When Dan Dakich isn’t trolling fans, he occasionally drops a good basketball take, which is why I tuned in to his latest “Courtside” podcast with Seth Greenberg. The two — who will be covering Kentucky’s Bahamas trip for ESPN, brace yourselves — discussed Kentucky’s roster, specifically Reid Travis, and Dakich said not only was Travis the biggest pickup of the college basketball offseason, he could be the reason Kentucky brings home number nine in April.
“I think Reid Travis fits in perfectly playing from the top of the key down, strong, rebounding, experience,” Dakich said. “I thought it was the best pickup anyone had in the offseason and it’s the kind of pickup, when you look in March or April and say, ‘Man, Cal and Kentucky are in the Final Four,’ ‘Cal and Kentucky are in the Championship game,’ ‘Cal and Kentucky won a national championship,’ one of the reasons, if not the reason, is going to be the pickup of Reid Travis. I think it’s that big, Seth. I do.”
Dakich added that had Wenyen Gabriel (or whomever he kept referring to as “Wayans”) stayed and Kentucky still got Travis, he couldn’t see Kentucky losing more than three games. That’s a bold hypothetical, but clearly, Dakich is all in on the Travis train.
“I don’t know if he’s a great player; he’s certainly a great college player. He averaged 20 [points], to do what he did — to me, here’s the deal with Cal, and I believe this. I look at this roster and I see basically one guy that’s a sophomore — well, I guess three guys, Nick Richards? Okay. PJ Washington and Quade Green. John has said Quade Green is playing great this summer, but man, all of a sudden, when you do this with Kentucky, it takes them to the next level. When you have a little bit of experience, I’m thinking Darius Miller back in the day, it ups the level of that crew.”
“I like where Kentucky’s headed, man, I do. And Reid Travis turns it up big. Big.”
To hear Dakich and Greenberg’s comments, listen below starting at the 27-minute mark.