Chat with Travis Ford
Ford played for Kentucky in the 1993 Final Four.
Welcome to SportsNation! On Wednesday, Oklahoma State head men's basketball coach Travis Ford stops by to chat about his 6-3 Cowboys.
In his fourth season at Oklahoma State, Ford is on a string of three straight seasons of 20 wins or more, just the second coach in school history with such a streak to begin his Cowboy career.
Ford came to Oklahoma State from UMass, where he coached for three seasons, won 64 percent of his games and made two postseason appearances.
Send your questions now and join Ford Wednesday at 3 p.m. ET!
Buzzmaster (3:00 PM)
Travis Ford will be here any minute to take your questions!
Buzzmaster (3:01 PM)
And here he is...
Who would you say is the best player in the Big 12 right now?
Travis Ford (3:02 PM)
That's a tough one, let me think about that one. Thomas Robinson from Kansas is playing great right now. And guys like Perry Jones III and Quincy from Baylor are also great. Truthfully, there's a lot of talent in the Big 12 right now.
Coach, you've been able to have some success at your coaching stops....Is it any one thing that you've been able to get out of your teams that you think has led to your success?
Travis Ford (3:03 PM)
I enjoy taking on the challenge at each school I've coached at. I don't know that there's one thing, but success always has a lot to do with your kids playing hard and being prepared.
Chase M (norman, ok )
Love the offensive/defensive combo of Jurick(def) and Cobbins(off) down low. How does it help this team to have thr height down low that hasnt been there in awhile?
Travis Ford (3:04 PM)
It helps. We haven't been able to play them together a lot and we hope to play them more together in the future. Rebounding has been a weakness of ours thus far. If we can play them together it might help us. Jurick is big and strong and Cobbins brings great athleticism.
Is establishing Lebryan Nash in the low post going to be an emphasis offensively? And on that note, how do u plan to open up lanes for the slashers (Markel and JP)?
Travis Ford (3:06 PM)
Le'Bryan is definitely a top option as far as scoring. He can score in the post. He's also able to step out on the perimeter. And within our offense, the key to everything is about spacing. So if we have the right spacing, we should open up those slashing lanes for the guys who have athleticism and quickness.
Paul (Oklahoma City)
Coach, how do you think all of this conference realignment will effect the Big 12 basketball wise?
Travis Ford (3:07 PM)
I think we've gone back to the round robin schedule in the Big 12 where we play everyone twice. For that reason, I think the Big 12 will be one of the best leagues year in and year out. I think it's good for the league and the fans but it makes it that much more difficult for the coaches and the teams. I'm glad we did it, though. Overall, I think it's a very good thing.
Do you think you can slow down the tempo against the run and gun Lobos.
Travis Ford (3:07 PM)
They're a talented team. Very well coached. Good inside, outside combo. And they can shoot the ball well from the three point line. And Gordon is a presence inside. They have a lot of different weapons and we know it's not going to be easy to slow them down.
Coach, you're a former point guard so you know how hard that position is to play. How do you view the position as a whole in the game of college basketball right now?
Travis Ford (3:09 PM)
It's such a crucial position on any team. the point guard needs to be the most unselfish player. They must think team first. Run the plays. Get the ball in the right place at the right time. They set the tone for the defense and offense. Right now, Xavier's Tu Holloway is really excelling in the point guard position. He can pass it and score it.
Prediction on your schools upcoming bowl game. Who wins?
Travis Ford (3:10 PM)
Oh we're going to win going away. We have the best offense in the country and probably the most underrated defense in the country. Once this game is won, we have even more of an argument for playing in a title game. I'm expecting a big win.
How hard is this period of time around fall semester finals? You've got a break in playing games...does it feel like forever between getting your guys out on the court? How do you keep the team focused right now?
Travis Ford (3:11 PM)
Great question. It's one of the more challenging times. All of our kids are in a mentally draining week with finals. Finals are the first priority, but we also need to find time to get our team prepared. We've had practices at 7am, 5pm. There's no continuity when you're working around everyone's different finals schedule.
What are your thoughts on expanding the NCAA tournament beyond its current 68 teams?
Travis Ford (3:12 PM)
I'm for it. I think the more opportunities we can give student athletes to play in what I think is the greatest thing in sports -- one of the most special things in sports. I understand the argument on both sides, but I think the more student-athletes that get to experience the a special tournament like March Madness, the better.
How do you see the Big 12 shaking out this season?
Travis Ford (3:14 PM)
There's a lot of really, really good teams in the Big 12. It's as balanced as it's been in a long time. Missouri and Texas A
CincyJoe (Stillwater, OK)
Will you decide on a point guard by conference play or will we take the "hot hand" approach with CJ, Fred and Dowell?
Travis Ford (3:16 PM)
Another really good question. We've been rotating point guards a bit. We're basing a lot on how they're playing in practice. We are looking for one PG to step up and say, "Hey I want to run this team and get the ball where it needs to go, set the tone on offense, lead us in defense, etc." We have three guys who can do it but it's a work in progress to see who will step up and be the main guy.
How has the loss of Kurt Budke and Miranda Serna affected you as a coach this season?
Travis Ford (3:17 PM)
Definitely just a devastating tragedy. Two great people. Two great coaches. They made everyone around them better. Hopefully we can take the things learned from them and be better coaches and better people. We miss them greatly, but have very wonderful memories. Hopefully we can represent, celebrate and honor them in the right way. They were two wonderful people.
Travis Ford (3:19 PM)
Thanks everyone. Keep pulling for the Cowboys! We are a young team but we are getting better every day. We're better now than we were two weeks ago. It's fun to work with this team. We are going through probably the toughest non-conference schedule we've had here in a long time, but hang in there and I think you'll see that we have a chance to do some great things.