Reid Travis is expected to be a star in the Kentucky frontcourt this upcoming season. The experienced power forward came to Lexington from Stanford, where he was a two-time First Team All-Pac 12 selection, and ranks 16th on Stanford’s all-time career scoring list.
Travis transferred in to UK this offseason as a graduate student with one year of eligibility remaining, and his addition to the roster makes Kentucky one of the early favorites to go all the way in his only season as a Wildcat. It’s fair to say he is a very valuable transfer, but he’s not the first of his kind.
Let’s take a look back at other transfers who made a major impact with the Cats.
Kyle Macy | Purdue
Macy is a Kentucky basketball legend, but he began his collegiate basketball career at Purdue. The Indiana native played one season with the Boilermakers before transferring to Kentucky, where he earned All-American honors in all three seasons and won a national championship.
Macy ranks second all-time in career free throw percentage and sixth all-time in career assists.
Travis Ford | Missouri
Like Macy, another one of UK’s best distributors and free throw shooters began his career at another school. Travis Ford played one season at Missouri before he transferred to Kentucky. After sitting out the 1990-91 season, Ford had a quiet sophomore year and then became a star at point guard in his junior and senior seasons.
He ranks third all-time in career free throw percentage and ninth all-time in assists.
Julius Mays | Wright State
An unsung hero on John Calipari’s 2012-13 team, grad transfer Julius Mays was Kentucky’s only weapon at times in a season of disappointment. Mays came to Kentucky to provide depth behind Ryan Harrow and Archie Goodwin, but would emerge as a leader as the season progressed. Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to lead UK to the NCAA tournament that year, but it wasn’t for a lack of effort. Mays played his way into a fan favorite.
Josh Harrellson | Southwestern Illinois Junior College
Before he became the phenomenon known as Jorts, Josh Harrellson was a Billy Gillispie pickup out of Southwestern Illinois Junior College. His first seasons at Kentucky are easy to forget; his senior season will be remembered forever for how he burst onto the scene at Louisville and spiked a ball off Ohio State’s Jared Sullinger in the upset win in the Sweet 16.
Mark Pope | Washington
The resignation of head coach Lynn Nance at Washington sent Mark Pope away from the Huskies program. A Pac-10 Freshman of the Year and a double-digit scorer as a sophomore, Pope decided to pack up and transfer to Kentucky, where he would play with eight other future NBA players on UK’s 1996 national championship team.
Basil Hayden | Transylvania
Basil Hayden was Kentucky’s first ever All-American back in 1921. But before he played basketball at Kentucky, he played tennis and was a record-holder in the javelin throw at nearby Transylvania.
Hayden’s jersey is retired in Rupp Arena.
Patrick Sparks | Western Kentucky
The hero in the 2004 Louisville game and the almost-hero in the 2005 Elite Eight, Patrick Sparks is responsible for some of our fondest UK basketball memories. But before he was hitting seven three-pointers in a game at Kentucky, Sparks was a Western Kentucky Hilltopper for two seasons. The Central City native decided to transfer when Dennis Felton left WKU for Georgia and assistant coach Pete Herrmann wasn’t given the job. Sparks would go on to become an All-SEC selection at UK.
Heshimu Evans | Manhattan
An NCAA champion at Kentucky in 1998, Heshimu Evans first got his start at Manhattan College, where he was the MAAC Rookie of the Year in 1995 and an All-MAAC selection in 1996. But once he saw an opportunity to join defending national champion Kentucky, Evans transferred to Lexington, where he came off the bench in his first season to help lead the Cats to a second title in three years.
Derek Anderson | Ohio State
Derek Anderson, the high-flying shooting guard out of Louisville, was an Ohio State Buckeye before he was a Kentucky Wildcat. He played two seasons at Ohio State in 1992-93 and 1993-94 and then decided to leave a declining program for one on the rise in Lexington for his final two seasons of college basketball. The decision paid off as he won the 1996 national championship and was on pace for another until he missed the final half of his senior season with a left knee injury.