Travis Perry is just two wins away from a return trip to Rupp Arena for the 2023 edition of the UK Healthcare Boys’ Sweet 16, but Lyon County’s star junior point guard has maintained a high-profile presence this season thanks to his college basketball recruitment and his pursuit of the all-time state scoring record.
Perry and the Lyons currently find themselves in the semifinals of the 2nd Region Tournament, which Lyon County won last year to reach the Sweet 16 for the first time since 1951
Two more wins for Lyon County — starting Monday night against Christian County — would allow the Lyons to return to Rupp Arena later this month.
But that building has already hosted Perry this season in a different capacity: as a college basketball recruit.
Perry, who is ranked the No. 89 player in the 2024 recruiting class by the 247Sports Composite, has seen his college recruitment take off this season.
Perry’s list of scholarship offers includes the likes of Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Purdue, Vanderbilt and Virginia. Perry took official visits earlier this season to Michigan, Ole Miss and Purdue, and he’s also expected to visit Virginia following the end of his high school season.
He has also made a couple of stops in Lexington.
Perry was part of the list of high-profile recruits that UK hosted for Big Blue Madness in October, and he took an unofficial visit to Kentucky last weekend for UK’s home win against Auburn.
Kentucky has also traveled to watch Perry play recently. UK head coach John Calipari and assistant coach KT Turner both watched Perry score a Lyon County school-record 61 points in a February game.
But plenty of other schools are competing with the Cats to secure Perry’s commitment.
According to 247Sports analyst Travis Branham, Perry’s recruitment remains wide-openwith a plethora of Power Five schools involved ahead of an expected list-cutting by Perry in the near future.
Perry has mechanics for a picture-perfect shot
While Perry still projects to be a point guard at the college level, its undeniably his scoring prowess in Kentucky high school basketball that has brought so much attention to his name.
In addition to the 61-point outing Perry had in front of Calipari and Turner, he also scored 45 points in a January game played in Lexington against 2023 UK signee Reed Sheppard and North Laurel High School, another top Sweet 16 contender.
In that game, Perry shot 17-for-26 from the field and 10-for-16 from three-point range, displaying his shooting ability, particularly from long range.
“Travis Perry’s shooting acumen stands out for multiple reasons. For starters, the overarching threat of being able to make shots off movement, off the dribble and off the catch make Travis a unique perimeter weapon,” Pro Insight Basketball analyst Alex Brown told the Herald-Leader on Thursday.
“From a mechanical standpoint, Perry’s shot can look picture-perfect, as he routinely displays a clean, quick energy transfer, great wrist action and hand placement, ideal rotation and arc, as well as highly polished pre-shot footwork.”
In addition to the constant threat Perry poses from deep, Brown also complimented Perry on his basketball intelligence that allows him to create other scoring advantages in the half-court offense.
“Perry is more than just a shooter, however, as his feel for the pick and roll paired with some crafty finishing allows him to create and capitalize on additional self-created advantages to complement the shooting threat,” Brown added.
Perry in hot pursuit of state scoring record
In addition to a potential Sweet 16 return and the recruiting presence of top high-major programs, there’s also the matter of a prestigious state basketball record to monitor with Perry.
Perry has scored 4,243 career points at Lyon County, where he has been a high school varsity starter since seventh grade.
The all-time leading scorer in Kentucky boys’ high school basketball history is Kelly “King” Coleman, who scored 4,337 points at Wayland High School from 1952-56.
Perry is just 94 points away from that total, which makes it possible that Perry will top the record this season in a Sweet 16 game at Rupp Arena, should Lyon County advance that far.
Kentucky basketball class of 2024 recruiting update
The Wildcats are without a commitment in the 2024 recruiting class.
Shooting guard Ian Jackson picked North Carolina over Kentucky in January. Small forward Airious Bailey committed to Rutgers in January, as well as point guard Tahaad Pettiford committed to Auburn in February.
Additionally, five-star small forward Naas Cunningham released a list of his final five schools last month, and UK was not included.
In late January, UK hosted class of 2024 shooting guard Tre Johnson — the top-ranked player in the class per the 247Sports Composite — for a visit during the weekend of Kentucky’s home game against Kansas.
In late February, Perry was at Rupp Arena for UK’s home win over Auburn.
Kentucky head coach John Calipari and assistant coach Chin Coleman both watched Billy Richmond — a class of 2024 shooting guard who is a high school teammate of 2023 UK signees Aaron Bradshaw and DJ Wagner — played in February in Frankfort.
Richmond also took an unofficial visit to Kentucky in February.