Saturday, August 4, 2012

Travis Releford no fan of grub overseas

Kansas guard Travis Releford glides for a bucket between Oklahoma defenders Sam Grooms, left, and Steven Pledger during the second half Saturday, Jan. 7, 2012, at Lloyd Noble Center.

Kansas guard Travis Releford glides for a bucket between Oklahoma defenders Sam Grooms, left, and Steven Pledger during the second half Saturday, Jan. 7, 2012, at Lloyd Noble Center.


The challenge has been presented to top chefs in Zurich and Paris: Cook something indescribably delicious Aug. 6-14, when Kansas University’s basketball players and coaches are in town — dishes to placate the palate of senior forward Travis Releford.

“I have been overseas a few times, and I think experiencing the different foods they have over there ... it’s always one of the things that stands out,” said Releford, a 6-foot-6, 210-pounder out of Kansas City, Mo., who has traveled extensively in his 22 years on the planet.

He trekked to Canada over 2008 Labor Day weekend as a member of KU’s basketball team and also toured Argentina and China during his days at Roeland Park’s Bishop Miege High.

“I can’t say I’ve had anything good that’s not American overseas,” Releford said of the grub. “I don’t have a favorite food here. I eat everything.”

Releford is experiencing one of the benefits of taking a fifth year: getting to embark on a second foreign tour as a KU player. NCAA rules allow teams to leave the U.S. once every four years. Prior to his true freshman season, Releford averaged a team-leading 14.3 points a game (in four games) in Canada, including a 25-point outing against Carleton University.

“My freshman year, I went to Canada, and that was a fun experience. This year, we’ve got the new guys coming in, and I think it’s going to be a great experience for them and our team to be able to play together and get a feel for each other out on the court,” Releford said.

KU has eight incoming freshmen (Anrio Adams, Milt Doyle, Perry Ellis, Landen Lucas, Zach Peters, Andrew White, Evan Manning, Tyler Self) to go with red-shirt freshmen Ben McLemore and Jamari Traylor).

“It’s a good opportunity to get to know each other, being able to get a feel for how each other plays and put that together when we are all out on the court,” Releford said. “Having this opportunity is going to be great us, for our team, for our coaches and for everybody that’s involved.”

The Jayhawks, who leave Sunday but won’t arrive in Zurich until Monday morning (the clock is seven hours ahead of Lawrence time), today will hold their 10th and final pre-tour practice in accordance with NCAA rules. KU will play a pair of exhibition games against the Swiss National Team Tuesday and Wednesday in Fribourg, Switzerland, and versus two pro teams a week from today and Sunday in Paris.

Releford has been impressive thus far at workouts.

“Trav is rock-solid,” KU coach Bill Self said.

KU senior Jeff Withey has declined an invitation to attend this weekend’s Adidas Nations event in California. He is practicing with KU’s team while gearing for Sunday’s travel day to Zurich.


George Powell 9 years, 9 months ago

Yep, must be "winter" vacation setting in.

bui63 9 years, 9 months ago

Releford is also 'not a fan' of tipping people either.

gchawk 9 years, 9 months ago

Accentuating the negative? A tip is an expression of appreciation for good service, maybe you didn't earn a tip.

bui63 9 years, 9 months ago

It wasn't me. And if you saw the service he was receiving of him you'd question him too.

gchawk 9 years, 9 months ago

Travis is a good young man and if he is anything like I was in college, funds are very tight. I'm sure the "tip" thing will improve in time, but for now, it's pretty irrelevant.

Kyle Sybesma 9 years, 9 months ago

A college student "not a fan of tipping"? That is breaking news!! That should have been the headline.

Here's one you haven't heard. College students smoke marijuana!! And allegedly some play for KU.

okiedave 9 years, 9 months ago

In Europe, it does not matter, because tips are not expected in most countries. If you go out to eat and pay by credit card, there is no place on the receipt to leave a tip. In most Asian countries, tipping is an insult to one's dignity and considered a put-down. Leave it to American resturant owners to devise a plan to hire cheap labor and devise a social custom for the guest to make sure the server makes a decent wage.

dylans 9 years, 9 months ago

What does the last sentence in the forth paragraph from the end mean? "...and versus two pro teams a week from today and Sunday in Paris."

Marcia Parsons 9 years, 9 months ago

It means they won't be playing some French college team. They will be playing a pro French team.

Jack Wilson 9 years, 9 months ago

Releford is an enigma (I like that word).

No, not regarding the irrelevant food issues. But related to his offensive play.

I think most of us who watch every minute of every game .. twice at least .. wonder why we don't get more on the offensive end from Releford. We see the OU game explosion. We see glimpses of greatness. We see a guy who (it seems) is able to score when he really puts his mind to it. A guy with the tools.

Assertiveness is the word. I have begged for Releford to assert himself on the offensive end. When he does, it is terrific to see. Then, many times, you forget he's on the floor offensively.

I've heard the red herrings .. "Oh, he works so hard on the defensive end he is gathering is strength on the offensive end." Baloney. Everyone on this team worked hard defensively last season, it's just that Releford's hard work is better. That entire thought process is baloney. You can do both. Many, many players do. I've even heard the stupid "glue" garbage.

What I've seen is a guy that is content not scoring. Literally more times than I could count or try to document, he passed on opportunities to drive to the hoop or shoot the ball. One game last season I counted 7 different opportunities (angle of defender, etc.) he had to drive to the hoop below 15 on the shot clock, where he declined. That is just a sample.

Two things that I noticed as a result:

1) We are not as good of an offensive team when Releford does not drive to the hoop consistently. One major takeaway I had from the times he did drive .. we were much better offensively. So, as result, it seems we're worse when he doesn't. Penetration creates opportunities. Releford, if he would simply assert himself and take what is there .. and just a little more, could easily average 16 per game. He is a guy who could force his offense. He should do that. To put it another way, Travis, if you assert yourself offensively and demonstrate yourself as a go-to scorer, you can play in the NBA. Otherwise, no.

2) Releford's goes into a shell when he misses early. It certainly seems to me that Releford is one of those guys who lacks confidence from the field. Meaning, if he misses, those misses lead to more misses or simply a refusal to shoot more. The broader description is that he goes into a shell offensively if things don't go right. Conversely, see EJ.

At OU last year, he dropped 28. He had a 16 point game, a 14, some 12s, etc. He averaged 8. That is half of what this guy could average. JB pointed out last year some defensive situations presented by OU that led to Releford's 28. Good points. But that game, for whatever reason, he asserted himself. We've all seen it. How about the monumental game vs. Ohio St. in the semis? That's what we need. But he only shot 7 times -- 5-7. You can see where I'm going here.


Jack Wilson 9 years, 9 months ago


Try this .. the only three games he even had double digit field goal attempts was a three game stretch in which he scored 14, 16, and 28 .. and his FG% was over 50%. He shot nearly 50% for the season. Shoot the ball, young man.

Shoot the ball. Drive to the hoop. Penetrate. Slash. Dish. Shoot.

The 2013 version of the Jayhawks needs Releford to score the basketball.

What he eats in Europe .. I don't care. Perhaps he can try some of those nachos where you use real potatoes and special cheese and a special cooker we discussed yesterday. I'm much less refined and might side with Travis on the "American" food thing.

I really want Releford to take his offense to the next level. To be an offensive leader, as a senior. To be the assertive offensive player we know he can be. You want a key to our success this season, put that in your top 3.

REHawk 9 years, 9 months ago

As I recall, he scored well for a junior USA National Team early on. And I well remember Bill Self declaring that Travis would score over 1000 pts. before departing KU. Maybe he inherited the B. Rush Syndrome, and occasionally needs a kick to activate his scoring motor. But I think you are correct, in that he could be at least a 13 pt. guy, game in and out. Without the scoring production and dependence upon TRob and TT to do the heavy shooting, Travis, Withey and EJ all need to up their production on the scoreboard. It would appear that BenMac and Ellis are prepared to contribute significant offense; and with Andrew White's training regimen, we should see a marked improvement in distribution of points this season. That said, Travis, with his native talent and 4 years of Jayhawk play behind him, should be counted upon for at least 4 or 5 pts. per game above last season's average...unless that week of European cuisine blitzes his will to produce.

waywardJay 9 years, 9 months ago

The most important part of his Offense from what I see is his ability to pull up off the dribble and hit from 8-12. It's this that we will need when teams Zone us. His ability to take 2-3 steps from the line and pull up and barely move the net with that pull up.

Mastering that will bring him open pathways for Dunk, and Open three pointers, but to me, The key for him is that 8-12 jumper.

Ken Sedgwick 9 years, 9 months ago

Really HEM? Too bad, I was hoping Travis would improve this year.

Dale Stringer 9 years, 9 months ago

If they don't go to the Brat stand on Bahnhofstrasse across from the Tommy Hilfiger store, then they are missing out.

milehighhawk 9 years, 9 months ago

Tough to go wrong with some fresh bread in Paris.

yates33333 9 years, 9 months ago

The mayonnaise and potatoes are good. In fact, best mayonnaise I have ever eaten. Of course, they skimp on everything. Well, at least where I ate. I like the Spanish food better.

Jeff Coffman 9 years, 9 months ago

I always hate that you can't get a coke over 6 ounces, and trying to get more than one cube of ice with your drink is nearly impossible (if you are lucky to get one).

As for the food, US clearly has just about everything, Brazil I always has the most consistently good meat, Argentina has great Steaks. France I always like their desserts, England all I have to say about their food is that Mushy peas is a it can't be too good.

The cheeses are good in Europe, but some of the dried meats are salty and chewy, not like beef jerky good.

Releford enjoy the trip.

Jeffery Barrett 9 years, 9 months ago

I hope you we're being sarcastic about the ice cube.

Dale Stringer 9 years, 9 months ago

He could be. I usually got 3 cubes. But if you want more than one package of ketchep, they are 25 cents a piece.

mikehawk 9 years, 9 months ago

The best french fries I've every had, I had in Paris. They looked like ours, and in fact could have passed for McDonald's fries, which aren't bad. That is where their comparison stops. They actually melted in your mouth as they exploded with flavor. My wife, son and I have kicked ourselves for years for not going back to the restuarant where they were ordered and inhaled. A chef friend of mine explained the process in their prepartion. All I can say...only in French cooking could something be that complicated and taste that good.

danmoore 9 years, 9 months ago

The fact that this non-story has received 19 posts (20 counting mine) while a relevant story on our starting QB only received 13 is indicative of the sports culture at KU. I like basketball too but I wish there was equal interest in football which is right around the corner by the way. I'm afraid the fair weather mentality will only change if and when we can consistently win on the gridiron.

REHawk 9 years, 9 months ago

I think you might have made a viable point. Super fun to stick with and stand by a reliable winner, as well as a solid coaching tree which endures for at least a decade.

Priest Fontaine 9 years, 9 months ago

A kid from Kansas complaining about the food overseas. Say it ain't so!

kellerman411 9 years, 9 months ago

It's about time an article came out featuring Travis. He is way under rated. He has been my favorite player for the last two seasons. As a sophmore, every time he came in, things went our way.

Travis doesn't seem to be on a lot of NBA radars that I have heard of but I think he has a chance. Anytime you're 6' 6", can play defense, can shoot it and have a descent handle, you have a chance in the NBA.

jaybate 9 years, 9 months ago

Anticipated Awards on Euro Trip for Travis"

• Voted Most Daring Dunker in Davos.

• Voted Super Collider Impact Player of the Game in Cerne.

• Voted Best Glue Guy in Gascony.

• Voted Most Rock Solid in Rouen.

• Voted Top Pick'n Pop in Paris.

• Awarded First "Croix d' Baller Guerre" in Canne.

• Camus Award for Basketball Absurdity for becoming first ever Impact Glue player.

Note: all fiction. No malice.

REHawk 9 years, 9 months ago

Aw-oh! Surely you didn't say "glue guy!"

Tim Orel 9 years, 9 months ago

I agree. The glue awards are somewhat distasteful.

Steve Brown 9 years, 9 months ago

Most dinners in Europe are 'service compris' or tip already included....

kufanman88 9 years, 9 months ago

Wow. I just lost a lot of respect for Travis in terms of his maturity and leadership. What you eat says a lot about your character.

whatever95 9 years, 9 months ago

I am VERY confused by this headline, too. I read the article twice trying to figure out what it meant. Still clueless..... :( This is why I never buy a newspaper - the writing is lacking....

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