Stanford will lose two of its top players after this season in forwards Josh Huestis and Dwight Powell, with no clear replacement currently on the roster.
But there's a chance one of Stanford's next starting forwards isn't currently on the team. Enter Reid Travis, the nation's No. 40 player who committed to Stanford over offers from Duke, UCLA, Michigan State and many others. At 6-foot-7, 235-pounds, Travis has the size and strength to handle a significant workload early in his college career.
"He's college ready," Stanford coach Johnny Dawkins said. "Physically and mentally this young man is ready. It never ceases to amaze me his work ethic, his desire to become good. He already physically is there because like I said he has the weight and strength to come in and contribute right away."
Stanford started recruiting Travis in his freshman year of high school. They were the first college program to send him a recruiting letter.
"He's the young man we probably recruited the longest," Dawkins said.
But for a while, it was unclear whether Travis would pursue football or basketball in college. He starred at quarterback for his high school team, and picked up gridiron offers from Rutgers, Boston College and Iowa. Though Travis will be focused on the hardwood at Stanford, Dawkins thinks some of the skills the four-star recruit acquired during his football career will translate well.
"(He's) another young man who brings a lot of intangibles," Dawkins said. "He brings a winning spirit, great competitor. Very versatile player for us he's a guy that we can see playing on the perimeter but he can also score on the low post. He has a real good feel for the game having been a quarterback himself. Those guys know how to audible and make quick decisions so we're excited to have him be a part of that. And also leadership skills from him, because at that position you have to lead as well. I think he brings a lot to our team from the standpoint of a winning culture from the high school he comes from, he's been well coached, he has a very good understanding of the game and he's very versatile."
Dawkins doesn't know exactly how much Travis will play or precisely where he'll fit into Stanford's 2014-2015 squad, but he envisions Travis playing early and providing a versatile offensive presence.
"It's always tough to say what's going to happen looking way into the future but we expect him to make some good contributions," Dawkins said. "We expect him to be a young man that's a forward for us that can play on the perimeter. He can also play some in the post, but he's more versatile for us, kind of like what you see looking at a Josh Huestis for us now, he's outside, inside, he's kind of all over the place for us and so is Dwight. He's cut from the same cloth as those guys."
Why Stanford? "Just the comfort feel I got," Travis told Cardinal Sports Report after making his decision. "The coaching staff and the players and all that, it's tough to find that many people that you feel like you have the same mindset and the same goals and aspirations. You don't find that everywhere, where you really just have a lot of good guys on the same team where I felt like everyone kind of has the same beliefs and the background that I came from. I wanted to go some place where the academics were just as strong as basketball, and I think that Stanford kind of epitomizes that with their program."
Scouting Report: Hard playing insider is amongst the most physical players in the country. Attacks the glass on both ends and is a good scorer out to 15 feet. Slightly undersized for the power forward but makes up for it with his toughness and strength. - Eric Bossi, Rivals.com. 9/24/2013
On film: Minneapolis (Minn) De La Salle senior power forward Reid Travis of the Celtics had 28 points and 11 rebounds in a 76-63 victory over the Lakers at the NBPA Camp on June 15, 2013, in Charlottesville, Va. The scouting video shows Travis' (No. 66) box score statistics except fouls.
Fun Fact: Travis is believed to be the first recruit with committable offers from Stanford and Duke (and the Blue Devils and Cardinal among his top two or three) to select Stanford since prior to Casey Jacobsen in the late-1990's. Jacobsen had offers from Duke and Stanford, but the Blue Devils filled their recruiting class with Mike Dunleavy, Jr., causing Jacobsen to end up on The Farm.