Player Spotlight: Ross Travis

Story posted December 7, 2013 in Sports, CommRadio by Maddie Brightman

Pat Chambers has described Ross Travis as ‘relentless, hardworking, and an athlete who plays with great energy’. This past weekend at the Barclays Center Classic, Travis was one of many players who contributed to Penn State’s solid performance. The team’s thrilling 89-82 overtime win against St. Johns and the close 79-76 loss to Ole Miss proved that Penn State basketball is headed in the right direction.

During the games in Brooklyn, Travis posted double-figures in each matchup. He recorded his second double-double of the season and the seventh of his career, with 17 points and 13 rebounds against Ole Miss.

Travis’s first double-double of the season came during Penn State’s matchup with Longwood. During the team’s 93-67 win over the Lancers, Travis recorded 11 points and 13 rebounds and tied his career-high of four assists. Following the game, Penn State head coach Pat Chambers praised the junior forward’s strong performance.

“Ross Travis is one of the hardest workers on this team. It doesn't surprise me. He plays relentless every possession,” said Chambers. “The guy is exhausted after every game. That is how hard he plays. It is nice to see him be rewarded with a double-double. He is a talent.”

Travis is a 6-foot-6, 225 pound junior from Chaska, Minnesota, who has been making an impact in the basketball program since the first day he stepped foot in the Bryce Jordan Center. In his first season as a Nittany Lion, Travis played in all 32 games and was a starter 16 times. As a freshman, Travis earned the team’s Scrappiest Player Award and led the team with 5.2 rebounds per game. He finished the final five games of the season with a 63.2 shooting percentage.

Travis’s shining moment as a freshman came during the final game of the season against No. 13 Michigan. The rising star scored a career-high 15 points, recorded six rebounds, and went 5-5 on the floor.

Travis continued to improve and show off his athleticism during his sophomore season. Travis led Penn State and finished fourth in the Big Ten with 7.4 rebounds per game, giving him the best average for a Penn State player since 2007. He recorded five double-doubles and continued to thrive as the rebound king, with nine double-digit rebound totals, where seven of which were against Big Ten opponents. Travis posted eight double-figure scoring games and was fourth on the team in scoring.

Travis continued to show his dominating ability against the Michigan Wolverines. During the 2012-2013 season, Travis recoded three of his five double-doubles against the University of Michigan. Travis posted twelve points and eleven rebounds versus the No. 6 team during the Big Ten Tournament.

The best game of his career came against Michigan, last February 27. Travis tied a career-high with 15 points and recorded career-highs with four assists and four steals. He finished the game with 12 rebounds and more importantly proved the large impact he would continue to have on the university’s basketball program.

While in high school, Travis was the top prospect from Minnesota in 2011. ESPN.com and Rivals.com listed Travis as a three star recruit. During his senior season, the budding star averaged twenty points, twelve rebounds and two blocks per game. As a senior, Travis was team captain and played on the Minneapolis AAU 43 Hoops team coached by NBA veteran Chris Carr. He also recorded a triple-double and led his team to the sectional finals during his junior year.

Travis’s athleticism and skill is incredibly impressive due the various injuries he has faced over his career. When he was younger, Travis suffered minor blindness in his left eye after being shot with a BB gun, forcing him to miss two full season of basketball. Travis wore a brace for seven months after suffering from a back injury. Travis missed his entire sophomore season and twelve games of his junior year due to the severe injury.

Chambers has noted Travis’s strong work ethic and the hard work he has put in to play at his highest level.

“He plays with great energy and effort and has worked really hard on his jump shot and handle during the off-season. He continues to get stronger in the weight room and I expect to see a tremendously improved player this season."

Travis and the Nittany Lions will host Marshall this Saturday at 4:00 p.m. on ComRadio.

Maddie Brightman is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact her, email mvb5601@psu.edu.

Photo Credit: (AP Photo/Centre Daily Times, Christopher Weddle)