By LARRY VAUGHT
With PJ Washington the disabled list, Kentucky needed a big effort from Reid Travis against Wofford — and that’s exactly what the Cats got.
He had 14 points on 5-for-10 shooting from the field and 4-fof-4 at the foul line, including two in the final minute, along with 11 rebounds, including three on the offensive end. More importantly, he stayed out of foul trouble and was able to play 36 minutes.
“He trained his whole life for this. Before the last game, I just told him, you’ve been waiting for this your whole life, and yesterday he was unbelievable, had eight of nine or whatever he did, 18 points, and today he did well again, and every time we needed a basket to separate, we were throwing it to him,” Kentucky coach John Calipari said.
“And just once he didn’t get something. Every other one was either a basket or a pass-out.”
Travis transferred from Stanford to Kentucky this year. He had never played in a NCAA Tournament game at Stanford where he averaged nearly a double-double per game. This year his numbers dropped but not his importance to UK’s success.
“What a pleasure it’s been to coach him. He is truly professional in how he deals with everything, from training to weight training to keeping his body right to being where he’s supposed to on time,” Calipari said after Saturday’s NCAA second-round 62-56 win over Wofford.
“People that have come in my gym and watched us coach said, ‘That kid never takes his eyes off you. He is totally engaged with what you’re saying.’ And I get on him, now. Like I’m on him like I am these young kids. I just don’t have to as much because his is never effort. Theirs is always effort. His is never effort. It’s like some other things he may do, and basically it’s revert back some.
“But it’s been — I’ve loved it, and I would say that what’s — he’s helped us, but he’s helped himself in this. He’s really put himself in a great position.”