Today brings us not one but two birthdays in the Kentucky Basketball program with both Reid Travis and assistant coach Kenny Payne turning a year older.
Travis who is now 23 has been everything John Calipari really wanted through the first games of this season. He was brought in to be a consistent force in the post while also working on his game to start stepping out to take three point attempts.
The Stanford Grad Transfer could turn out to be one of John Calipari’s most important recruits that he has gotten while at Kentucky. Travis has a quiet confidence about him that can easily wear off on other players to make them better.
For one, we have seen the emergence of “Sophomore Nick Richards.” While he hasn’t been as consistent, he still has shown massive improvements from last season. Could Travis have an impact on that? He is a player that can beat Richards around to force him to get tougher; something he definitely still needs to improve on.
Today also marks assistant coach Kenny Payne’s 52nd birthday. As you hear Matt say consistently on the radio show, Payne is the guy that the players connect with the most once they get to campus. He has been credited with the development of players like Anthony Davis, Julius Randle, and Karl-Anthony Towns.
Selfishly, I want him to stay until John Calipari retires at Kentucky, but if there is one guy that deserves his chance at running his own program it is Payne. He has worked wonders here in Lexington and when the time comes that he decides to move on, no one here can truly fault him.
Join us in wishing both Reid Travis and Kenny Payne a happy birthday today! Hopefully, they can celebrate with a win over Monmouth on Wednesday. Go Cats!