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Oklahoma State basketball: Why this crazy season might be an argument for Travis Ford instead of against him

by Jenni Carlson Modified: March 22, 2014 at 4:55 pm •  Published: March 22, 2014

“There were so many things that we did as a team that was amongst our family that we were doing to try to keep things together and battle,” Ford said. “People were criticizing me.”

He shook his head.

“They had no idea what we were doing, no clue what we were doing. I don’t always tell of things that we do. I don’t get into all that. But we did so many things to try to keep this team together.

“They responded. They kept believing. When it was four losses, five losses, in that locker room we never acted like it. We tried to keep them up, and they just kept responding. They kept looking at us — ‘OK. All right.’ That part, I’m so proud of them.”

Ford’s right, you know. We often don’t know what goes on behind closed doors, how fragile a team’s psyche might be, what buttons a coaching staff might be pushing.

Heck, Ford and Co. were still pushing them Friday against Gonzaga. The Cowboys came out slow. Again. They had foul trouble. Again. Kind of hard to follow an aggressive, attacking game plan with those two issues. But Ford got his guys going.

They were in it to the end.

Listen, I’m not here to defend all of Ford’s in-game decisions. Not Friday. Not throughout the season. His shortcomings in that area are well-documented. But I am here to say that Ford needs to get some credit for what he does well. Recruit. Develop. Motivate.

“When I look back, I’m always going to be proud, proud to see the progress I’ve made in four years,” senior Markel Brown said. “Helluva coaching staff. I mean, I love those guys. They did a heckuva job with this ball club, even when we had adversity. They had it also.”

Everyone fought through.

“It obviously didn’t go as planned; I’ll be the first to say that,” Ford said. “But that’s life. I’m proud of some of the things that we were able to do because it’s not easy.”

Will the things that these Cowboys did be enough for Ford to keep his job?

It should be, but only time will tell if this season counts for or against Ford.

Jenni Carlson: Jenni can be reached at 475-4125. Like her at, follow her at or view her personality page at

by Jenni Carlson
Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football...
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