Commentary

Larry Brown, 71, takes over at SMU

Updated: April 19, 2012, 5:06 PM ET
By Dick Vitale | ESPN.com

All senior citizens are jumping with joy! They will be cheering loud and clear for SMU: Let's go Mustangs, baby!

Larry Brown will be back on the sidelines at 71 years old. He is a member of my club as a senior citizen!

What a resume he brings to SMU. The school wanted to bring credibility with its future move to the Big East, and the hiring of Brown is a step forward.

[+] EnlargeLarry Brown
Geoff Burke/US PresswireLarry Brown last coached in the college ranks at Kansas in 1988.

There will be some critics who say he cannot communicate any more or recruit against other powers. Some will bring up Kansas and UCLA getting into trouble with the NCAA. Let's get rid of those naysayers, who only look at the negative, right away.

Let me tell you, if he has the right staff with him, providing energy to go sell his teaching and motivational ability, he can be a positive in the short term. If he brings Tim Jankovich as the coach-in-waiting, it will be a great move.

Just look at the credentials. Brown made it to the Basketball Hall of Fame. He is the only man to win an NCAA championship and an NBA title. Just think about how impressive that accomplishment is! Brown loves the gym; it is like his science lab. Brown loves to experiment and he has been a lost soul without a team to put into action.

This guy knows his basketball. He was wise enough to give a young coach a chance years ago; that man was John Calipari, who recently cut down the nets as a national champion. Brown has ties with so many successful coaches and programs over the years, like his alma mater North Carolina and Kansas and UCLA. As I said, the resume is pretty good.

Brown will do what he does best, get players who fit his system and then teach, teach and teach. Maybe he can schedule a game against Tulsa. Wouldn't that be fun to see teacher versus pupil with Brown against Danny Manning? I will always remember the coaching job Brown did when "Danny and the Miracles" won the national championship in 1988.

Why not get The General as an assistant? How about Digger to help out too? Just kidding. Brown has already worked on a quality staff and is ready to go.

You know all of us old timers have to stick together.

It is nice to see Brown back where he belongs, teaching basketball and trying to build a winning program in Dallas. He is a Hall of Famer for a reason.

Dick Vitale

College Basketball analyst
Dick Vitale, college basketball's top analyst and ambassador, joined ESPN during the 1979-80 season. His thorough knowledge of the game is brought forth in an enthusiastic, passionate style. Vitale also contributes columns to ESPN.com.