The No. 6 Kentucky Wildcats closed out the regular season with a 66-57 win over the Florida Gators at Rupp Arena.
However, they did so without Reid Travis, who remains out with a right knee injury. After the game, Wildcat coach John Calipari was asked in the postgame news conference about the condition of his senior forward.
“I’ve absolutely stayed out of it,” said Calipari. “I really haven’t even talked to the doctors, because these kids know their bodies, and I don’t want him or anyone to think that I’m pushing him to play if he’s not. If he’s not right. I just say: “How are you feeling?”
”’I’m getting better.’
Calipari’s comments were a mix of positive and negative, leaving BBN to speculate on when or if we will see Travis again this season on the floor.
“Here’s what’s good. It’s not an ACL. He sprained his knee,” Calipari said. “If he plays, I’ll be doing backflips. If not, we’ll figure it out.”
Prior to Saturday’s win over Florida, Calipari posted a video to pay tribute to how Travis has impacted UK and been a joy to coach.
“Reid came as a graduate student from Stanford, all-Pac 10 (12), MVP of their league. (He) comes here to say, ‘I want to grow. I want to grow on and off the court. I want to take and soak everything up.’ And you know what? What a pleasure it’s been to coach him, and I’ll tell you. Without Reid, we would not be sitting where we are right now, with a chance to do something special.
“We need him to do something special, but he’s coming back from an injury. (He’s) just a joy to coach, so engaged with the coaches, so focused on what we’re doing, so much of a talent is as far as his commitment and his drive, and his energy in what he does. I’m really proud of him.”
One silver lining in this situation is the playing time and the chance for production from sophomore center Nick Richards and freshman forward EJ Montgomery in Travis’ absence. Both Richards and Montgomery have had flashes of brilliance and will be huge keys for any Cat success in the postseason in the possible wake of Travis’ absence.
Another bit of good news is the Cats earned the 2 seed in the SEC Tournament with Auburn’s victory over Tennessee and will not play until Friday night in Nashville, That gives Travis almost another week of rehab and rest. The original time for recovery was 2+ weeks, so hopefully by the time the Cats tip in Music City, Travis will be in uniform ready to go.
If not, Coach Cal and his staff will be prepared. But hopefully, we’ll see Travis make his return when the Cats begin SEC Tournament play in Nashville on Friday.
It’s been such a pleasure to coach @2ReidTravis2. He has meant so much to this team. We wouldn’t be the team we are today without him. pic.twitter.com/7WlXONpeWM— John Calipari (@UKCoachCalipari) March 8, 2019
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