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Reid Travis has waited his entire life for moments like these


Reid Travis has waited five years for the chance to play in the NCAA Tournament. Based on his two outings so far, it’s been worth the wait. The best part? His coach couldn’t be prouder.

“He trained his whole life for this,” John Calipari said Saturday. “Before the last game, I just told him, you’ve been waiting for this your whole life. [Thursday] he was unbelievable, had eight of nine or whatever he did, 18 points, and [Saturday] he did well again.”

He finished as Kentucky’s leading scorer against Wofford Saturday afternoon, recording a double-double (14 points, 11 rebounds) while committing zero turnovers. Against Abilene Christian, his stat line was equally impressive: 18 points on 8-for-10 shooting, nine rebounds and one assist. Calipari said Travis was so effective against Wofford, they wanted the ball in his hands “every time we needed a basket.”

His improvements and his success starts in practice, where Calipari says Travis is always “totally engaged.” When “outsiders” come in to watch a Kentucky basketball practice, they comment on Travis’ attentiveness, saying he never takes his eyes off of his coach. Calipari says he does have to get on him, but never for the same reason he gets on the team’s younger players.

“I’m on him like I am these young kids,” Cal said. “I just don’t have to as much because his is never effort – theirs is always effort. His is never effort.”

The compliments for Kentucky’s hardworking senior didn’t stop there.

“Let me say this, 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. “But it’s been – I’ve loved it… He’s helped us, but he’s helped himself in this. He’s really put himself in a great position.”

Travis’ reaction to Calipari’s praise was awesome.

“I think that is one of the kindest things Coach has ever said about me. It makes the work I do every day really mean something to hear him say something like that,” Travis said. “It’s kind of touching. It took a lot for me to come to Kentucky and decide to play another year of college basketball. [The reason] was nothing more than I wanted to play in games like this, and bring it every day and try to be my best.”

Without PJ Washington on the floor for the Tournament’s first two rounds, Reid Travis bounced back from an injury of his own in a big way. He’s repeatedly demonstrated how important of a role he plays for this team, but his performances in the post-season have only reinforced that idea. Now it’s time to get Travis back to his hometown, Minneapolis, for the Final Four – he’s been waiting forever.


@MaggieDavisKSR

Article written by Maggie Davis

24 responses to “Reid Travis has waited his entire life for moments like these”

  1. Bobbum Man

    The only thing I don’t get… is they want him to have the ball “whenever we need a basket” we need a basket every single possession. Get this man the ball!

    1. ibescootch

      Because that’s not how you strategize in basketball. Reid, in many cases is our most consistent chance for a basket, depending on what the defense is giving us. If he’s being double-teamed every possession, you don’t give him the ball, because we have other players on the court who are fully capable. In some situations, you just need a tough basket to stop a run, or you want to pressure an opposing player who’s in foul trouble, or you need a three so you go outside. Each time down the court is a different situation, so just “throwing it to Reid” every possession is a little simplistic.

  2. Racerr11

    Not only a great player but a great person. It’s great as a fan to be able to watch the type of players that we have and they are all great people also. Cal does a great job recruiting those type of players. BBN we are so fortunate.

    1. Rixter

      I agree. I think Reid might be my favorite Wildcat, at least of the Cal era. Good player, hard worker, thoughtful, intelligent…. sure would like to see him play in Minneapolis

    2. NKY Wildcat

      I saw him talking to a group of school children. The way he related his experiences to how they can live their lives (hard work, discipline, caring for others, teamwork) was great for them to hear. He’s a good guy. Cal gets a lot of those, and they’re all special. Karl Towns was the same way.

  3. dcforuk

    Let’s goooooo! Let’s do this! Get PJ back and make some more noise!

    1. weneedpitino

      My man DC that’s right buddy my true blue brother. Go cats, and go DC cat fans!!

    2. dcforuk

      Showin the love! You sounded different that time!

  4. Catfan4life-original

    Wonderful young man. So refreshing to see young people of strong character. Give his parents a ton of credit for how they raised him.

    1. trumpetguy

      M A T U R I T Y!

  5. garypatterson7o

    I love Travis Reid!

  6. Fitz

    Graduate transfers the quality of
    Travis Ried are few and far between. The success he has had a Kentucky bodes well for
    Cal landing another like him if/when they become available.

    1. Bobbum Man

      Reid Travis*

    2. catsarerunnin

      Yes Travis Ried has been outstanding….

  7. nocode96

    Love, love, love this dude!

    Just watched a post game interview with Luke Maye, am I the only one who didn’t know he talks like that? It’s weird right?

  8. CaliCat

    What a great player, articulate guy, and leader for our team. Go, Cats!

  9. plumloopy

    All I can think about it PJ’s foot. Is there a PJ’s Foot twitter account I can follow?

  10. michaelb

    He understands everything that’s going on , that every game is potentially his last & plays with urgency efficiency and leaves it all out there .

  11. wyatts1

    Heart!! says it all

    1. wyatts1

      I bet he’d leave his blood sweat and tears on the court!! Huge difference between a typical one and done, and this grad transfer. These grad transfers are playing for the ship 1st, NBA dreams 2nd, and that’s the reason he’s irreplaceable compared to the occasional pampered one and done using UK as a resting area before going pro.

    2. speaksthetruth

      I had some friends do the same thing. And I guess I did too. I used UK as a place to land me a job doing what I wanted to do for my career. But I guess i thought that is what college was for.

  12. BigJohnC

    Anybody see duke pull one out of their ass?

    1. friendsofcoal

      Yeah I saw it and UCF should’ve won that game! I saw 3-4 fouls against Duke in the last minute that went uncalled. Typical NCAA and Duke love affair.

    2. friendsofcoal

      Also that last foul on Tacko was a joke of a foul.