Reid Travis Did Not Do Himself Any Favors in Summer League

Reid Travis was one of three 1st year Kentucky players in the NBA Summer League this season. Joining a long list of former Cats looking to make an NBA roster. After a decent grad-transfer season at Kentucky, Travis went undrafted. He was later picked as a free agent by the Atlanta Hawks and placed on their Summer League team.

Unlike his fellow Cats in the same draft class, he is not making major headlines like Tyler Herro and not drawing ridiculous amounts of praise like Keldon Johnson. His performance was simply mediocre, unimpressive and did not set himself apart in any way.

In Travis’ 5 games with the Hawks, he only posted 4.2 PPG and 4.0 RPG. Those are not the kind of numbers that will get you on a roster. That being said, he still has the opportunity to be picked up for the Hawks G-League squad, College Park Skyhawks, where he could have the possibility of signing a two-way deal. Don’t hold your breath though. It doesn’t look like Travis will be stepping on an NBA floor this regular season.

Travis was a very solid college player. He dominated the Pac 12 for four years before coming to Kentucky where he continued to be a stand out big man. Averaging 13.7 points and 7.6 rebounds in his career made him a consistent finalist for conference and national awards. Sadly, the PAC-12 isn’t the best place to get ready for the NBA.

By the time Travis got to Kentucky, it was already too late. Calipari’s process involves taking elite players from high school, spending a season or two developing them, showcasing their potential and then turning them over to the NBA. How was Calipari supposed to develop a player that was almost done developing? How is he supposed to showcase the potential of a 23 year old when the NBA normally selects players who are 20 and younger?

Reid Travis can still make a career out of basketball. One year of basketball being the only thing in his life, without the pressure of a master’s program I might add, will do wonders for him. It will give him the chance to tie up any loose ends in his game and grow into a dynamic role player. Give him time and expect to see him again next year in the Summer League as a completely changed player.

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So Kentucky Basketball Is Actually Good

I know, Kentucky is always a powerhouse in basketball. Your perennial blue blood program. UK always has one of the best recruiting classes, but in recent years, they haven’t always panned out. Especially in big games, the freshman seem ill-equipped to handle the pressure. This year, IGNORING THE DUKE GAME, Kentucky has not only performed well in big games, they are thriving in them.

Kentucky has won 5 games against ranked teams this season. Three of which have been in their last 3 games; that’s more that Notre Dame Football all year. They controlled the whole game against UNC, beat Louisville of course, somehow pulled one out against Auburn, trounced Mississippi State and handled Kansas.

Ashton Hagans is one of the main reasons Kentucky is doing so well. Normally, the Defensive Player of the Year just goes to the big guy with the most blocks, but Hagans could actually win it from being a lock down defender. Such tenacious defense from a guard is rare in college. Against UNC, Hagans had 8 steals. That’s ridiculous. He is playing like Rajon Rondo, but without the accidental face kicks and eye pokes, of course. Not only is he a great defender, he is one of the leaders of this team even with multiple sophomores and a 5th year senior. The best example of this is during the Auburn game when he got in Keldon Johnson’s face and told him to “wake the f*** up”. Love it.

:/

The other reason for their success is their big guys. The blue collar guys, the lunch pail guys, the big bodies, scrappers and other names my coaches called the white kids. A lot of people have been saying that Reid Travis is soft and he may have heard them. Not only has he been bullying other bigs, he seems kinda mad about it giving defenders the mad dog face every time he scores.

Same with PJ Washington. This dude has been balling. They’re still working on getting him to put his biceps away and get back on defense, but as soon as he does, no team will be able to work the post. Also, now that PJ can actually make free throws, he will be scary come March.

I am so impressed with this Kentucky team. North Carolina was one I really thought they would lose. Kansas was up in the air, but they handled the entire game with poise. But the game I am most impressed with was Auburn. Any Kentucky team in the past 5 years would have found a way to blow that game. That was kinda their thing. But the Cats were able to hold off a last second surge and send Bruce Pearl packing