Travis Ford Q&A

Travis Ford would like nothing more than a few more months before beginning practice with his first Oklahoma State basketball team. But that's not going to happen. The Cowboys get started Friday night with Homecoming & Hoops and begin practice in earnest on Saturday. I recently visited with Ford for the Basketball Preview issue of Go Pokes Magazine, and share some of his thoughts here.

Go Pokes: How excited are you to get started with your first Oklahoma State basketball team?
Ford: I'm extremely excited to start working with these guys and start implementing our system. As usual, when you take over a new job, the beginning always comes a little too quick. Being out on the road recruiting every day, and there are so many different things going on when you take over a program, it all is happening so quick. You don't fully feel prepared when you're just a week away from your first practice, but I've been here before and we'll be ready to go. There's no question I'm excited to get on the court and excited to begin spending time with my team on the court, and implement a new system with these guys.

Go Pokes: Does this team remind you of any of the teams you coached at Campbellsville, Eastern Kentucky or UMass?
Ford: No, not really. The closest would be to my team last year at UMass where we were pretty much loaded with guards and didn't have an incredible inside presence. I think we've got some guys who can play inside but the jury is still out on those guys and what they can do for us inside. They're similar to my team last year but it's hard to compare just because everything is so new.

Go Pokes: What's impressed you the most about this team during off-season workouts?
Ford: Just their acceptance of something new and their work ethic. I think we've thrown some things at these guys that required some things of them that they could have sat back and said, ‘Wow, this guy is crazy, or why are we doing this?' But I think they understood that they are going to have to be in the best shape of their lives in order to play this system. Change is never easy but they've adapted to it very well.

Go Pokes: I asked Coach Ford to talk about each scholarship player on the roster. Here are a few of his comments on the Cowboy players (in alphabetical order).

Teeng Akol: It's 50-50 (whether he will be eligible this season). I have no idea. Teeng is somebody we desperately need. He can probably be our best low-post player, our best shot blocker, and can really run the court.

James Anderson: He needs to be a little more aggressive and we need to improve his defense a little bit, but even though he's a sophomore we'd like for him to take on more of a leadership role.

Anthony Brown: Anthony is one of those guys, and I tell him every day, that he doesn't realize how good he is. This system could really fit him.

Byron Eaton: There's no question that Byron is our point guard, and the leader of our basketball team. In order for us to be successful he's going to have to play well.

Brad Garrett: Brad's tough to say. He needs to get healthy. That's A, B, C, D and E with him, he needs to get healthy.

Terrel Harris: He's had probably the best preseason of anybody. I would say he's probably No. 1 coming out of preseason workouts, as far as the person who has impressed me the most on a consistent basis every single day.

Malcoln Kirkland: Malcoln needs to get in shape first. He came in from junior college incredibly out of shape, and that's his greatest struggle now.

Marshall Moses: ... he is definitely probably our strongest player and most physical player, somebody who we're going to have to rely on to get double-digit rebounds and somebody who is going to have to score inside, somebody who is going to be our beef-eater and meat-eater inside.

Obi Muonelo: Obi can play a lot of different positions. He's even someone we wouldn't hesitate to throw into the four spot because our four spot is not necessarily a post position.

Keiton Page: I think he can be an effective two guard because he can shoot the ball so well. I don't worry about size that much.

Nick Sidorakis: He's somebody going into the season I'm expecting him to play a lot of minutes and fight for a starting position at this point. I've been very impressed with his work ethic.

Ibrahima Thomas: We've been working with him on developing some mental toughness and physical toughness with him because he is 6-11 and he's got to be an inside presence even though he likes to play on the outside and be more of a finesse player.

If you would like to read Ford's detailed thoughts on each player and begin receiving complete coverage of the Cowboy basketball team, the best way to do so is by subscribing to Go Pokes Magazine. Click on this link to start your subscription: Yes, I want to begin receiving Go Pokes Magazine

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