Reid Travis’ future remains uncertain until he has an MRI on the knee sprain he suffered Tuesday night at Missouri. Hopefully we soon find out he’s fine and won’t miss any time. That would be awesome. But just in case, let’s say Kentucky has to go without him, what happens then? The obvious answer is E.J. Montgomery and Nick Richards have to step up.
Coach Cal is confident they will, if called upon. He said after the game, “We coach every kid like they’re a starter because of this reason.”
And if anybody has been telling Montgomery or Richards they should be playing more, “Well, OK, you’re going to play more,” Cal said.
Statistically, there won’t be a huge drop-off in the numbers. Per 40 minutes, Travis averages 16.4 points, 9.9 rebounds and 1.1 blocks; the duo of Montgomery and Richards averages 12.5 points, 12.1 rebounds and 3.8 blocks. That being said, we’d be completely naive to assume a Travis absence for any period of time won’t affect the team. Travis is the steady veteran that has been invaluable to Kentucky’s success against other elite big men, namely Grant Williams; and though Montgomery and Richards have had their moments, neither have proven they can battle like Travis, consistently.
But Kentucky is lucky in that its frontcourt depth is arguably the best in the country with two athletic big men with NBA potential sitting behind two of the best players in the SEC. If this were to happen to any other team, it would likely mean the end. For Kentucky, it’s just next man up. Let’s go.
Maybe it won’t come to this scenario, though, and Travis is back in action this Saturday against Auburn. That’s the news we hope to hear in the coming days.
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