LEXINGTON, Ky. (KT) — Kentucky likely will be without senior forward Reid Travis for at least the next two games or longer.
Travis, who sprained his right knee in the second half of Tuesday night’s 66-58 win at Missouri, was scheduled to get evaluated Wednesday night. Kentucky coach John Calipari said on his radio show Wednesday night “you just don’t know with this stuff.” An MRI revealed that Travis has sprained knee and "no other damage was detected."
“I just feel so good that it was more of a sprain than anything else because you just get worried about that stuff when you see someone go down,” Kentucky coach John Calipari said. “We are going to be very conservative with this so he may be out a couple weeks. We hope he will be ready for around the conference tournament or maybe even a little bit before, but I’m happy for Reid that we’re going to get him back.”
Although it’s uncertain how long Travis will be out of the lineup, Calipari and his staff will depend on sophomore Nick Richards and freshman EJ Montgomery to fill the void in the post.
“One person’s misery is another’s opportunity,” Calipari said. “I have confidence in those two (players).”
Travis is fourth on the team in scoring with 11.3 points per game. Travis scored three points against the Tigers before leaving the game midway through the second half. Richards scored seven points and made all three of his field goal attempts and made a free throw at Missouri.
Kentucky associate coach Kenny Payne said Richards and Montgomery have to be themselves instead of trying to emulate Travis in the post.
“You don’t have to be Reid,” Payne said. “You just have to know that your contribution starts and ends with rebounding. …. (Richards) has to trust his work and play instinctively. … EJ is the type of kid and has the personality that he’s going to fight through adversity.”
Montgomery said his biggest goal is to get rebounds.
“That’s what I try to do when I get out on the court, just focus on getting rebounds and playing defense and just letting my offense come to me,” he said.
Calipari said Richards has to “keep finding time.”
”He’s a shot blocker, he’s a difference maker,” Calipari said.
Richards added he’s focused on doing “those little things for us.”
“Each guy on the team has different things that he tells us to do. For me personally, he tells me to rebound, block shots, play with energy, get easy baskets for the team, change shots, make a presence inside the paint for guys not to get easy layups,” he said earlier this month.
Gametracker: Auburn at Kentucky, 2 p.m., Saturday. TV/Radio: CBS, UK Radio Network
Keith Taylor is sports editor for Kentucky Today. Reach him at email@example.com or twitter @keithtaylor21.