The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus


What can Brown do for you?

Two sport writers debate Brown’s effectivness at SMU

By Mercedes

There is no doubt that Larry Brown is a legend, but is he what SMU needs to turn around the program in time for the Big East in 2013? I have my doubts.

Brown, 71, will be coming back to the sidelines after a two-year break following an unsuccessful 9-19 first half season with the Charlotte Bobcats. If joining SMU is Brown’s attempt at one last hoorah, I hope he’s well rested.

Not only does the Mustang basketball program need to be upcycled, but it also needs a coach to whisk them off their feet outside of Moody Coliseum. There’s an obvious disconnect between students, community and SMU athletics when it comes to game day attendance and there’s no proof that hiring a top-notch coach will fix that.

The case of June Jones and the Pony Stampede doesn’t provide hope. During his time with Hawaii, Jones completely turned the program around and coached one of the best quarterbacks to ever live, Timmy Chang. Jones accumulated the most victories of any UH coach, obtained records of 11-3 and 12-1 during his last two seasons and took the school to the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans, it’s first ever Bowl Championship Series bowl.

Since taking over at SMU, a program that had not been to a bowl game in nearly a quarter century, Jones has led the Mustangs to three-straight bowl games and a coveted Iron Skillet victory over top-ranked TCU in 2011. However, it still seems that all the success in the world will not put fans in Ford Stadium.

With this being said, the pressure is on for Larry Brown. Will he pull fraternities into the locker room after a good game? Will he sit with students during lunch just to chat? Matt Doherty would and he still couldn’t get students to care.

SMU needs is a knight in shining armor to sell tickets in order to stay in the Big East and it also needs a winner.

Brown won the 2004 NBA championship with the Detroit Pistons, but hasn’t seen the spotlight since.

The last time Brown coached in the college arena was 1988.

I repeat, 1988. During that year his team, the University of Kansas Jayhawks, won the NCAA championship and three-fourths of the SMU student body had not even been born yet.

What I believe the men’s basketball program needs is a coach who wants to make a name for himself and his program, not a coach who already has name but now needs a hobby.

Now, it’s up to SMU to decide if taking a chance on Larry Brown’s big name is worth the shot. It’s up to the university to take a look past the initial excitement of his acceptance to see if making the hire will still be what it needs a few years from now.

By Katy

The only coach to ever win both an NCAA National Championship and an NBA Championship may now come to lead the Mustangs.

The legendary Larry Brown could not be coming to the Hilltop at a better time. SMU’s move to the Big East means a move to big basketball. Brown’s big name, 1,275 to 965 career record and 30 years of coaching experience is just what the undeveloped SMU basketball program needs.

The Mustangs will be the fifteenth team Brown has headed. His long list of teams has led to his reputation as a “nomadic” coach. But within his nomadic adventures, Brown has accomplished two “Coach of the Year” awards in the NCAA, a record of 177-61 in six NCAA seasons, an NBA “Coach of the Year” award, a victory over the Los Angeles Lakers by four games to one in the 2004 NBA Finals and being chosen as head coach for the 2004 Summer Olympics USA men’s basketball team.

More than anything, Brown has a history of turning losers into winners – which, frankly, could benefit the Mustangs, who went four and 12 in 2011-12 conference play.

The New Jersey Nets had made it to the playoffs in less than half of their first seasons in the NBA. Brown was the coach for two of those 10 appearances.

The Los Angeles Clippers were even worse, competing in the playoffs in only three of their first 27 seasons. Brown took the Clippers to two of those playoffs in 1992 and 1993.

When Brown moved to the Spurs in 1988, the team held the worst record in the league. Brown’s second season in San Antonio, however, the Spurs made a huge single-season improvement and won a division title.

In 1993 Brown was coaching a Pacers team which had only won three of their first 18 seasons in the NBA. Brown jumped in and led them to their first division title as an NBA team.

Along with Brown’s much-needed improvements to NBA teams, his years at Kansas showed that he can coach college ball too. The Jayhawks suffered back-to-back losing seasons in 1982 and 1983. Brown stepped in and, in the following five years, led the team to two Final Four appearances and the 1988 NCAA Championship title.

The search may finally be over and it couldn’t end in a better catch. SMU needs a big name that will revive fans and expand the program’s attention. And along with that name is a long, successful history that creates hope and excitement for a new era in Mustang basketball as it moves to the Big East.

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