Larry Brown Trying to Turn Around SMU Basketball
He can coach. No one ever doubted that. Larry Brown, at 72 is back at it again, this time at SMU. His team is 8-1 after beating Hofstra on the road Saturday. Consider that in context. The 2011-12 SMU team went 13-19 under Matt Doherty and 80-109 overall, with just one winning season.
Both Brown and Doherty are graduates of the University of North Carolina. That's where the coaching comparisons end. Brown has coached nine NBA teams and is the only coach to ever coach two NBA teams in the same season. He also coached UCLA and Kansas and won the National Championship at Kansas in 1988 over Oklahoma. Brown was the US Olympic coach in 2004, leading his team to a bronze medal. The hiring was controversial at SMU as some wanted a younger coach, perhaps an assistant from a major program. Brown won out.
On the recruiting trail, Brown is viewed as a quick trip to the NBA because of his experience. He finished in the top three for two of the top players in the country, the Harrison twins who ended up at Kentucky. He is also involved with many top jucos and high school players from around the country.
One statistic stands out from this year's team. They shoot .475 and hold their opponents to .378. Those are Brown numbers, not traditional SMU numbers.