Thirty-one years ago, Larry Brown was just 43 and headed into his first season as the head coach of the Kansas Jayhawks.
Brown put together quite the resume, racking up 177 wins, five NCAA Tournament appearances, three Sweet 16 appearances and one National Championship in just six years.
While Brown was in Lawrence for just six seasons, he left a lasting impression for those who watched him take the Jayhawks all the way. He even left an impression on those who never saw him coach a day in Allen Fieldhouse.
2016 Sunrise Christian Academy (Kan.) point guard Roman Young, a Kansas native himself, grew up in the 21st century, but still knows the reputation that precedes Coach Brown.
“It felt great (getting an offer from Coach Brown),” Young said. “Growing up in Wichita, I’ve known about Larry Brown since he was at KU. I’ve known about him for a while and he’s a hall of fame coach. Doesn’t get any better than that.”
“He’d make me the best player I could be,” Young said of Brown. “He has that invaluable experience.”
The point guard knows Coach Brown is an attractive piece of SMU’s program, but that’s not all that excites him about SMU.
“I like the city of Dallas and how everything at SMU is,” Young said. “I love Moody. It’s not small, but it’s packed together and I love the atmosphere.”
The Mustangs offered Young back in August 2013, and both K.T. Turner and Ulric Maligi have kept in contact with him since.
Young hasn’t spoken with Brown just yet, but Young has formed a special bond with one assistant.
“I have a pretty good relationship with Ulric (Maligi), but I’ve known KT (Turner) a while because he was at Wichita State and I knew him from there,” Young said. “KT and I are pretty close.”
Young has yet to schedule any visits, but will try and make his way to “a couple” of games at SMU and at Oklahoma.
The rising junior has no favorites at this time and is just trying to “enjoy the process” as much as he can right now.
For now, Young is focused on continuing to develop his game as best he can.
“My main focus is being a leader and more aggressive on defense and on offense,” Young said. “Being more of a vocal leader is important to me this year.”
Young is 5-10, 160 pounds.