What started as a rumor almost a month ago has grown into truth.
Larry Brown, former NCAA and NBA head coach, has been hired by SMU to be the next men’s basketball head coach.
Brown is well known for his time spent with the Detroit Pistons, where he guided them to the 2004 NBA Championship, but he’s coached 12 other teams since his career began in 1972.
He’s also coached the Carolina Cougars (ABA), Denver Nuggets, New Jersey Nets, New York Knicks, Philadelphia 76ers, San Antonio Spurs, Indiana Pacers, Los Angeles Clippers and, most recently, the Charlotte Bobcats.
Collegiately, Brown has coached at Davidson, UCLA and Kansas.
Brown is the only coach in history to win an NCAA Championship (1988, Kansas) and an NBA Championship.
In his long tenure as a coach, he’s had quite a few successful understudies, including Roy Williams, Bill Self and John Calipari.
SMU’s basketball program is definitely a project.
Over the past five seasons, the Mustangs have had one winning season (in fact, other than 2010-2011, you have to go back to the 2002-2003 season to find a winning record).
A 20-15 record, coupled with a drive to the semifinals of the CIT, had Mustang fans thinking the program had life, but after a 13-19 season in 2011-12 things seemed to return to normal.
It’s not hard to imagine Larry Brown being able to put a good basketball team on the court. After all, he can basically walk into any recruits home in the country and he’ll have to do to get them to commit is talk about how awesome he is.
What is hard to see Brown doing though, is building a lasting program that will succeed when he’s gone.
I mean, he’s already 71. It’s hard to see him coaching longer than four or five seasons, if that. Couple that with the grind of being out on the recruiting trail, he may not even last three.
SMU’s hire of Brown brings the second new college basketball coach to the metroplex in two weeks.
Last week, TCU hired Trent Johnson, formerly the head coach at LSU, to replace Jim Christian.
It’s safe to say that SMU has the bigger name sitting on it’s bench, but the real intrigue will come when their teams step onto the court to face off for the first time.