On Friday night, Kentucky will tip off the SEC quarterfinals against either Ole Miss or Alabama. We could sit here and debate, which team would we rather play and so on… to me, there is only one real question, how much should Reid Travis play this week?
Of course, the simple answer to this question is that if he is not ready to play, there is absolutely no reason to rush him back into playing. Sure, winning the SEC tournament is fun, but Travis is a lot more important to cut down the nets in his home city.
A caller into the radio show this past week made an excellent point, Kentucky can probably beat any team in the SEC without the graduate senior. The only two that would be in question, is LSU and of course Tennessee.
He said, that if Kentucky and Tennessee match up, and Travis plays, if the Cats win, should they hold him out of what will more than likely be a meaningless SEC Championship game?
If that situation comes to be, I am 100% on board with him playing limited minutes. Especially since this would be coming off a game against Tennessee that seems to be the equivalent of a Bengals-Steelers football game. The sheer physicality would take a lot out of player who has been playing all season long, let alone someone who is playing their first minutes in a few weeks.
Limiting his minutes against presumably LSU or Auburn could keep him fresh come next Thursday or Friday night when the games actually matter.
The follow-up question we could ask is should Travis play at all? On that note, I would say unless the medical staff gives him clearance that he can’t injure the knee more and he feels comfortable with playing, I would not play him.
Fans very well could start to gripe about this possibly being “another Jarred Vanderbilt” situation. Personally, other than them both having injuries, I don’t see much correlation. Vanderbilt’s main goal in coming to Kentucky was to play in the NBA. That is obviously Travis’ goal as well, but I truly do believe that the thought of winning a title in Minneapolis, his hometown, motivates him to play.
Simply put, the SEC tournament will probably decide whether Kentucky gets a 1 or a 2 seed. If you ask me, I’d take a healthy Reid and a 2 seed, over him having the chance of injuring the knee more and getting a 1 seed. Should the Cats roll the dice?