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UK Profile: A veteran, Reid Travis feels like a new kid on the block

Reid Travis brings experience to the Kentucky roster. (UK Athletics photo)

By Keith Taylor
Kentucky Today

Reid Travis feels like a new kid on the block.

Although the former Stanford standout has played college basketball for four years, he’s starting over as graduate-transfer at Kentucky as he pursues his master’s degree. Travis said there are similarities between the two programs and considers the unique situation a “split deal.”

“I do feel like a veteran on one end, but also I do feel like a younger guy coming in,” he said. “The best way to juggle it is just being humble with the whole process and there are things that I’m going to know and there are things that I’m not going to know.

“There’s going to be different ways of doing things and I just have to be humble enough in that aspect that I look to guys that are probably younger than me for advice on how things are done. So I think the biggest thing is to have an open mind, be humble and just accept everything that comes with being in a new situation.”

Travis plans to rely on the newcomers and veterans for guidance and isn’t afraid to ask questions from his new teammates.

“The biggest thing I wanted to do in this situation was to be open-minded and to be humble,” he said. “What comes along with that is not being in a situation where he can’t get advice from 18- or 19-year-old guy and that they can’t help you get better at your game. I think that’s what I’ve done here, being able to understand that maybe there are things they can help me with. The biggest example of that is with all the sophomores we have on this team. They’ve been through the battles and they’ve been here at Kentucky for a full year (and) they understand how coach works, what the system is and how we do things here as a program.”

Travis said it’s not easy to compare his previous stop to his current home, but said both programs offer a unique perspective.

“I had great coaches at Stanford and I have great coaches at Kentucky, great guys (and) great teammates,” he said. “So I think I’ve been blessed in that situation. I went from a great situation at Stanford and also coming into a great situation here at Kentucky.

“They are obviously different programs that are run different as far as our schemes and things like that, but it’s been good for me, just taking whatever I learned at Stanford and applying it here. I wouldn’t say there’s that big of a dropoff, but when you look at just the way things are run, obviously there’s a reason why there’s a rich tradition here at Kentucky. They’ve had the success of pros ongoing through here for just a certain way things are run here. That really just drew me here. I’m enjoying every day to being able to be with him now.”

Travis brings plenty of experience to the table and will be counted on to carry a bulk of the load in the post, but he’s not concerned about the lofty expectations being placed on him despite his long list of accomplishments at Stanford.

“If you would have asked me that question three-four years ago in college basketball ‘Do I feel any pressure from outside or other sources?’ and I would have said yes,” he said. “You want to be the best. People want to see you be the best and there is a lot of chatter around you a lot of accolades and people want to see that.

“For me it is the progression and you understand the only pressure is really the pressure that you put on yourself. At the end of the day if I know that I’m doing everything I can to be the player that I can be that there should be no pressure. Whether you win, you lose or play a good game or play a bad game, If I took care of what I needed to do, those things will ultimately work themselves out in the long run. That alleviates the pressure of worrying about anything since I’ve gone through this journey. “

In addition to providing scoring and rebounding underneath, Travis also will be leaned on to provide leadership on and off the court and considers himself a vocal leader and one who also leads by example.

“I think a great leader is able to do both,” he said. “I think there are times when you have to be vocal and you have to get on guys and tell them that there’s a certain way of doing things and there’s another time when you don’t have to do anything and you just show them,” he said. “I think the best leaders will interject themselves in the right place and use the right form of leading when it’s appropriate. I think that’s what I’ve learned in the last couple of years is just being able to understand what leading style is best for certain people. How I can really apply that to certain situations.”

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