EJ Montgomery earned Player of the Game honors to go along with his first double-double of his career, but don’t let Montgomery’s breakthrough night completely overshadow what Reid Travis did. Because Reid Travis played his tail off against one of the best big men in the Southeastern Conference in South Carolina’s Chris Silva.
Coach Cal was quick to single out Travis’ play in his postgame comments. He said, “Just understand Travis had 9 and 11, but without Travis, Silva probably goes for 25 and 11.”
“The kid’s in there exhausted,” Cal added, talking about Travis. “We’ve got him on an IV. Him and Silva just went at each other.”
Silva had only four points and four rebounds, one week after he went for 28 and 10 against No. 1 Tennessee. Tennessee, a team known for its bruising physicality inside. That physicality has been a weakness at Kentucky under Calipari… until now.
For Calipari, Travis is unique in that he is the first strong, physical, veteran big man he’s had in Lexington, and Cal is thrilled to finally have that weapon to match up with some of the bigs in the SEC. “If they have a guy like that,” Cal said,” we got one, too.”
“Thank goodness we have Travis on this team. Reid, he’s a beast. He is a beast.”