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Kentucky Basketball: Reid Travis opens up about transition to UK and new teammates

Travis talks about what it’s been like to move across the country to join a national title contender.

Reid Travis Jason Marcum - Sea of Blue

When Stanford graduate and NBA prospect Reid Travis, announced his graduate transfer to Kentucky earlier this summer, Big Blue Nation received something they hadn’t seen in what feels like forever: A veteran presence on head coach John Calipari’s roster.

Now, with Travis in the lineup and potentially a second “platoon” system on the way, the expectations for this year’s basketball team is one goal: Win their ninth NCAA title.

Before tipping off their season against cross-town school Transylvania, Kentucky played a series of exhibition games down in the Bahamas. Like the 2014-2015 “platoon” team, this unit also dominated their competition.

Specifically, though, Travis didn’t have the efficient trip he’s capable of. At Stanford, he averaged 19.5 points and 8.7 rebounds for the Cardinals last season. While he did average a double-double for the exhibition series, efficiency wasn’t his strong suit.

With practice starting and the season less than two months away, Travis joined’s TJ Beisner on his “Behind Kentucky Basketball” podcast.

Beisner asked Travis how his Kentucky basketball has been so far and the big man only had positive things to say about the team atmosphere.

“My experience has been great,” he said.

Travis said the fans’ support and everyone in the community who loves Kentucky basketball is something that he’s never experienced before.

“As far as being a part of the team, it’s a collection of guys who are all hungry and all want to be the best they can be,” he said. “Once we started meshing and playing together, it’s a style of basketball I haven’t been around. So it’s definitely been a great experience so far.”

Beisner then asked Travis about his transition from Stanford to Kentucky and playing with a team full of much younger guys.

“It was a good transition,” Travis said. “I give credit to the coaches and all of my teammates for kind of just welcoming me in with open arms.”

Travis’s older brother, Jonah, was a basketball player at Harvard before heading to New York to work in the marketing field.

Beisner asked Travis how it was to have an older brother as a basketball mentor, with Travis lending high praise to his older sibling.

Travis said he gives his brother a lot of credit for the way he does things at this point in his life.

“As far as taking school seriously, taking my body seriously and taking things I do on the court seriously, those are all things I kind of sat back as a kid and (watched him do),” he said. “I give him a lot of credit for the success I’ve had.”

With Travis being a grad transfer, he only has one year left of basketball eligibility. Beisner asked Travis of his goals for the season and his answer was certainly one that fans will love to hear.

“The biggest goal is to win a national championship,” Travis said.

For Travis, he said winning is a part of his nature as he comes from a high school that won three state titles during his tenure.

“Winning is part of my blood and something that I crave,” he said.

Tyler Ulis is the most recent name that comes to mind as far as Calipari having a “coach on the floor.” While Travis may not be running the point, it sounds like he’ll be the veteran presence everyone in the Bluegrass expects him to be.

Be sure to listen to the full interview here: