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Texas Brew: The Rise Of Larry Brown & SMU

Once upon a time, Larry Brown was a Hall Of Fame coach in the NBA with tremendous success and a championship under his belt. Garnishing incredible success in the NBA, it wasn’t too long before he returned back to his roots in the NCAA. Larry Brown is still the only coach to win both a NCAA championship and an NBA championship (Kansas Jayhawks in 1988 and the Detroit Pistons in 2005), and with a rep sheet that consists of 30-plus years of coaching, and knowledge of the game you couldn’t even fathom, it’s evident Southern Methodist University was a match made in basketball heaven.

Although basketball enthusiasts everywhere figured it was a perfect fit, there were still some skeptics. At the age of 73 and two decades out of a college basketball arena, there were some doubts to whether he had the ability to recruit or even coach and relate to his players. Now, with an incredible start (12-4, 2-2 in American Athletic Conference play) and newfound success, all the talk about whether Larry Brown can flourish on the college level is a no-brainer.

Entering his second season as head coach at SMU, not only has Brown pumped life into the newly renovated Moody Coliseum but the SMU basketball program, as well. With newly acquired transfers Markus Kennedy (Villanova), Nic Moore (Illinois State), Crandall Head (Illinois) and SMU’s first McDonald’s All-American Keith Frazier, they are off to an impressive start, culminating in a nine-point win over No. 17-ranked UConn earlier in January, the first time SMU defeated a ranked opponent since 1993.

This is no fluke, either. Brown and his staff is continuing to strike while the iron is hot, nabbing the No. 2 overall point guard in next year’s class, Emmanuel Mudiay. Without a doubt, Emmanuel is the biggest recruit to sign with the Mustangs in recent history and will be counted on to help anchor the Mustangs next season.

Everything from the recent win over ranked foe UConn, to the impact on the recruiting trail are just reminders of what Larry Brown can do for SMU. Success doesn’t happen overnight, but you can bet Brown is the piece that can turn around a program. The New York Times once said Larry Brown had “one of the most impressive resumes of any player or coach” and with that kind of praise you can bet SMU will be a potential lock for the tourney this season. Let’s just say there is something brewing down in Dallas, Tex., and Larry Brown has the right recipe.

What do you think?

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