When deciding between football and basketball, height may force Reid Travis’ hand

Leave a comment

WASHINGTON, D.C. — There is a lot to like about Reid Travis, the basketball player.

At 6-foot-7, Travis is built like a rock. He’s physical when battling for position in the post, he uses that strength to finish through contact around the rim, and he’s a monster heading towards the glass. In short, Travis plays the game like a football player transplanted onto the hardwood.

And that’s probably because he is a transplanted football player.

As the starting quarterback fro De La Salle HS (MN), Travis has received scholarship offers from the likes of Boston College, Iowa, Rutgers and Minnesota. He’s listed on Rivals as a pro-style quarterback, and given his size and physicality, it’s fairly easy to compare him to some of the biggest names in the NFL.

“I’d probably say Roethlisberger, just tall, standing in the pocket. I don’t do too much running,” Travis said with a laugh.

Travis has yet to make a decision on which sport he’s going to pursue in college, and while a couple of programs — BC and Iowa — have offered him the chance to play two sports at the next level, Travis expects to be a single-sport athlete by the time he’s attending college.

“It intrigues me a little bit,” Travis said, “but the places I want to go it’s kind of a 24-7 job to play one sport. The more I’m looking at it, it’s probably just going to be one.”

“I’m still trying to work through it. I think once I’m done with all this summer stuff in early August I’ll sit there and try to figure out what I want to do.”

Travis’ decision may have been made for him already thanks to a growth spurt that gave him a couple of extra inches. As a 6-foot-5 power forward, Travis is a quarterback that could thrive as a mid-major power forward, a workhorse that can get a double-double in the Horizon. But that added height makes a different in hoops, which is why you see Travis climbing up recruiting rankings and getting chased down by some of the best programs in the country. He’s visited Gonzaga already. Stanford is trying to get him on campus, Minnesota is obviously trying to keep the local kid local.

But that growth spurt has also changed the outlook that football teams have for him.

“Some of the football schools wanted me to transition into being a tight end,” Travis said. And if you’re not a quarterback, you’re not playing college football? “Pretty much. That’s just the position I want to play. If I have to switch I probably won’t.”

You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.

As good as they’ve been, No. 3 Michigan State has yet to play their best

Bryn Forbes, Ryan Fazekas
Associated Press
Leave a comment

Sunday night’s Wooden Legacy title game matchup between No. 3 Michigan State and Providence was billed as a matchup of the nation’s two best players, and rightfully so. Michigan State senior Denzel Valentine (17 points, six rebounds, five assists), who already has two triple-doubles to his credit this season, and Providence redshirt junior Kris Dunn (21 points, five rebounds, seven assists) have more than lived up to the preseason expectations and more of the same was expected in Anaheim.

And while both had their moments, it was Michigan State’s supporting cast that made the difference in their 77-64 victory. The scary thing for future opponents on Michigan State’s schedule is that Tom Izzo’s team is nowhere near being a finished product.

With Valentine dealing with first-half foul trouble Bryn Forbes stepped up, scoring 13 of his 18 points to help the Spartans take a two-point lead into the half. As for the 11-0 run that Michigan State produced to take control of the game late, a host of players stepped forward in regards to scoring, rebounding and defending.

Freshmen Deyonta Davis and Matt McQuaid combined to score nine points over the final 5:32, with transfer guard Eron Harris adding six of his 12 points during that stretch. The Spartans outscored the Friars, who aren’t as deep, 22-7 during that stretch to close out the game, hunting for quality shots and hitting the offensive glass while making things difficult for Providence on the other end of the floor.

The end result was a final margin that does not indicate just how close the game was. While Providence seemed to run out of steam Michigan State received contributions from multiple players, which is undoubtedly a good sign for this group moving forward.

The Spartans will return the currently injured Gavin Schilling later this season, giving them another big man alongside Davis, Matt Costello and Colby Wollenman. He was a player they missed Sunday night, as he can defend opposing big men both in the post and on the perimeter. His absence was a main reason Michigan State didn’t have an answer for Providence’s Ben Bentil (20 points, seven rebounds) defensively.

The key for this group is going to end up being role definition, which is especially true in the case of Harris. A transfer from West Virginia, Harris came to East Lansing with the reputation of being a big time scorer. He’s struggled through the first two weeks of the season, but he got on a roll on Sunday night, finishing with 12 points, three boards and three assists. He showed he’s capable of doing a variety of things on the perimeter, and fitting into a “Swiss army knife” kind of role would make Michigan State that much more dangerous.

There’s no denying that Michigan State has been one of the nation’s best teams thus far.

But there’s also no denying that the Spartans have yet to hit their ceiling, which is definitely a positive moving forward.

Wichita State’s Anton Grady returns home with team

AP Photo/Willie J. Allen Jr.
Leave a comment

Wichita State forward Anton Grady was released from a hospital in Orlando on Sunday afternoon in time to return home with his Shocker teammates.

Grady suffered a spinal corn concussion on Friday when he collided head-first with an Alabama defender, snapping his head sharply to the side. He lay on the court motionless for 10 minutes after the injury and was taken off the floor on a stretcher.

[RELATED: Can WSU still make tourney?]

“I want to send out a big thank you to Shocker Nation and all of my friends and family for of the love and encouragement that I have received the past few days,” Grady said in a statement on Sunday morning. “I’ve been reading your tweets and posts and appreciate every last one of them. I have a lot of work to do to get back on the court, but with the help of such a great support system, I’m ready for the challenge.”

By Friday night, Grady had feeling in all of his extremities, but he has a long road of rehab ahead of him.