When most players are asked what the best advice SMU head coach Larry Brown has given them, they always tend to ramble on about some words of wisdom shared by ‘the Godfather.'
They may even point to an example Brown used from his time coaching in the NBA or at Kansas or under Dean Smith at North Carolina.
Not Crandall Head.
"The best advice he's given me is to just stop turning the ball over," Head says with a laugh.
Brown demands tight defense and discipline from his players. Head learned that pretty quickly when arrived on campus last year as a transfer from Illinois, where he averaged just one point and one assist per game.
Head never really live up to his own expectations. Ranked as a four-star in the Class of 2010, Head decided to stay close to home and follow in his brother's footsteps. Luther was an All-American at Illinois and led the Fighting Illini to the Final Four in 2005.
"It was great going to all of his games. I always wanted to be at Illinois like him. That was always my dream," Head said. "Watching him and seeing what he did, made me want to work hard and be like him. I still talk to him once a week and tells me to keep my head straight."
In need of a ‘fresh start,' Head is now trying to create his own legacy at SMU.
"I thought it was a great opportunity. I thought the coaching staff was great especially getting to play for Coach Brown," he said. "Of course, when Coach (Jerrance) Howard was here last year, that was someone I was really close with. He was like family to me."
Howard, who coached Head at Illinois, left SMU for a job at Kansas this offseason. With Howard no longer by his side, Head has gravitated more towards Brown this summer.
"I really talk to all the coaches. But Coach Brown is the person I talk to the most. It's great playing for him," Head said. "I love his enthusiasm on the court and his passion for basketball. I just love everything about him. I love the way he emphasizes defense because that's something I want to get great at."
And that's where he'll contribute the most this season.
Head admits he isn't a sharpshooter by any means, but he is going to come off the bench and hustle every single second he's out on the court. The 6-foot-4, 180-pound redshirt junior feels he can play both the two and the three and contribute at either position this season.
"I think I have similar explosiveness as my brother. I can't shoot as well as he can, but I'm working on it," Head said. "Really, I just want to come out here and play solid defense for this team. I have a lot of enthusiasm, and I'm going to get after it each play. I just want to win."
Hoops Feature: Crandall Head
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