John Calipari and Kentucky basketball could be in line to land a huge graduate transfer. Stanford star Reid Travis is reportedly considering a graduate transfer to the Wildcats for his final season. That is pretty interesting, given what Calipari said about grad transfers just a few years ago.
Back in 2016, Damion Lee transferred to Louisville after starring at Drexel. That was bad news for former Calipari assistant Bruiser Flint, who was the head coach at the Philadelphia school from 2001-2016. After losing Lee, the Dragons bottomed out at 6-25 in 2015-16, and Flint lost his job.
After Flint was fired, Calipari lashed out at the graduate transfer system. Obviously, the fact that he went to Kentucky rival Louisville stoked the flames.
“The NCAA has a rule that a kid can leave a program like Drexel after being coached and molded for three years and go to another school without having to sit out,” Calipari said. “If Lee is there, they’re in the NCAA tournament. … It’s not about the school that took him. It’s about we let it happen.
He said similar things last year as well, claiming that becoming a grad transfer "isn't good for the kids." From the Courier-Journal:
“Playing right away (as a graduate transfer), I don't think it's good for the kids,” Calipari said Saturday. “Many of them leave the school, don't even tell the coach. They text him and say, ‘I'm going.’ What? How about teaching them to be a man. If you want to sit down with the coach and say, ‘I'm thinking about doing this, what do you think?’ Well, let's talk through this.
“You have coaches now that are holding kids back academically so they can't graduate. Is that what we want? I mean, it's real simple: It's awful for mid-major coaches, for programs, and I don't think it's good for the kids. I really don't.”
Now, Travis is reportedly considering a move to Kentucky. Obviously the situation is quite a bit different from that at Drexel.
Travis went to Stanford to play for Johnny Dawkins. He was fired after the 2015-16 season, and replaced by Jerod Haase, who is 33-33 in two years at Stanford.
Still, that won't stop John Calipari from getting ripped if he takes Reid Travis.
Plenty have already pointed out Coach Cal's comments via Twitter. As you'd expect, they aren't too kind.
Obviously, John Calipari is going to do whatever he thinks will help Kentucky win on the court this year, and adding a veteran all-conference talent like Travis would be just that. Still, if it happens, expect him to take it on the chin a bit.