ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – The first year of the Travis Ford era at Saint Louis University will not be about the win column. Ford admitted this during his interview at the Atlantic 10 Men’s Basketball Media day, Tuesday.
The first-year Billiken’s coach sat down with Chris DiSano, analyst for the A10, to talk more in-depth about what his 2016-17 team will look like. He ended the interview with this statement:
“We are not going to get caught up in wins and losses right now. We are going to do everything in our power to try and win every single game that we are in. But we are trying to lay a foundation, build a culture of how hard we want to play, a style a play, be prepared, play with toughness and that’s what we want people to see out of our Billiken basketball team this year.”
SLU was picked to finish last in the conference this year, after back-to-back seasons of only 11 wins under former coach Jim Crews. Ford said this year’s team is going to play a style they probably aren’t used to. He describe it as ‘aggressive’ and making the opposition uncomfortable.
The expected team leaders are senior guard, Mike Crawford and sophomore guard Jermaine Bishop. Crawford has been out with a hamstring injury and not able to practice, but Ford says he expects the team’s top returning scorer to be back in the next couple weeks.
“We need him out there, we need his scoring, shooting,” Ford says. “He brings us that experience that we are a little lacking right now.”
Bishop made the A10 All-Rookie Team last year and Ford believes he has the potential to be among best players in the A10. But that means he’ll have to take chances and created them for himself and his teammates, Ford says.
“He really plays within himself at time, which is not a bad attribute, but I want him to take a chance,” Ford says. “I want him to get out there and don’t be afraid to make a mistake becuase he is very talented.”
Ford continued on his theme of building for the future by mentioning the three DI transfers he expects to feature on the 2017-18 team: Javon Bess (Michigan State), D.J. Foreman (Rutgers) and Adonys Henriquez (Central Florida).
The Billikens begin 2016-17 on November 11 against Ball State at home.
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