UK Men's Basketball

Talk of transfer from Stanford sparks national title talk for UK

Stanford's Reid Travis (22) is reportedly leaving the Cardinal as a graduate transfer and could be coming to Kentucky.
Stanford's Reid Travis (22) is reportedly leaving the Cardinal as a graduate transfer and could be coming to Kentucky. AP

Speculation about Kentucky improving its national championship chances by adding a graduate transfer power player intensified this week.

The player oft-mentioned as possibly UK bound is Reid Travis, a 6-foot-8, 245-pound forward for Stanford. Coaches voted him to their all-Pac 12 team in each of the last two seasons.

Jeff Goodman of ESPN and Evan Daniels of 247Sports cited sources as saying Travis will transfer after officially withdrawing from this year’s NBA Draft. Later Wednesday, Travis released a statement saying just that.

“Kentucky is believed to be the heavy favorite” to be Travis’ new school, Daniels tweeted. Daniels said Travis would be a “massive addition” for UK.

Goodman went even further in speculating about the impact Travis could make.

“If Reid Travis does go to Kentucky as a grad transfer, the Wildcats might become the favorite to win the national title . . . ,” Goodman tweeted. “Reid Travis would be a game-changer for any program.”

Villanova is the other school mentioned as a possible new school for Travis. Big man Omari Spellman announced Wednesday that he would remain in the draft, leaving the Wildcats a hole to fill in their front court.

Travis is a native of Minneapolis. As a high school prospect rated in the top 40 by Scout, ESPN and Rivals, he chose Stanford over Duke. He was a McDonald’s All-American.

In the 2016-17 season, Travis was named to the coaches’ all-Pac 12 team. He was one of only five players in a power-five conference to rank among his league’s top five players in scoring and rebounding. He averaged 17.4 points and 8.9 rebounds.

As a fourth-year junior this past season, Travis was again voted to the coaches’ all-Pac 12 team. He averaged 19.5 points and 8.7 rebounds, which ranked him third in the league in both categories.

Travis also became only the third player in Stanford history to score at least 1,400 points and grab at least 700 rebounds in less than 100 games. He has scored 1,427 points (16th on Stanford’s career list) and grabbed 758 rebounds (10th).

Photos of Jarred Vanderbilt from the 2017-2018 Kentucky Wildcats basketball season. Music: