Ex-Cats

NBA Draft profile: Get to know Kentucky basketball’s Reid Travis

The essentials

Position: Power forward.

Measurements (from UK): Height, 6-8; weight: 238.

2018-19 Kentucky statistics: 11.2 points; 7.2 rebounds; 0.9 assists; 0.7 blocks; 53.7 FG%; 26.9 3PT%; 73.2 FT%.

During the postseason (and after missing five games with a knee injury), he averaged 11.0 points and 8.3 rebounds per game while shooting 64.1 percent from the floor and 75 percent from the free-throw line.

2017-18 Stanford statistics: 19.5 points; 8.7 rebounds; 1.3 assists; 0.7 steals; 52.7 FG%; 29.5 3PT%; 67.5 FT%.

Draft prediction: Travis is not projected to be chosen in either round on NBA Draft night.

What’s next for Travis?

Travis talked to Minneapolis TV station KSTP on June 7 about playing at Kentucky and what’s next for his basketball career. Here are some highlights:

On his time at Kentucky: ”At this point last year I was thinking I was going to make the jump to the NBA and was all about that, and I kind of got the feedback that it would be best to go back to college. … It was a great year. Just a lot of ups and downs as far as me dealing with the injury toward the later part of the year. But just the atmosphere, and just the experience I was able to have there, I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I think I made the best decision possible as far as spending my fifth year there. It’s just something I cherish.” …

“For me it was all about sacrifice and just doing what the coaches wanted me to do. Whether that was rebound, play good defense. You gotta sacrifice minutes, sacrifice points, but ultimately that’s why schools like that are special because you can get a group of guys that are all willing to do that. …

“Although it was just a year, I feel like I have learned so much from (John Calipari) that I’m going to apply to my career after Kentucky.”

Ahead of the draft: “Right now I’m kind of inching my way close (from his knee injury). … My plan is to try to get some workouts set up right before the draft, and then get on a summer league roster and just go from there.” (Note: As of Tuesday morning, June 18, he had not had any reported workouts with NBA teams since his UK career ended.)

His feedback from five NBA workouts last year included: “One of the biggest things was just develop my shot, continue just to stretch my range out. That’s a big part of the league now. … And just defend multiple positions. … For me, it’s just trying to stay in front of smaller guys, work on my footwork. That was one thing I really worked on this year. It’s still a work in progress.”

On achieving NBA dream: “I definitely feel close. It’s crazy once you get an agent and you start talking to these teams. Summer league’s coming up. The draft. It’s the closest I’ve ever been. It’s just a dream come true. I’m in a great situation. It’s just a blessing. … Everyone has their own path, their own journey, so wherever it takes me I’m happy with it. I feel like I’ve done everything the right way and put myself in the right position to have success and to do the things I need to at the next level.”

Is Europe an option? “Right now I haven’t really entertained Europe, or anything like that. I’m just focused on trying to get on a summer league roster. See what two-way contracts are looking like; G League contracts. And just trying to fight my way right now. Obviously, that could change. I’m open to any possibility, but right now that’s my main focus.”

Quotable

ESPN analyst Jay Bilas: “I think he’ll be undrafted. Reid was a great college player, another fantastic kid. Not a kid, he’s a man. A fantastic young man. But I think the game, the NBA game, has gone away from him being a draft pick. Sort of back to the basket big guy that’s undersized that does not play above the rim, is not a versatile defender. There are a lot of things that he does well. Can he play in the NBA? Absolutely he could play in the NBA. I do not see him being drafted. Just the way the game has gone. …

“You put him 15 years ago or something, he probably would be drafted. Maybe 10 years, whatever it is. Now it’s a little bit more problematic for undersized low-post guys that play within 15 feet. It’s more of a spread game now. Your ability to switch out and defend on the perimeter, guard, screen roll situations, be able to shoot a three and all that. It’s just not what he does. The things he does well he does very well, but I’d be surprised if he were drafted.”

Reid Travis: “It’s tough to accept that I won’t be able to put on that Kentucky blue and white again and play in front of the best fans in the country … . I couldn’t have asked for a better group to share my last year of college basketball with and I can’t begin to thank everyone at UK enough for welcoming me in and making Lexington feel like home.”

John Calipari: “If you have a young team, you should take (Reid Travis). You talk about a professional who can make a difference, Reid is that guy. He’s physically ready to play in that league and he’s a great locker room guy.”

Reading material

‘Anti- one-and-done’? Reid Travis takes unconventional path to NBA Draft.

Playing for UK was supposed to bring ‘certainty’ to Travis’ draft stock, but it hasn’t

Moments after his final game in college, Reid Travis hears from his Kentucky family

Numbers can’t describe Reid Travis’ contributions, but Kentucky coaches can

Reid Travis’ UK experience has been ‘all you can ask for,’ his father says

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