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

There's a big gap between Donovan and Ford

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.

Posted on: July 28, 2008 7:44 pm
Edited on: July 28, 2008 7:48 pm

It's the other Clifton, stupid

OK, I'm an idiot.

I called Brian Clifton Sunday night to talk to him about a few things, among them the rumor that he is a candidate to join Travis Ford's staff at Oklahoma State provided he can bring his heralded point guard, John Wall, along with him. Clifton denied being interested in any job, and the guy sounded believable. I think he was telling the truth. But the problem is that I had the rumor slightly wrong.

It's apparently not Brian Clifton who might join Ford's staff.

It's Dwon Clifton, Brian's younger brother who assists him with the D-One Sports summer program for which Wall plays.

Anyway, I sent Brian a text earlier to re-ask the same question a little differently, ask whether his brother was as uninterested in joining a college staff as he seems to be. At this moment, I still haven't heard back. But when I do, I'll let you know.
Posted on: July 28, 2008 2:43 pm
Edited on: July 28, 2008 2:46 pm

John Wall's coach denies interest in college jobs

I spent last week in Las Vegas watching the best high school prospects in the country compete in three summer tournaments, and I I've now seen every elite recruit in the country at least once. Of the group, I think John Wall, a point guard from North Carolina, is my favorite. And though I'm not ready to make the Derrick Rose comparison so many are throwing out, what I can tell you is that Wall is similar to Rose in that, at 6-foot-3, he's physically dominant for his position, which is something most of the greats possess.

Anyway, Wall's list of potential schools remains long.

According to Brian Clifton, Wall's summer coach, the list includes Baylor, Kansas, Kentucky, Memphis, Oklahoma State, Oregon, North Carolina State, Southern California and Texas. Clifton declined to name a leader. But according to most industry sources, Oklahoma State is considered the favorite to land Wall primarily because there are whispers that Travis Ford is willing to hire Clifton in some capacity, whispers that have grown louder in recent weeks because, as Andre Cohen from The Oklahoman recently pointed out, Ford still has two spots to fill on his coaching staff.

Naturally, I asked Clifton about this Sunday night.

For what it's worth, he categorically denied he's on his way to being a college assistant.

"I haven't had a discussion with anyone at any point about being on anybody's staff," Clifton said. "I enjoy what I do and we've got a program that really turned the corner this year, and we've got some great young players lined up. I'm spearheading that program and doing everything necessary to help our guys as a team and as individuals get to where they need to be, and I'm very, very comfortable doing that."

"We've been approached different ways by different schools," Clifton acknowledged. "But we're not really open to that."

Rivals.com ranks Wall as the No. 1 prospect in the Class of 2009. His D-One Sports team made it to the title game of the Reebok Summer Championships in Las Vegas this weekend before losing to Team Breakdown (which was led by Kenny Boynton and Brandon Knight).

Posted on: March 28, 2008 10:52 am
Edited on: March 28, 2008 10:57 am

So now what at South Carolina?

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Jeff Capel's decision to sign an extended contract for more money with Oklahoma took the leading candidate to replace Dave Odom at South Carolina out of the mix. Even worse, it removed a minority candidate from the equation. And if you believe Seth Emerson's recent story in The State (which you should, by the way) then it's clear South Carolina was hoping to fill this position with a minority in order to add diversity to an athletic department that has had just one black head coach in its history.

His name is Curtis Frye.

He's a track and field coach.

And it now appears Frye might remain the only black head coach at the school because South Carolina doesn't seem enamored with any other potential candidates who fit that description outside of VCU's Anthony Grant -- a man unlikely to take a bottom-tier SEC job given how he's arguably the hottest name in the business and a potential candidate for practically anything and everything that is already open or will open elsewhere in the coming weeks.

Miami's Frank Haith and Tulane's Dave Dickerson are the most logical candidates now.

But are either of those guys the guy South Carolina wants?

Multiple industry sources are skeptical. So now most believe this search could evolve into something the school didn't necessarily plan for, which is a broader (not to mention extended) search including candidates it never expected to consider. Among those are Western Kentucky's Darrin Horn, UMass' Travis Ford and Davidson's Bob McKillop. But either way, the point I'm trying to make is that Capel's spurning of South Carolina now has everything being revaluated and the initial plan to add diversity might no longer be the priority it once was.


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