Stanford men’s basketball head coach Johnny Dawkins told CBSSports.com on Monday that forward Reid Travis would practice this week in preparation for the Card’s away game against Washington.
The 6-foot-8 freshman incurred an upper-leg stress fracture on Dec. 29 in the team’s win over Arkansas-Pine Bluff and has been sidelined ever since. Travis averaged 7.5 points and 6.9 rebounds in his first 11 games of the 2014-15 season. At the time of the injury, he was the Card’s leading rebounder.
After the Cardinal’s win over Arizona State on Saturday, Dawkins said that Travis “was seen a few days ago [by the trainer] and he’s starting to run out on some surfaces now. I’m anticipating that if everything goes well, he’ll have a chance to go with us on that trip [to Washington] and may be able to play.”
The last time the Card met the then-No. 21 Huskies at Maples, they pulled off a 68-60 overtime win. Although he wouldn’t be expected to return to full health by Wednesday after only two days of practice, Travis would certainly be a very important post presence for the Card.
In his absence, three other Stanford big men have picked up the slack on the boards. Prior to the Card’s win on Saturday, three players have been averaging more than 6 rebounds per game in the seven-game span that Travis has been out: Stefan Nastic (8.4), Anthony Brown (8.4) and Roscoe Allen (6).
In addition to Travis, the Card have one other instrumental post player injured. Playing behind Travis was junior forward Grant Verhoeven; however, prospects for Verhoeven’s return from a hip injury sustained before the season are not as promising.
Verhoeven last played 14 minutes in the win over USC on Jan. 11, but has not seen action in the four games since and missed the first seven games of this season. Dawkins reported after the Arizona game that he would be sidelined indefinitely. The absences of both Travis and Verhoeven have taken away two of the Card’s best big men that are needed to complement Nastic.
“Grant is still out for us,” Dawkins said. “I don’t foresee his situation changing too much. But I do, with Reid’s situation, based on where he was the last time they looked at him and with how he’s progressing [through] protocol.”
To fill the void of size left from Travis and Verhoeven’s injuries, the Card called upon Stanford football’s Nick Davidson to add size inside. The 6-foot-7 junior offensive tackle, who lettered in basketball in high school, was added to the roster and suited up for the past two home games, mostly to benefit the Card in practice.
Contact Ashley Westhem at awesthem ‘at’ stanford.edu.