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.”