Friday, April 27, 2012
Video: New SMU men’s basketball coach Larry Brown has big goals
Former Illinois State Head Coach Tim Jankovich is assistant head coach and coach-in-waiting.
When Larry Brown took the job at SMU, he made it clear he is in it for the long run. Many questioned whether the coach that some already think is going to be gone in two to three years will fulfill his contract and rebuild SMU’s basketball program.
“When I look in the mirror I get kind of scared, but inside I feel I can do this forever. I’ve never worked a day in my life. This has been a labor of love for me, so I hope to be here awhile and I hope to do a great job,” Brown said at his press conference when he was introduced.
With the Moody Coliseum having $40 million in renovations as well as the new Crum Basketball Center, SMU has the facilities to compete with any in the Big East.
In the Big East, SMU competes with Georgetown, Villanova, Notre Dame, and a few others with great academic reputations, so as SMU moves into its second century, it is even with or not far behind the schools in the Big East.
Dallas makes SMU even more attractive knowing recruits can come in and be a part of the sprawling metroplex and be noticed for being an SMU basketball player once Brown returns SMU to glory.
The assistant coaches, which includes former Illinois State Head Coach Tim Jankovich, who has been named associate head coach for the team after posting a 21-14 record this past year.
Jankovich is the building block Brown needed for his staff to get notoriety in recruiting and a another experienced head coach on the sidelines.
“The reality is we have to coach the kids we have and get them better, get them to go to summer school cause in the summer now you have the opportunity to work with them and that’s going to be important,” coach Brown said. “First we have to see what our players can do. I think it’s the responsibility of the coaching staff to put kids in the position they can be successful.”
Brown will return SMU to prominence, but it is just a matter of how long, because SMU has made the decision that it wants to compete and perform with the big boys.
SMU understands the importance of a strong athletic program. That was demonstrated when enrollment jumped after the football team’s Hawaii Bowl win three years ago, which Brown credits with the beginning of moving to the Big East.
“It was amazing that they (Bill Self of Kansas and John Calipari of Kentucky) were texting me before the national title game about Coach Brown. Both of them are in the coaching tree of Larry Brown just to give you an example of the level were talking about at SMU, which is the highest level of college basketball,” SMU Athletic Director Steve Orsini said.
Student attendance has been a problem at Moody Coliseum in the past, and with Brown’s name and style of play on the court, students will show more support.
Students are buzzing about the opportunity to see a Hall of Fame coach on the sideline, and they know the team will need more student involvement and support going forward.
“Number one, it is exciting because he is a players coach. The fact that he loves the sport so much will help the student body fall back in love with SMU basketball and come out to the games,” junior SMU student Corey Rasmussen said.
When recruits come to the games at SMU, the game atmosphere is one of the things players value when deciding. With recruiting expecting to pick up with the new staff and higher level of play in the Big East, recruits will be more critical of how much support the community shows to the team.
The 2012 class of players are all three-star recruits per Rivals.com, and when Doherty was fired, their commitments were immediately called into question. Once the 37-day-search was completed, the players were looked at for their reactions. One of the three commitments was able to be contacted.
“Larry Brown just called great conversation with him looks forward to getting Brian down to SMU soon as possible,” 2012 signee Brian Bernardi’s dad said in a text message.“I don’t think it will be hard. They either know you can coach or you can’t. Our job is to get involved with them and care about them and the game,” Brown said about building relationships with the Dallas area.
With Brown’s 1,624 wins, an NBA championship, and an NCAA title, SMU has without a doubt one of the best coaches ever to coach the game. SMU’s basketball team is expected to compete, expected to improve, and expected to win.
Most importantly, Brown has returned SMU to relevancy in a sport that has been irrelevant for years. With the process just beginning. only time will tell how Brown’s tenure works out and what results the team produces.
Pegasus News Content partner - The Daily Campus
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