Larry Brown Is Turning SMU Into a Contender, Haters Be Damned

Categories: Awesome, Sports

LarryBrownMarkGraham.jpg
Mark Graham
ESPN Dallas' Jean-Jacques Taylor has a glowing profile of SMU men's basketball coach Larry Brown.

Brown, Taylor explains, has built a recruiting pipeline that's already funneling top local talent (Kimball's Keith Frazier, Prime Prep's Emmanuel Mudiay) to the Mustangs. He's helped score a TV contract with ESPN. He's put together a team that can hold its own against perennial Top 25s like Connecticut, Memphis and Cincinnati and seems well on his way to the goal of transforming SMU from a perennial also-ran into a national power.

"All Brown has ever done is win," Taylor concludes. "And he'll do it at SMU, just like he's done everywhere else."

Taylor's complete lack of equivocation sets his piece apart, but Brown has been the subject of several such profiles in recent months, particularly since SMU pulled off its upset of No. 17 UConn. USA Today declared that Brown's "jigsaw pieces are falling into place." Dime declared that "there is something brewing down in Dallas, Tex., and Larry Brown has the right recipe." The Dallas Morning News has all but slotted them into their first NCAA tournament berth in 20 years.

It wasn't always such. Let's rewind 21 months to when SMU announced Brown's hire. CBS Sports' Gregg Doyel dismissed it as an attention grab. Sports Illustrated's Andy Glockner labeled it "preposterous." And Jean-Jacques Taylor -- the same one who just wrote the glowing profile -- wondered how then-athletic director Steve Orsini "screwed up this hire so badly."

Taylor continues:

Don't forget, Brown hasn't coached a college basketball team since 1988.

Woo-hoo! Hip, hip hooray!

Surely that's what SMU alums and Dallas Independent School District coaches must be saying, as well as the area's big-time recruits. Maybe their dads are hyped, but most of the kids Brown will be recruiting probably don't know anything about his contribution to basketball -- unless they've figured out he's the coach who prompted Allen Iverson's famous "we're talking 'bout practice" rant.

All you can do is shake your head.

For the record, SMU's search for a new head coach was pretty awful by any objective standard. Orsini whiffed on several potential candidates before Brown practically begged to come on board. Also, Brown is old and has a tendency to leave jobs after two or three seasons.

But man were Taylor and those other pundits wrong about this one. It's weird, too, to wonder how anyone could have seen the hire of a man of Brown's basketball pedigree -- future Hall of Famer, the only coach ever to win both an NCAA and NBA title -- as anything other than a coup for the Mustangs.

Send your story tips to the author, Eric Nicholson.

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16 comments
bvckvs
bvckvs topcommenter

Ha!  I thought this was going to be an article about a university, not a football team.  My bad.

LDR4
LDR4

Larry Brown IS in the Hall of Fame. You should probably make a correction.

Joshstruckoutagain
Joshstruckoutagain

Jean-Jacque reaaalllyyy likes chicken wings and twitter...ask him about that Eric.

mcdallas
mcdallas

Write the following two things down:

1) We will continue to be happily surprised by Brown

2) WHEN he leaves abruptly, there will be scandal and anger.


Everyone knows this will happen.  SMU is gambling that the end result is good for them (and they're probably right).

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

Good for SMU and Brown.  Now call Bill Self and get KU on the schedule at Moody so I can see my boys live one more game.  He is still liked in Kansas

krisschedler
krisschedler

Brown has been a winner everywhere he has been, and many of those jobs were crap teams before he arrived. Can't blame him at all for leaving some of those situations. And BTW, Observer, you say he is a future HOF coach?he is already in the HOF.

P1Gunter
P1Gunter

Larry Brown is a horse's ass. See: every previous stop he has made. But he is also a damn good basketball coach. We all know this ends with him walking away for no real reason, because that is what he does. That said, good for SMU and Dallas. It's nice to have a relevant college basketball team. I'm not a fan of college basketball, but with every local team not named the Texas Rangers being mediocre at best, at least it is something,

MikeWestEast
MikeWestEast

Haters? Come on. Nobody hates Larry Brown. Isn't that a term used by 15 year old girls to describe someone that left them off the party list?

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

@bvckvs football?  must be on some good shit, or you just didnt read the post

DallasCurt
DallasCurt

@mcdallas His daughter will also likely go to SMU. She's a junior in HS now.

dingo
dingo

@mcdallas  

Brown's kid is a freshman at SMU (no, not the 6-6 freshman starter on the basketball team that another local media member mistakenly identified as his son) so he will probably be around at least until his son graduates.


alteredjustice
alteredjustice

@MikeWestEast They're just referring to all the people who said it was a bad hire. Not sure I would've completely agreed but there was definitely some risk in hiring Larry Brown.

bvckvs
bvckvs topcommenter

@ScottsMerkin@bvckvs

It was the other guy complaining about being confused.  My shortcoming was that I don't care.

Football, basketball, baseball, volleyball - it's all just static noise to me.

bvckvs
bvckvs topcommenter

@DallasCurt@bvckvs

It's okay if you're confused.  Years of studies have proved that, as with alcohol abuse and drug addiction, there's a link between football and brain damage.

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