Legendary Coach a Hit at Auburn Clinic

Hall of Famer Dean Smith shared his basketball knowledge on a visit to Auburn.

Auburn, Ala.--With hundreds of high school coaches there to soak in knowledge from one of the legends of basketball, North Carolina coach Dean Smith was clearly the star attraction at Jeff Lebo's Auburn coaching clinic over the weekend.

Smith, the second winningest coach in college basketball history with 879 victories, delighted the crowd of mostly high school coaches by taking requests.

The first was for a breakdown of how to teach the motion offense, something Smith began coaching in the 1950s as an assistant before becoming head coach at UNC in 1961. In a matter of minutes he had a group of 10 Auburn students, featuring former Tiger player and graduate assistant coach Brett Howell, executing the coach's "B-1, B-2 and B-3" versions of the offense along with variations of each.

Smith is one of the world's most respected teachers of basketball.

Smith also showed the coaches and his student helpers one of his favorite ways to attack a zone defense. When there were no more questions on that the topic switched to the secondary fast break and Smith soon had the players demonstrating how to do that before finishing up his time on the Beard-Eaves Memorial Coliseum court with a tutorial on the four-corners offense.

Smith does just two clinics a year, but says he was excited to be able to visit Auburn for the first time to do a session for one of his favorite former players, Lebo. Smith flew in for the event from North Carolina with current UNC head coach Roy Williams, who also lectured at the event along with Lebo and his former assistant, John Shulman, who is head coach at Chattanooga. High school coaches from seven states (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Tennessee) showed up for the event.

"I hope the people at Auburn understand what a very, very good coach they have in Jeff Lebo," says Smith, who notes that when Lebo was an All-American guard for the Tar Heels in the 1980s that Smith figured Lebo had the potential to be a successful coach because of his intelligence and competitiveness. "I believe Jeff's teams at Auburn will continue to improve," Smith says.

Smith told the crwod that Lebo was a quick learner when he played for the Tar Heels.

Smith points out that he served on the NIT committee with former Vandy and Alabama basketball coach C.M. Newton this past season and notes that Newton had high praise for the coaching job that Lebo did for the 2006-2007 season.

The hall of fame coach got almost rock star type of treatment from the hundreds of coaches who lined up to shake his hand, pose for a photo or get one of Smith's books or some other item autographed by the coach who led the Tar Heels to 17 ACC regular season titles along with 13 ACC tournament titles, two national championships and 27 NCAA tourney appearances.

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