Happy Thursday Nova Nation! It was a second straight day of fond farewells for the Wildcat faithful, as Omari Spellman announced that he’d be joining Mikal Bridges, Jalen Brunson, and Donte DiVincenzo in the NBA draft. The Big East rookie of the year played just one season for Villanova, but boy was it a great one. At least now, after two months of waiting, the roster for next season is finally set. Or is it?
While all four Wildcats chose to keep their names in the NBA draft, a number of players decided to return for another season at the college level. One of those players is 6’8” power forward Reid Travis. Travis was a McDonald’s All-American who overcame some injuries early in his career to be named First Team All-Pac-12 in each of the last two seasons at Stanford. This past season he averaged nearly 20 points and 9 rebounds, but his team failed to make the NCAA tournament for the fourth straight season. Having received a medical redshirt in what would have been his sophomore year and now having graduated from Stanford, Travis has decided to transfer as a grad student.
Villanova and Duke were rumored landing places early on, but Kentucky has been the favorite the past few weeks. While there was a bit of a log jam at the forward position, Jarred Vanderbilt and Wenyen Gabriel have both decided to remain in the NBA draft. That still leaves P.J. Washington and Nick Richards returning, along with incoming forwards EJ Montgomery and Keldon Johnson. Still the young team could use the grad transfer’s experience, and Cal will surely put on the hard sell during an anticipated upcoming campus visit.
But while Wednesday cleared some room for Travis at Kentucky, it also created a great opportunity for him at Villanova. With Spellman leaving early, the Wildcats are looking at sophomores Dylan Painter and Dhamir Cosby-Roundtree, along with incoming freshman Cole Swider, as the only frontcourt pieces behind returning starter Eric Paschall. While Spellman and Travis aren’t a like for like comparison, the big man would certainly fill a need on the Wildcats roster.
Jay Wright has already turned to the transfer market once this off-season, bringing in grad transfer Joe Cremo from Albany as a possible replacement for Donte DiVincenzo. The media seems to think there’s a good chance it could happen again with Travis:
Have to wonder if departure of Omari Spellman changes anything with Stanford grad transfer Reid Travis … who is thought to be leaning towards going to Kentucky.— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanESPN) May 30, 2018
Omari Spellman joins Donte DiVincenzo and will remain in NBA Draft. Villanova, rumored to be in the running for Stanford grad transfer Reid Travis, now has a place for Travis to fit in immediately.— Dana O'Neil (@DanaONeilWriter) May 30, 2018
While there is no set timetable, this isn’t likely to be resolved in just a few days. It looks like we’ll still have a few more weeks until we know for certain who will be suiting up for the ‘Cats next season.
In other “news”, Villanova had a TON of good players, DiVincenzo made the right call, Jay Wright is proud of his players, and the Wildcats celebrated out on the pitch. Enjoy!
Grad transfer Reid Travis becomes college basketball's most coveted free agent | Yahoo!
Kentucky is reportedly the favorite to land Travis, a first-team all-Pac-12 selection who withdrew from the NBA draft Wednesday.
Spellman to Forego Eligibility, Remain in NBA Draft | Villanova.com
BIG EAST Freshman of the Year Omari Spellman (Cleveland, Ohio) announced on Wednesday that he will keep his name in the 2018 National Basketball Association Draft and forego his remaining college eligibility.
College basketball's winners and losers from the NBA draft declaration period | Yahoo Sports
This list will be updated throughout the day on Wednesday as the 11:59 p.m. stay-or-go deadline approaches.
Donte DiVincenzo followed Grayson Allen’s path to college stardom, then he rightly abandoned it | SBNation.com
One night changed everything for DiVincenzo, who’s leaving Villanova before the college basketball world ever really got to know him.
Quotes from Head Coach Jay Wright on the Teams' NBA Draft Announcements | Villanova.com
Jay Wright Talks About the NBA Draft, Donte and Omari's decisions and the State of Next Year's Team.
Villanova men's basketball team's victory tour continues at Union game | Philly.com
It was yet another stop for the Wildcats, who have ventured all across the Delaware Valley since cutting down the nets in San Antonio a little more than eight weeks ago.