Understated new floor the canvas of a resurgence at SMU? (VIDEO)

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Many programs across the country have unveiled new courts this offseason, with the designs ranging from simple to in some cases outrageous. SMU has joined the ranks, unveiling a new court that coincides with the renovation of Moody Coliseum that greatly improves the home of SMU basketball.

The court is simple to say the least, with the SMU logo across mid-court, the American logos just inside of the three-point line at each end of the floor and the athletic department’s web address on the sideline. But given their current run of luck on the recruiting trail, most recently landing one of the nation’s best point guards in Emmanuel Mudiay, the question for head coach Larry Brown’s program is whether or not the floor will serve as the program’s canvas for a resurgence.

The Mustangs endured their fair share of struggles last season, finishing with a 15-17 overall record and going 5-11 in Conference USA play. But that was an undermanned roster, led by guard Nick Russell (14.0 ppg, 4.3 apg) and forward Jalen Jones (14.0 ppg, 7.7 rpg). In addition to those two, the 2013-14 campaign brings significant help in the form of three transfers (Nic Moore, Crandall Head and Markus Kennedy) and a respected recruiting haul headlined by McDonald’s All-American Keith Frazier.

The competition in conference play will be tougher, as programs like Louisville, UConn and Cincinnati are now on the schedule, but SMU has the talent needed to place a better product on the Moody Coliseum floor. SMU hasn’t reached the NCAA tournament since 1993, so predictions of immediate greatness wouldn’t be the way to go.

But if the Mustangs have their way, the product on the court will make up for the lack of pizazz in the design.

Five-star center Myles Turner reconsidering SMU after Emmanuel Mudiay’s commitment

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Larry Brown and SMU may be on the verge of an incredible Class of 2014.

On Saturday, at halftime of the Elite 24 in Brooklyn, Prime Prep Academy (Texas) point guard Emmanuel Mudiay picked the Mustangs over Kentucky. Two days later, Trinity High (Texas) center Myles Turner, ranked No. 6 overall by Rivals, decided he will reconsider SMU, according to ESPN Insider Jeff Goodman.

Turner, the biggest stock riser this summer, had cut his list to eight schools — Arizona, Duke, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisville, Ohio State, Oklahoma State and Texas — three weeks ago, eliminating SMU. Although, Mudiay’s surprise decision has appeared to throw a wrench in Turner’s plans. Mudiay and Turner have been rumored to be in a package deal.

Put Turner into the mix with Mudiay and incoming freshman Keith Frazier, and Brown may have the core of players needed to make a run in the NCAA tournament, which may turn out to be the last one for the Hall of Fame coach.

The 6-foot-10 shot blocker has previously scheduled a visit to Kansas for Late Night at the Phog.

Tyus Jones, Isaiah Whitehead lead Coney Island in Elite 24

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Tyus Jones and Brooklyn’s own Isaiah Whitehead earned Co-MVP honors for the winning team at the 2013 Under Armour Elite 24 at Brooklyn Bridge Park on Saturday night

Jones and Whitehead led Team Coney Island to a closer than expected 114-109 win over Team Bed-Stuy. Stanley Johnson and Emmanuel Mudiay — who announced that he had committed to SMU, over Kentucky, during halftime — were named Co-MVPs for Team Bed-Stuy.

Team Coney Island broke open the game with under eight minutes to go in the first half, going on a 14-0 run in an almost four-minute span that lifted the orange and white to a 66-43 halftime lead.

The opening minutes of the second half indicated that Coney Island was going to run away with the all-star game, bumping the lead up to as much as 31. Though, Johnson and Mudiay — who played like a weight had been lifted off his shoulders following his halftime decision — led the Bed-Stuy comeback. After continually chipping away at the lead, Mudiay erased the double-digit deficit with an alley oop to Kelly Oubre, followed by a catch-and-shoot three in consecutive possessions.

Several possessions later, Whitehead — in front of his hometown fans — cleared out to take on Mudiay one-on-one. The 6-foot-4 Whitehead took Mudiay to the bucket with a spin move and banked in the lefty shot, while also drawing the foul. The Whitehead and-1 helped put Coney Island back up double-digits with under 10 minutes to go in the game.

Team Bed-Stuy had one more late rally, cutting it to four, 108-104 with 60 second left following a Johnson fast break dunk, though, that’s as close as Bed-Stuy would get.

Whithead, who plays at Lincoln High on Coney Island, led all scorers with 26 points.

Sterling Brown commits to SMU

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Larry Brown, whether he’s at SMU for the rest of his coaching career or not, is starting to bring in an impressive recruiting haul.

The Mustangs got a commitment from guard Sterling Brown on Monday, according to

Brown, a consensus Top-100 shooting guard in the class of 2013, committed to SMU over offers from Tennessee, Xavier and Miami, among others.

According to this quote from Sterling’s father, Chris, the other Brown, Larry, was a big reason for the commitment.

“We like coach’s style. He’s won a NCAA title and NBA championship. His record speaks for itself. There were no promises, but hard work pays off.”

Brown is the first commitment of the 2013 class for SMU. He averaged 13 points and nine rebounds as a junior last season. He’s the younger brother of former Michigan State standout Shannon Brown, now with the Phoenix Suns.

It’s a solid start for Brown in his recruiting rebirth for the Mustangs, considering that he hasn’t recruited since before players around Sterling Brown’s age were born.

I think you’ll see a lot of these type of “Larry Brown is a great coach” commits while he’s there. The same type of hierarchy-type recruiting pitches work in college football, and but they are rare in college basketball outside of the truly elites — the Roy Williamses, Rick Pitinos, John Caliparis, etc.

Pretty solid start for Brown. Especially with the total lack of talent he’s inherited, both by his own hand and by Matt Doherty’s, in Dallas.

David Harten is the editor of The Backboard Chronicles. You can follow him on Twitter at @David_Harten.

Larry Brown, SMU offer Brewster Academy duo

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SMU head coach Larry Brown was on the Brewster Academy campus on Wednesday and by Friday afternoon, he had offered two Brewster players.

On Friday, according to a tweet from Adam Zagoria, SMU had offered 2014 power forward Chris McCullough. The Mustangs had offered post-grad guard Ron Patterson earlier in the week and Brown was scheduled to meet with Patterson on Wednesday.

The 6-foot-10 McCullough recently transferred to Brewster and  is considered one of the top prospects in his class. The Bronx native holds offers from Kansas, Indiana, West Virginia, Louisville, Maryland, and Memphis. In late August, he took three unofficial visits to Seton Hall, Syracuse, and Memphis.

Patterson, like McCullough, is in his first year at Brewster. The 6-foot-2 guard had originally committed to Indiana and planned on being part of a highly-touted incoming freshman class for Tom Crean. However, in late August he failed to meet IU’s academic standards. Since electing to attend Brewster, Patterson has draw interest and offers from several schools.

On Sunday, Brewster head coach, Jason Smith tweeted that Patterson had offers from SMU, Kansas State, Providence, and Xavier. The Indianapolis native held an in-house visit with Xavier on Monday.

“[The] Xavier visit went well,” said Patterson in a phone interview on Friday. “Both of my parents enjoyed it. I’m planning to take an official visit there next weekend.”

Patterson has also seen interest from Iowa, Marquette, Villanova, and Florida State.

The former IU commit would be a good grab for Brown and the Mustangs. Patterson averaged 18.5 points, six rebounds, and four assists per game last season as a senior at Broad Ripple High School (Ind.). SMU is one of three remaining teams that could land Andrew and Aaron Harrison, but many believe SMU is a distant third behind Kentucky and Maryland.

Brewster is a power in prep school basketball, finishing 2011-2012 with a 33-1 record and claiming the National Prep School championship.

Terrence is also the lead writer at and can be followed on Twitter: @terrence_payne

Sept. 14 is Larry Brown’s birthday, SMU coach celebrates 72nd

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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, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_