Blog Entry

There's a big gap between Donovan and Ford

Posted on: March 27, 2009 4:03 pm
Edited on: March 27, 2009 5:46 pm

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- With Billy Donovan out of the picture , Kentucky must now turn elsewhere.

Tom Izzo?

That would be excellent.

John Calipari?

That would be tremendous.

But I'm less sure about Travis Ford, and I like Travis Ford. He was great at Oklahoma State this season; that school is lucky to have him. But the reality is that Ford has coached nine Division I seasons at three different schools and been to just two NCAA tournaments, which doesn't suggest he's guaranteed to succeed anywhere, much less somewhere like Kentucky. He might . Or he could miss the NCAA tournament three straight years like he did at UMass. It's hard to tell, and that's my point.

Mitch Barnhart should be less interested in gambling on a UK graduate -- which some are reporting is possible -- than securing a guaranteed home run like Izzo or Calipari or Jay Wright or any number of guys. Some day, Ford might be in that class. But he's not there now, and that should make Barnhart hesitant, because if he completes another questionable hire that goes bad then the next UK press conference might not be to announce a new coach in two years, but a new athletic director with a better track record of success.


Since: Mar 28, 2009
Posted on: March 28, 2009 12:12 pm

There's a big gap between Donovan and Ford

That's FUNNY!  Even as a UK fan, that's still funny.  To bring Matt Millen into a college basketball discussion...well played, sir....well played!




Since: Mar 28, 2009
Posted on: March 28, 2009 12:10 pm

There's a big gap between Donovan and Ford

Donovan is overrated?  Really?  Let's look at some history.  Mike Krzyzewski won the NCAA championship in 1992 and had a losing season in 94-95 and lost in the first round of the NCAA tournament the next year.  So, I guess by your standard, Krzyzewski is overrated, as well.  Sure, Donovan had a losing record his first two seasons at UF, but since '98, Florida has won no less than 20 games a season and played in the post season every year as well.  Oh yeah, he also picked up a couple of NCAA championships along the way.  So yeah, I guess you're right...Billy Donovan IS really overrated.



Since: Mar 28, 2009
Posted on: March 28, 2009 11:57 am

There's a big gap between Donovan and Ford

OK, can you give a logical reason as to WHY Izzo would never leave MSU?



Since: Mar 28, 2009
Posted on: March 28, 2009 11:55 am

There's a big gap between Donovan and Ford

Ya know, Bill....I have the feeling that UK wouldn't have broken off Gilispie so soon if they didn't already have someone sitting in the green room, just waiting for his cue.  I could be wrong BUT, like Parrish's article mentioned, if they screw up the next hiring decision, it'll be Lee Todd giving the press conference announcing the firing of Barnhart.



Since: Mar 28, 2009
Posted on: March 28, 2009 11:52 am

There's a big gap between Donovan and Ford

Billy doesn't live with his mother.  He lives in a 12,000 square foot, $1.5 million home in Jessamine County, Kentucky (about 10 minutes outside of Lexington).  Of course, that house will soon be on the market and I'm sure Billy G is willing to negotiate!



Since: Mar 28, 2009
Posted on: March 28, 2009 11:49 am

There's a big gap between Donovan and Ford


Parrish's article is right on the moneyTravis Ford does have that Kentucky background and understands (at least from a player perspective) what it takes to be a coach at UK.  Ford needs more time on the vine before he's ready to step into that kind of program.  He also needs to settle down somewhere for more than a month and actually BUILD a program or at least sustain it for a while. 

I read some of the criticism on Billy Donovan and most of it is very narrow-minded.  Of COURSE he won with great talent.  Um, isn't that kinda HOW championships are won?  I don't seem to recall many NCAA championships being won with BAD players.  How about the lean seasons that Coach K had at Duke?  Duke wins a championship, then needs to restock the shelves.  So, they might have a couple of less than stellar seasons.  Does anyone question Coach K's coaching ability?  Donovan has 2 rings, which is two more than most other coaches in the country so that does put him in elite company, like it or not.  If Donovan makes it back to another Final Four in the next couple of seasons, I'm guessing the critics out there will conveniently forget what they said before, right?

As for Jay Wright, he's a Philly guy through and through.  About the only job I could see him leaving 'Nova for would be the Sixers.  That's too bad because that guy can coach!

To be the coach at UK, it's going to take a combination of being an x's and o's master, relentless recruiter, and the ability to be an ambassador.  Kentucky is a whole different situation and I just don't think Gilispie fit into the ambassador shoes very well at all.  He had a contentious relationship with the local media, did nothing to ingratiate himself to the fans, and certainly didn't win any friends in the national media. 

Tom Izzo is the kind of guy that could do exceptionally well at UK because he possesses the attributes necessary to succeed at Kentucky.  Calipari would make a great choice, too.  Like Pitino, I think Calipari learned his lesson about coaching in college vs the NBA.  The players are the stars and get whatever they want in the NBA.  At a school like UK, if you're a winner there, you ARE the star (just ask Pitino...I believe his exact words were, "I left Camelot").  It's the biggest stage in college basketball at Kentucky and it takes a special coach to make it there. 

I actually miss Tubby.  He had the kind of seasons at UK that many programs would love to have.  I don't blame him a bit for leaving because I'm sure he just got fed up with all the b.s., mainly from the idiot fans.  He wins a championship and most of the fans don't even give him credit for it.  "Oh, he just won with Pitino's players".  Hm, that's interesting because I never saw Pitino on the sideline or at all the practices and team meetings that season.  Ya know, I never heard any of the UNC fans say that Roy Williams won the championship with Daugherty's players. 

Great article, Parrish!

Since: Jul 10, 2008
Posted on: March 28, 2009 10:32 am

There's a big gap between Donovan and Ford

Denny Crum. 

Since: Mar 11, 2008
Posted on: March 28, 2009 9:07 am

There's a big gap between Donovan and Ford

you can't really be a Cat fan,you make way to much sense about the sad state of affairs surrounding what WAS one of the elite programs in the country.  It's o.k. though,little brother has grown up,we'll thake it from here. :)   GO CARDS!! 

Since: Feb 13, 2008
Posted on: March 28, 2009 8:27 am

There's a big gap between Donovan and Ford

I totally agree osupokefans.  I have been watching Ford's success since UMass, and I think he's ready.  Not only is OSU a quality school, but the Big 12 is one of the "Big 6" conferences.  What would be a better school to come from, Duke? NC? Kansas?  If you succeed at those schools, you're going to stay at those schools.

Bring on Ford!  He's got the talent, he's got the disposition, he knows the tradition and everybody here loves him.


Since: Mar 14, 2009
Posted on: March 28, 2009 8:09 am

There's a big gap between Donovan and Ford

How great would that be!!   

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