SMU head coach Larry Brown has been named a Henry Iba National coach of the year finalist by the basketball writers association. He has stormed onto the hilltop and turned the Mustangs from pretenders into contenders. Under Larry Brown the Mustangs have gotten ranked for the first time since the 1984-85 season and are currently undefeated at home. While some people thought this was just a pre-retirement money grab from Brown, he has proven all of his naysayers wrong with this turn around. Not only has he gotten the Mustangs ranked for the first time in a long time, Brown has also led the Mustangs in victories over four ranked opponents for the first time since 1955-56.
Not to mention the fact SMU men’s basketball tickets have become one of the most popular tickets in town with all but one sellout at home, and they have sold out every home game since moving into the “new” moody coliseum in January. You have seen faces of Jason Garret, Tony Romo, Mark Cuban and former President George Bush in the stands at Mustangs home games. The Mustangs have also had the biggest RPI turnaround in NCAA history from one season to the next, raising their RPI from 177 to 36(as of Feb. 24th). Not to mention the fact Larry Brown has the Mustangs in position to be a decent seed for the NCAA tournament, some experts think they are still a bubble team, but others have them being ranked as high as 9th.
There are still three games left in the regular season for the Mustangs; they host UCF on Saturday, Host Louisville on March 5th and end the year on the road at Memphis on March 8th. Plus the American Athletic Conference tournament, there is still some work to do for Brown and the Mustangs but they could improve the tournament position with a solid finish. Needless to say Brown has fans in the Dallas area standing up and showing their Mustang Mania. If he doesn’t win this award with this work of a turn around you could almost say the voting is rigged.
Harold Iba National Coach of the Year finalists:
- John Beilein (Michigan)
- Tony Bennett (Virginia)
- Larry Brown (SMU)
- Jim Crews (Saint Louis)
- Mick Cronin (Cincinnati)
- Billy Donovan (Florida)
- Steve Fisher (San Diego State)
- Gregg Marshall (Wichita State)
- Greg McDermott (Creighton)
- Jay Wright (Villanova)