Monday morning before Larry Brown was introduced as SMU's new men's basketball coach, he addressed his new players, while wearing his Hall of Fame ring no less, giving them his coaching history.
Brown invited former coach Matt Doherty to attend the meeting and said the two are friends, plus it's what Dean Smith would have done.
"I told them a little bit about my background and who I played for and who I was connected with," Brown said. "I mentioned Frank McGuire. They were brain dead. Didn't know who he was. I had to remind them he's in the Hall of Fame, national championship in 1957, coached Wilt Chamberlain, who averaged 50 points a game.
"I talked about John McLendon and they didn't even know who he was. John McLendon was the first black student to go to the University of Kansas and he learned under James Naismith … and I didn't want to ask them who James Naismith was.
"Then I told them about Mr. Iba," Brown continued. "Had no clue about Henry Iba. Then Matt [Doherty] jumped up and said Gallagher-Iba Arena (where Oklahoma State plays), and so they thought that must be someone.
"I talked about coach Smith and they had a little understanding about him. But bottom line is, I want—because I've been touched by them—to continue to teach the things that they valued. I think that's why Bill [Self] coaches, that's why Matt coaches, that's what I'm about. I've got so much stuff in my mind that I want to share with other people because of the relationships that I had with them."
Then Brown dove into talking about his love of teaching the game and said, "it's the most beautiful thing to watch when played correctly." He said he's never been much of a fan of actual games, then referenced the famous Allen Iverson "Practice" quote, and the whole crowd laughed.
"I've always been a little nervous about games because maybe we didn't prepare our team for everything that would happen," he said. "But I love practice."
Some extra notes Brown discussed regarding recruiting:
-Despite some concern (really because of his age and the fact that he's been out of the college game since 1988), Brown is ready to hit the recruiting trail and understands how important the local and statewide talent is.
"We gotta get involved in Texas," he said. "That's gotta be our first priority."
He also stated: "Talent in this area is as good as anywhere in the country. I would bet if you got the better players out of Texas, you could compete for a championship every year.
"I just hope that the coaches that are here, the high school coaches, the AAU coaches, the families all see a coach that cares about kids tat can make them better and prepare them for later on. If we do a good job that way, hopefully they'll send their kids to SMU and then I'm confident we can compete with anybody."
-Brown was asked if he's reached out to the 2012 recruiting class yet and he said he has plans to contact them all. He did say he contacted "one guardian," which is likely in reference to Blaise Mbargorba, who is the only recruit of the three (other two are Brian Bernardi and Uche Ufoegbu) who has a legal guardian.
Brown also mentioned that Matt Doherty and Jerry Hobbie have been very helpful throughout the coaching search, calling the recruits and telling them everything will still work out.
-Brown also said that he plans to call each of his current players' parents to let them know his intentions and goals, etc.
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