KENNY WALKER: Travis Ford at Kentucky

I think Travis Ford is going to come into Rupp Arena Friday awfully loose and confident. He beat coach Pitino in Louisville last week and that was a big feather in his hat. With that win his team will come into Rupp Arena more calm and confident than it was even at Louisville. They know they can win and compete against the big boys.

They have a couple of really good inside players and a good overall team. Travis will say all the right things about the game. That's Travis. But deep down inside you know he wants to win and he had to gain a lot of confidence in his team from the win at Louisville.

I knew Travis Ford would be a good coach. It was in his genes with his dad (Eddie) being a coach and playing at Kentucky under Rick Pitino. You knew he would be good, but not how good or what style of play he would try to use. I think he does some of Rick Pitino's style, like a lot of coaches do, but I think he has also brought his own style and personality to each team he has coached.

I think the thing that has impressed me the most about Travis is how he adapts to the talent that he has. I think that dictates his style of play. I think he has done a great job of that at every place he has coached.

Sometimes people ask me if I think Travis could eventually be a coach at Kentucky. First, I think Tubby is doing an outstanding job and I don't want Tubby to walk away for a long time. But if Travis comes into Rupp Arena and pulls an upset there will probably be some fans who would want to see the coaches change teams right then.

But coaching at Kentucky is the type of dream ending I would like to see for Travis Ford one day down the road. I think being born in the state of Kentucky and having the success as a basketball player that he did, I think he would be somebody perfect for the people in the state of Kentucky to follow, support and believe in.

I wouldn't say it would be easier on Travis than some other coaches, but I think fans would be a little bit more understanding since he is from Kentucky. Most people would probably feel that growing up on Kentucky basketball and playing in the system and now coaching, he would be a perfect fit for the Kentucky fans.

He won at Eastern Kentucky. Now he's building a solid program at Massachusetts. He just has to keep winning games and his future will be fine. Then there could eventually be a time when Kentucky needs a coach and he will be the perfect fit if his career keeps going the way it has.

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