SMU head coach Larry Brown came to the Hilltop guns-a-blazin'. With the release of a few players from the former regime, Brown initially rubbed some of the SMU fans on campus the wrong way. However, his relentlessness on the recruiting trail has quickly turned those opinions right side up.
Since arriving to campus Brown has worked heavily in the state of Illinois. He brought in a future head coach in Tom Jankovich (Illinois State) combined with one of the team's best players in Nic Moore, as well as former Illini guard Crandall Head.
Brown has also landed two commits from Illinois: three-star forward Ben Moore, as well as four-star wing Sterling Brown. Sterling, brother of NBA player Shannon Brown, played for Proviso East, one of the best high school programs in Chicago.
Additionally, Sterling has also been a huge contributor to his AAU team- Mac Irvin Fire coached by Nick Irvin. Irvin says Sterling has always been a big contributor to the team and has shown steady progression from his earlier years to his senior campaign.
As a senior, Brown led Proviso East to the state semifinals, where they were beaten by Simeon, which was headlined by No. 1 recruit Jabari Parker.
"I thought he put a great (senior) season together," Irvin said. "He made it down to state again, and they came up short against Simeonl but it was a successful season for him."
Irvin says that with the pieces Coach Brown has put into place, Brown will be coming into a program that could make the NCAA tournament for the first time in 20 years.
"I think they can have a team that could make it to the NCAA tournament," Irvin said. "It's really going to come down to seeing how quickly they can develop but they have a team that could possibly go far in the NCAA tournament. It's all on them."
With the addition of so many new faces next year, SMU will have something that they did not contain last year- depth. With the probable return of all five starters in addition to the recruits and transfers, the SMU roster will have a nice collection of talented players.
Irvin thinks that Sterling's skills will translate well to the college level partially because of the Hall of Fame coach standing at the helm. Irvin says if anybody can maximize potential, it's Coach Brown.
"Oh yeah his game is going to transfer," Irvin said. "Coach Brown is a Hall of Fame coach and he knows how to get the best out of his players. I think with Sterling learning from the best his progression will speed up his quickly."
Irvin says overall, Sterling needs to work on continuing to dribble the basketball, his outside shooting and fine-tuning the things that he already does well.
With Sterling's departure to SMU, Irvin says he will be losing not only a great basketball player but a member of the family.
"Sterling is a big part of what has been going on with the Mac Irvin Fire, and he always will be," Irvin said. "He was right there with us in the thick of things. We look at Sterling like a little brother or like a nephew, and he will always be a part of the family no matter what."
One can be sure that Coach Brown is looking forward to welcoming Sterling into a new family here on the Hilltop.
Brown Ready to Make An Impact At SMU
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