Reid Travis Understands The “Big Picture” Of Team Success

Posted at 4:59 AM, Oct 22, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-22 04:59:30-04


Reid Travis’ bio shows that he was a science, technology and society major during his four years at Stanford before he transferred to Kentucky.

I thought that meant he had three majors — which seemed logical to me based on Travis’ maturity and intelligence level. So I asked him how he pulled that off during UK’s recent Media Day.

“It is actually all three (majors) wrapped around one and is one major. Basically it is how the science and technology affect the society as far as things going on in the world,” said the graduate transfer. “I guess the biggest example I could give to you is i-Phones.”

Reid Travis was the center of attention at UK’s Media Day. (Jeff Houchin Photo)

He went on to try and explain to me that while the i-Phone is a useful device and part of technology we all use daily, we might not always understand the impact the development could have on third world countries.

“A broader aspect of how that affects us but also how it affects people in other parts of the world as a society. That’s kind of what the major is about,” Travis said.

Got that? Not sure I do and he just laughed when I told him the explaination was way over my head. However, Travis did acknowledge that major is an apt description of his role on a team of younger players where he can take a broader look at the bigger picture than they do.

“I think that is an interesting perspective that I do have. As a freshman I thought the same way they did. They think it is all focused on them because you really don’t know what is around the corner,” Travis said. “Neither do I but having four years of college basketball experience and having more life experience than most of the guys on the team, I do understand the big picture of things, the day by day struggles that you go through to have success. I think that has helped me and hopefully will help me help them.”

Travis was recently chosen as a preseason all-SEC first-team selection at the SEC Media Days. He’s been projected as the missing piece for a Kentucky team that has three sophomores with starting experience as well as a top-rated recruiting class. He says Kentucky coach John Calipari convinced him Kentucky was the right place for him by telling him his shortcomings and what he needed to do to improve as well as the daily competition he would face in practice.

“I think depth is one of the biggest components we are going to have as far as trying to stretch a season as long as possible and compete at the end because we have multiple guys that can step in,” Travis, a two-time all-Pac 10 selection, said. “He (Calipari) says go four minutes hard, take a breather and then another guy comes in. That will help us be successful because you have very skilled, high level players that can come in for each other at a whim. As far as teams having to prepare for that, you still have another guy coming in just as capable as one who subbed out.”

Teammate Quade Green jokes that Travis is Calipari’s favorite because he’s older and can have more in-depth conversations with the coach than younger teammates can.

“Hey, maybe there’s some truth. I don’t know,” Travis said. “I wouldn’t say I am the favorite. Me and Cal can talk more about stuff outside of basketball than most of the players and he probably does enjoy that.”

Calipari says the Stanford graduate listens to everything the coach says and is focused on everything the coach tells him.

“He’s not tried to take over this team. That’s not what he’s doing. He’s trying to get his stuff right, and I think what he’ll end up doing is as he becomes what he’s trying to do and the vision that we have of him, and I’m not trying to make him a two-guard. He is who he is,” Calipari said.

Travis knows Calipari wants him to be the vocal leader he feels the team needs. But that’s not all the coach wants from Travis.

“Be a guy that can take over in different segments and stuff like that. For me, it’s trying to be sound and confident in what I do and just know that it’s not always about trying to tell guys what to do but just leading by what I do on the court,” Travis said.

Now that’s something I can understand.