Watch highlights, game recaps, and much more from the 2017 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament on the official NCAA March Madness YouTube channel. Subscribe now to be…2018-02-22T16:17:33Z

Travis arrived at Stanford as a 6-foot-7, 228-pounder from De La Salle High School in Minneapolis. 247 Sports ranked him as a 4-star and top-50 player in the 2014 class.
His parents are Nathaniel and Jacqueline Travis. Amongst his 4 sibling is Jonah Travis, who plays on scholarship for Tommy Amaker and Harvard in the Ivy League. He talked about his connection with his brother last year to Andy Katz.

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