This fall, Larry Brown will coach his first game as a college basketball head coach since Ronald Reagan was the President of the United States.
That year, he won a national championship with Kansas before moving to the professional ranks.
Now Brown, who turns 72 years old today, takes the reins of a Southern Methodist program that is entering its final season in the C-USA before moving to the Big East for the 2012-13 season.
Since taking over the program in April, he has landed a number of high-level transfers to build the Mustangs up from a team that finished 13-19 last season, including 4-12 in the C-USA.
Among those who have transferred in are Josiah Turner of Arizona (though he left to turn pro), Crandall Head from Illinois, Markus Kennedy from Villanova, and Nic Moore from Illinois State.
Sources with knowledge of the program have said that Brown’s presence has helped to change the culture at SMU, despite only being at the helm for five months.
Brown brings in two seven-footers in a solid first recruiting class, Jordan Dickerson and Blaise Mbargorba, with the class as a whole a mix of players who remain with the team after committing under former coach Matt Doherty and some secured under Brown.
The Mustangs begin their season on Nov. 11 against Loyola Marymount.
Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_
Utah picked up its center of the future on Monday as four-star center Jayce Johnson pledged to the Runnin’ Utes, a source confirmed to NBCSports.com. The 7-foot Johnson recently cut his list to Cal, Colorado and Utah with the possibility of reclassifying to the Class of 2015.
Regarded as the No. 67 overall prospect in the Class of 2016, Johnson will look to attend Utah in December as a walk-on who will redshirt. While Johnson likely won’t play this season, he does give head coach Larry Krystkowiak another big man to use in practice to go against sophomore center Jakob Poeltl. A solid long-term prospect, Johnson has a good frame to add weight and he’s also skilled finishing with both hands. Utah now has its replacement for Poeltl if he opts to leave for the NBA after the season and he gets an extra semester to work with the program.
Johnson is coming off of his official visit to Utah this weekend as he joins junior college guard Jojo Zamora in the Class of 2016.
South Carolina debuted some new uniforms early this week as the school is going with a fresh look and three color ways.
They’re also going to with the “Carolina” branding this season, but I think these new uniforms look pretty cool.