Perry is ready to join new team at Kentucky

Travis Perry sounded like he will be entirely comfortable with the offensive style the University of Kentucky will play with Mark Pope as the new head coach.

Perry was in Owensboro to do a meet and greet at the Cliff Hagan Boys & Girls Club Mike Horn Unit on Saturday afternoon. He took pictures and signed autographs there for a time, then he was getting photographed with the Hancock County softball team at the Team Lauren Cancer Awareness Tournament at Daviess County.

“He’s historically played a system that’s similar to the way we played in high school, playing fast, shooting a lot of threes,” Perry said Lyon County High School team, and Pope’s offensive style. “I think last year they were top two in the country in threes attempted, threes made. That’s something that really favors a guy like me and a lot of the guys we’ve got on the roster now. It won’t be too much of a difference on the offensive side of the ball.”

Perry will be on Pope’s first UK team as a freshman after setting the all-time career scoring record in Kentucky state history, leading Lyon County to the KHSAA Sweet 16 state championship in March and being named Mr. Basketball.

Making that state championship run is still kind of surreal to both Travis and his father Ryan, who was Lyon County’s head coach.

“It definitely does, you wake up and it kind of hits you, you actually accomplished that, and it’s really neat,” Travis said of the state championship. “It’s hard to put into words, but the time we’ve had celebrating with everybody from our team, family to our town, has really been a lot of fun.”

That frenetic style of getting up and down the court helped Lyon County score 83.4 points a game.

“Really fast, organized chaos is a good word for it,” Ryan Perry said in describing how the Lyons played. “We’re trying to get a shot on the backboard in eight to 12 seconds. That’s how fast from the time we possess the ball, we wanted it on the backboard that quick. We felt like a bad shot in that time frame, we had a chance to get on offensive rebound or a put-back. The amount of possessions you get on top of another team in the long haul of a game, that really favors you.

“It’s a fun style of basketball to coach, it’s fun to watch, it’s fun to play. It was organized chaos, it was very, very fast, and very fun.”

It culminated in a KHSAA state championship trophy to cap off a 36-3 season that will never be forgotten in Eddyville. Perry will play in the Kentucky-Indiana All-Star series in June.

Now, Travis Perry is in the early stages of preparing for his UK basketball career. He has talked with Pope on several occasions, and they visited in Lexington.

“We’ve had a few good conversations,” Travis said. “The process of getting to know him, talk about our families, get to know each other first, then talk about system, style, all that kind of stuff. There have been good conversations, it’s definitely new territory.”

As the UK roster has slowly been filling, with Pope seemingly criss-crossing the country to get transfers on the team, Perry has been getting to know his new teammates.

“I’ve seen a lot of them, when we started to get some people, you could start to see how they are as a player, and as a person,” Perry said. “With social media it’s easy to reach out to anybody, talk to anybody.”

Pope has certainly been spreading a positive message, and his boundless energy is genuine.

“It’s 100% real,” Ryan Perry said. “Coach Pope, I’ve told several people, he just gets it, he understands the task, he’s going hard to get there. That’s the energy he comes with. He’s very energetic, very optimistic, he’s got a heart for the program.”