Larry Brownis the only head coach in the history of basketball to win a title at both the NBA and NCAA ranks.
With the details aside, would you be shocked if I told you that the Mustangs are 8-1 to begin the season under Brown and a lone, neutral court slip-up to Arkansas-Little Rock is the only things separating them from an undefeated start?
Oh sure, the Mustangs’ resume does not stack up to the likes of some of college basketball’s hottest teams to begin the year, but an 8-1 mark in Brown’s first nine games is nothing to take lightly. SMU is wrapping up its final season in Conference USA this season and expectations of a potential tournament run should be taken into consideration.
Following a 73-47 rout of Hofstra over the weekend, Brown, a New York-native, had this to say: “They better get us this year, because we’re gonna be pretty good pretty quickly.”
As SMU continues to be involved on the recruiting trail, Brown’s presence atop the program is just what the university wanted moving forward. The fact that the Mustangs are 8-1 to begin the year is only a testament to the quick turnaround that Brown is imposing at SMU.
While the level of competition isn’t mind-blowing, the Mustangs have already defeated a Big 12 opponent (TCU) and a Pac-12 team (Utah) this season. Sure, those victories might not be the non-conference resume builder that SMU needs to get into the NCAA Tournament in March, but wins are wins at this point in this season.
“It’s been great,” Brown told ESPNNewYork. “Matt Doherty left me some really high-character kids that want to be coached. It’s a great school. I love being involved in basketball in any capacity. At my age, for somebody to take a chance with me, it’s pretty incredible.”
SMU will put their early-season success into perspective for the next couple of weeks, as the Mustangs do not take the court again until Dec. 15. A trip to URI is schedule for 2:00pm.
Paul Seaver is the College Basketball Network Manager at Rant Sports. You can follow him on Twitter: @PaulSeaverRS