Friday, March 4, 2011

Larry Brown ‘amazed’ by fieldhouse fans

Former Kansas men’s basketball coach Larry Brown takes in the action of the KU-Texas A&M game Wednesday, March 2, 2011 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Former Kansas men’s basketball coach Larry Brown takes in the action of the KU-Texas A&M game Wednesday, March 2, 2011 at Allen Fieldhouse.


Hall of Fame basketball coach Larry Brown stood in a corner of Kansas University’s shiny, new practice facility Thursday afternoon, his eyes focused on the court as he conducted a one-on-one media interview.

“I don’t know if I love the games, (but) I love the practices, love being around the coaches and players,” said the 70-year-old former KU coach, who left his post with the NBA’s Charlotte Bobcats in late December.

In his element observing a short KU practice with former Kentucky coach Billy Gillispie on Thursday, Brown admits he was blown away by the atmosphere in Allen Fieldhouse for Wednesday’s 64-51 Senior Night victory over Texas A&M.;

“The thing that amazed me is the place was full — after the game,” Brown said of 16,300 fans sticking around well after 10 p.m., for speeches of Mario Little, Brady Morningstar and Tyrel Reed.

“It was pretty darn impressive. Of course the Senior Day I remember is Archie’s ... when Leonard Hamilton was nice enough to let Archie (Marshall) come in at the end and be part of it,” Brown added.

He was referring to KU’s 75-57 victory over Oklahoma State on March 5, 1988. OSU coach Hamilton, who had current KU coach Bill Self on his staff, allowed Marshall to limp on the floor and, with the aid of crutches, hoist an uncontested shot — one that missed — with 1:33 left.

Allen Fieldhouse had no video board that day to show highlights of KU seniors Marshall, Danny Manning and Chris Piper. On Wednesday, Brown, who coached at KU from 1984-88, was able to watch numerous videos, including the stirring pre-game piece which opens with his quote: “There’s no better place to coach, there’s no better place to go to school, there’s no better place to play (than Kansas).”

“The NBA goes out of their way to have all these things going on. I can’t imagine a better beginning of a game than that, especially when the first thing you see is Wilt Chamberlain,” Brown said.

Of his own quote, also framed on a wall outside the KU locker room, Brown noted: “It’s pretty amazing to know you are part of something so special here.”

Wednesday’s victory assured KU at least a share of its school-record seventh straight regular-season conference championship. Last school from a major conference to win as many in a row was UCLA, which won 13 straight from 1967 to ‘79.

“It blows me away,” Brown said of the streak, engineered by one of the members of his coaching tree, eighth-year KU coach Self.

“Roy’s body of work was phenomenal,” he added of successor Roy Williams’ 15 ultra-successful seasons. “Being here eight years and seeing his (Self’s) body of work and the way he does it, how humble he is and how he includes everybody and respects everybody, it is one of the great feats.

“You look at the ACC, Big East, Pac-10, Big Ten, any conference, there’s not a lot of difference. I don’t see people accomplishing that in those places. He’s done it with all different kinds of players, all different kinds of kids. I was in Philly when John (Calipari, one of Brown’s former KU assistants) was recruiting the (Morris) twins (to Memphis). I got to see them play. I thought they were really young talented kids. Their improvement is remarkable.”

Brown didn’t discuss what he likes or maybe doesn’t like about this year’s KU team.

That’s something he figures to share with Self and Self alone.

“We went to lunch today. We had dinner last night after the game. You can pick up stuff just talking to him about anything,” said Self, who worked as a grad assistant for Brown in 1985-86. “He’s a very wise man. He and Billy are watching practice today. Hopefully they’ll watch with the intent of helping me.

“They can’t talk to the players about anything (regarding specific instruction in accordance with NCAA rules), but certainly I like it when you have a different set of eyes to come and evaluate the team,” Self added.

Brown — the only coach to have won both an NCAA (KU, 1988) and NBA (Detroit, 2004) championship — is allowed to make small talk with the Jayhawks.

“Hi, coach. Thanks for coming,” freshman Josh Selby said, shaking Brown’s hand while chasing a rebound.

“You healthy?” Brown asked Selby. “Yes, getting there,” responded the Baltimore combo guard, who has been hobbled by a stress reaction in his right foot.

“Good, nice to see you,” Brown added as Selby headed back to the court.

Blessed with a quick wit, Brown needled Self who, asked a reporter and his mentor what they were talking about.

“He was commenting about your legs,” Brown deadpanned as Self jogged away wearing his droopy, blue KU hoops shorts.

On a final serious note, Brown reiterated how proud he is of his coaching tree, one that includes KU grads Mark Turgeon (Texas A&M;) and Tad Boyle (Colorado). Turgeon, Boyle and Self have all been mentioned as possible Big 12 coach of the year candidates.

“Last night was different. It was interesting seeing ‘Turg’ over there. I’m proud of him. He’s done an amazing job with that team,” Brown said of the Aggies, who are headed to the NCAA Tournament. “I watch him a lot, talk to him a lot. Tad’s team had a tough loss last night (vs. Iowa State) in that they might have moved up in the tournament. I was teasing that I have so many problems, watching my guys coach when they coach against each other. It’s the best part of coaching to know guys who have been so good to you are doing so well,” Brown added.

Brown, of course, doesn’t need to coach again to solidify his position as one of the greats.

As to whether he wants to coach again?

“I think so. I don’t know at what level or what capacity. I look in the mirror. I know I’m 70. Inside I don’t feel like that. I still have a passion for the game,” he said.


DSommersby 10 years, 9 months ago

LOVE Coach Brown! Great to hear he and Coach Self got to visit and talk some hoops. Hopefully this great Jedi of coaching passed on some great, sage advice to another Jedi in Coach Self. Always good to get fresh input and outside perspective. Good stuff. Rock Chalk!

Funhawk 10 years, 9 months ago

Larry Brown has aged well. Coincidentally, Bill Self and Larry Brown were practically the same age when they won their national championships at KU.

Tim Orel 10 years, 9 months ago

Somewhere I still have my "Keep Larry in Kansas" t-shirt from around the 1986 season. I wore it around Madison Square Garden when the Jayhawks won the game on free throws with no time left on the clock.

I really enjoy having Larry associated with KU.

Andy Tweedy 10 years, 9 months ago

Was that Keith Harris that made those free throws?

Joel Hood 10 years, 9 months ago

Yes - I believe it was against St. Johns.

Chad DeShazo 10 years, 9 months ago

I was a photographer for the Kansan while Larry was coach. I remember the craze with the t-shirts well. I shot a photo of a little boy sitting on his mother's shoulders at one of the games. The kid was holding a pretzel about as big as him with "Larry" written on a headband he was wearing. We really thought he was going to come back... Good memories.

MinnesotaJay 10 years, 9 months ago

I was there, too. That was an unforgettable experience!

I was also in the Garden the next year when Archie Marshall went down and broke his leg. That, too, was unforgettable.

IBRONNIEB 10 years, 9 months ago

Wow it was so long ago. But two friends and I went to NYC that weekend, and to the game between KU and St Johns. Trailed the whole game, until K.P. hit a three to tie it. And then Keith Harris hit the free throw with no time on the clock to win it. Rode on a train filled with St Johns fans, back to where we were staying. That was really fun. We took so much abuse as Kansas fans, in the Garden. But at the end we were all smiles, walking out. Still remember a small section of Jayhawk fans standing and doing the Rock Chalk Chant, in the upper part of the Garden. It was sweet. Still have a NYC newspaper from the next day, showing the ball leaving Keiths hands, on the free throw that won it. Headline was Zero Hour. That is a lifetime memory for my friends and I.

stm62 10 years, 9 months ago

I grew up watching Coach Owens and the Jayhawks. Larry entered the scene my sophomore year of college and brought the program to new heights. The program hasn't been down since. We're very fortunate to have had great coaches that have maintained a high level of excellence over a long period of time. This is especially true when considering other traditional powers have been unable to do so. ie. Indiana, Carolina, UCLA, etc.

Brad Avery 10 years, 9 months ago

Larry restored Kansas basketball. He brought back the fan base and pride in the program. When he was hired, you could walk up to the AFH ticket window and buy an admission and not worry too much about getting a decent seat. By the time he left, the seating situation was frenized. Besides winning the NC with a team that was seeded 5th, he invented "Late Night with Larry." In many ways, he is still my favorite KU basketball coach.

Even though staying in one place was never his style, his comments and his periodic returns to Lawrence reflect that he enjoyed being at Kansas and being part of the tradition. I remember writing him at the San Antonio Spurs office after he left (and he does not know me from squat) and telling him how much I enjoyed his tenure at KU. He actually wrote back reassuring me that Roy Williams would do a great job at KU. A coach of the people for sure.

mojayhawk 10 years, 9 months ago

doolin, You are spot on with your comments. The once powerful Hawks had become a tired program until Coach Brown arrived on the scene. It has never been the same since. Thanks, Coach Brown for turbo boosting the Jayhawks! My favorite memory of Coach Brown was his big smile when Danny Manning walked to the sideline late in the '88 championship game. You could see his calming side and yet his beaming pride all over his face. What a night that was!

Jim Pendleton 10 years, 9 months ago

Great comments doolin. I was fortunate enough to get tickets during Coach Brown's first year, and they haven't been available since. Timing is everything!

Only correction I must point out is the Hawks were a six seed in '88, not a five.

Let's finish this title comeback/Shorthorns gag in style tomorrow with a win over the Tigggers! Rock Chalk!!

Dirk Medema 10 years, 9 months ago

I came to KU in '79 and was amazingly disappointed in BB, to the point I had trouble watching. My HS was an undefeated state champion (beat Isaiah Thomas' team), because they played fundamentally sound BB, though it helped that they went 6-7, 6-5, 6-4, 6-3, 6-0, and even the 6' could dunk.

Coach Brown changed that, and put great effort into restoring the traditions of the program as well. I still watch the '88 semis & finals (lost my copy of the regional finals) because they played so well.

It was quite disappointing to hear that he was leaving shortly after the championship, and disgusting to learn that he wouldn't stand with the team to face the sanctions. His character image improve a lot IMO when he made the quote mentioned - not for the part that is quoted, but for the part that was editted. He also said that leaving KU was the biggest mistake he ever made. He didn't realize how good he had it until he didn't.

Steve Gantz 10 years, 9 months ago

Lockport? I think I remember watching that game. I grew up in Downers Grove.

Kirk 10 years, 9 months ago

Actually KU was seeded 6th, not 5th, in the 1988 NCAAs

But yes I remember the old days under Ted. I remember the amazing turnaround effect that Larry had, and what an unusual combination of swagger and soft spoken modesty he brought. When he arrived at KU, he immediately cleared out the old staff, including legend Jo Jo White; this took some balls.

He's still my favorite, I suppose because he's my era, when I was a student. I also think he was simply the best at what he did. His eye was always on the prize; he always coached toward the NCAA tournament.

In the post-game interviews during the first year or so of Larry's tenure, Max Falkenstein might say, "great game, coach" after a win. And sometimes Larry would say, "No, Max, it wasn't a great game, it was lousy game" and list the reasons the team didn't play as well as it should. Other times, even after a regular season loss, he clearly wasn't upset about it because he liked something the team did, he liked above all things teaching them, and as always, preparing for the big dance -- the long view.

It was crushing when he left, but then Roy turned out to be great....

kcglowboy 10 years, 9 months ago

You made me chuckle remembering some of the cantankerous and entertaining post-game chats with Max. I remember one night when Max just said, Well Coach, I'm not even going to try to guess what you thought of the game. Coach Brown laughed and semi-apologized for frequently jumping down Max's throat.

kcglowboy 10 years, 9 months ago

Bee-aa-uu-tiful post, doolindalton. I grew up in Lawrence in the 60s and 70s, and LOVED KU basketball, even during ugly seasons. Every year I attended six games, using my KUBB ticket -- grade and high school students got a KU Basketball Booster 6-game ticket for $1. We would sit in the bleachers up in the corners, but when the game started move down to join the other 8,000 people in AFH. Even half-empty, it was a great atmosphere.

For my first three years at KU, I camped out for most games -- me and about 50 other die-hards. (We actually CAMPED.) Most games, we could have shown up when the gates opened and still sat behind the bench, but camping was part of being a great fan. Larry Brown showed up my fourth year (I managed to keep attending as a student for several more years). Within a year the atmosphere skyrocketed from "nice" to a close relative of what we enjoy today. I will always be grateful to Larry Brown and those players for laying the groundwork for the incredible game day experience we now enjoy.

With that said, I am also grateful that Ted Owens, who loved this place, is still welcomed here with open arms, with appreciation from fans, and that he loves coming back.

Carolyn Troupe 10 years, 9 months ago

I wrote to him in 1986, I beleive it was, just to say how much I enjoyed the season the team had, and I got a nice letter back, which surprised me. I figured he would be too busy to respond to that type of letter. I agree. He turned KU BBall around.

Kent Wells 10 years, 9 months ago

Personally, I would really like to see Coach Browns jersey retired and hung in the rafters next to Max. No. 88. That would be pretty special. I'd like to start that campaign right now!

Kent Wells 10 years, 9 months ago

Great idea! (Read my post, Mem!!!!)

Don't you think Brown would look awesome up there?!?

Stephen Johnson 10 years, 9 months ago

agreed. he needs to be in the rafters. he brought back Kansas basketball to it's position of prominence.

KGphoto 10 years, 9 months ago

Maybe that, and an area of Allen Fieldhouse (I don't know where) named after him. Maybe something in the practice facilities since he likes that so much. Is the practice court named?

Paul Rupp 10 years, 9 months ago

I'm in on that idea! I was in school during the Larry Years, and agree with the above posts re: LB laying the groundwork for everything thence. I also remember LB bartending at the 'Hatter after games, and I remember some story about him---somebody I ran into met him in an airport when he first got here, about LB saying "We have a new recruit and we are going to win the NC in 4 years"---Danny Manning!

RockCaCO3 10 years, 9 months ago

“It’s pretty amazing to know you are part of something so special here.”

Damn right you're part of something special at KU, coach Brown. Hell yeah!

TRUEBLUEKU 10 years, 9 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Martin Rosenblum 10 years, 9 months ago

Mr. Monkeywrench here:

"....On a final serious note, Brown reiterated how proud he is of his coaching tree, one that includes KU grads Mark Turgeon (Texas A&M) and Tad Boyle (Colorado). Turgeon, Boyle and Self have all been mentioned as possible Big 12 coach of the year candidates.?

He must have been only referring to his pride for coaches in the tree that are active now in the B12. Calipari's name wasn't included in his "pride" list from his coaching tree. But, he still visits with him at KY as well as now coming to KU. So, what is his agenda?

The past is the past and LB was very valuable to KU. I totally agree with that sentiment. However, I, for one, don't understand his current nostalgia road trip. Maybe he and Billy are forming some sort of "Coaches Without Jobs" consulting coalition.

Kent Wells 10 years, 9 months ago

Mr. Monkeybusiness her:

Not sure you are going to get ignored, beat up, or celebrated for your comment, but I just think this article was about KU on So, there really was no reason to get in to Mr. Sleazy! He didn't talk about Ed Manning or Alvin Gentry either, ya know?

I think Coack Brown is just wanting to be a part of coaching, some how, some way. During 1984 I had the opportunity to get to know Coach on a personal level. I am sure it is really hard for him to not be a part of active coaching. He will coach (or try to) until he dies.

Billy Clyde is just up the creek.

KU_FanSince75 10 years, 9 months ago

I remember coming back from Houston and landing at the OKC airport that famous Monday night when Danny and the Miracles took over in the second half. My wife to be and I watched the whole entire second half on the airport TV, knowing we still had to drive back to Wichita, KS. It was a memorable night. When I got back, the local CBS station had a replay of the game. I dissected the VCR-taped copy over and over again, making sure I had every possession down in my brain. Was Billy Tubbs out coached that night or what? One of my favorite KU games to watch---KU was a huge underdog that night and it was the classic championship game that will always be in my memory bank and heart. Thanks, Larry Brown, for your contributions! Rock Chalk.

JHWK 10 years, 9 months ago

I'm not the best at remembering, but thanks to good KU fans like you, I don't have to be!

I thought it was so great of Brady to mention Tyrel during his speech. What a class act!

Rock Chalk!

Justin Carlson 10 years, 9 months ago

I will never forget my first time on KU's campus in the summer of 1986! My folks were farmers in east central KS, and I just a small 6th grader dreaming of the day I could go to KU for a basketball camp.

The evening before the camp my mom and dad came to me and said "Pack you a bag Justin we are heading to Lawrence!"

My folks didn't have much money. I never did ask how long they saved to send me to camp. Heck they may have sold on of my bucket calves!

When we arrived a Naithsmith Hall the first person I saw was Danny Manning! I about fainted! As I looked around the room Kellogg, Thompson, Dreiling! Oh my I was in heaven!

The next thing to happen will forever stand as one of the coolest things I will ever remember about Coach Larry Brown! He walks up to my parents on crutches and says, "Hey folks I am Larry Brown it is really early have you guys had breakfast? Would you like to join me? I dropped my backpack and my jaw hit the floor!

Coach LB thank you for all you have done for KU basketball and thank you for the love of this program I now haveI

Mostly thank you for taking the time to spend a few moments with my parents. For that I am eternally grateful!

KU = Is Heaven on Earth played with a basketball!!


KU_FanSince75 10 years, 9 months ago

JCAR2510----Nice story---thanks for sharing!

JHWK 10 years, 9 months ago

What a cool memory! I think that mentality that Coach Brown exhibited to your family is one that lives today in the manner with which HCBS conducts himself, and the whole staff.

I hope you've written your story down in as much detail as you can to pass on to your kids! Jayhawks for life!!

We have it soooooooo good being fans of this spectacular program!!

Thank you KU!! Rock Chalk!

Justin Carlson 10 years, 9 months ago

I have 3 daughters (11, 9, and 7) All sit with me in the living room each game and yell scream cry and cheer for every game.

They will never have the chance to experience what I did but going to the holiday clinic the last couple years and seeing the look on their faces as they headed into to Allen was truly priceless!

It is kinda of amazing to think about...where else on earth is a team or a program idolized as much as this one?

We Jayhawk fans are blessed!

Brown, Williams and now Self, thank you for allowing my family the great opportunity to schedule our lives from November - April for priveledge of spending family time watching KU Basketball

Bob_Keeshan 10 years, 9 months ago

Note that coach Brown went to dinner and lunch, but not breakfast.

Breakfast just isn't the same if it isn't at Carol Lee.

kcglowboy 10 years, 9 months ago

YES! To this day every time I pass Yokohama's, I still see Carol Lee Donuts and think of Coach Brown, this national celebrity, sitting almost every morning in that nondescript building saying hi to anyone and everyone who comes up to interrupt his breakfast.

justinryman 10 years, 9 months ago

Speaking of great support, hlep Coach Self and his wife Cindy get $10,000 for thier charity on, just follow this link to help them win!!! ""

Mike Ardis 10 years, 9 months ago

I always think of the Archie Marshall shot vs. OSU in '88 and how he limped on the floor at the end but I don't remember him taking the shot "with the aid of crutches." I just remember Hamilton telling players to stay away and let him take the shot. Maybe I don't remember it right or perhaps the story has grown over the years...

jayhawkinATL 10 years, 9 months ago

I remember it as pretty classy move by LH!!!

KUFan90 10 years, 9 months ago

Absolutely agree with you Kufan83. As I was reading that I thought the exact same thing. I'm like "I'm pretty sure I was at that game and remember Archie coming out and taking the shot, but I sure don't remember crutches". I was wondering how I could have forgotten that.

Good to hear that at least one other person had the same reaction and memory.

TommieSmithElbow 10 years, 9 months ago

I definitely remember that he came out onto the court on crutches, but my memory is vague on whether he had them under his arms when he took the shot or whether someone then held them. I believe he had them under his arms, but memory over time can be faulty.

KUFan90 10 years, 9 months ago

Good point Tommy. I think you nailed it. I think he used the crutches to get to his spot on the floor, someone took them, they inbounds the ball and passed it to him, he took his shot, they called timeout, then came back out with the crutches so he could get back to the bench. So crutches were involved, but I don't think he "hoisted the shot with the aid of crutches"...

kcglowboy 10 years, 9 months ago

He used crutches to get onto the floor, but didn't have the crutches during his seven seconds of live action. It was one of the greatest Senior Day memories, and one of the classiest actions by an opposing coach -- the other coming from another OSU coach (Sutton) who sprinted down the sideline to shake Kirk and Nick's hands.

Bill Skeet 10 years, 9 months ago

You described the Archie moment the way I remember it.

+1 on the Senior Day, classy coach memories..

Kent Wells 10 years, 9 months ago

I was at the game. Archie Marshall was on crutches, but had a massive leg wrap. He just kind of went from the bench to about a foot behind the three point line. No crutches. Then he tossed up a 3 that 16,300 were praying would go in. It was a moment...

Joel Hood 10 years, 9 months ago

Archie did not have his crutches when the play went live. He was basically standing on one leg and heaved up a shot that missed badly. I was a camper who had seats right behind the KU bench - he was almost right in front of me. This was one of the most classic KU basketball moments ever - not just 1988.

Tim Bingaman 10 years, 9 months ago

I love you Larry! Such a great coach. I was a Freshman in '88 and only got to enjoy you for one year, but what a year it was!

Nice insight from the posters on our transformation in the 80's under Coach Brown.

We are definitely lucky to have Coach Self!

jaymar74 10 years, 9 months ago

Don't get me wrong, I love coach Brown, but why is it he left us (first saying he was going to UCLA then saying he was staying then 2 months later leaving for the NBA and 2 months later we were on probation) and we love him and welcome him back. Any mention of coach Williams still draws boos. What is the difference between Brown and Williams, I know Brown won a championship but no one can say Roy wasn't successful. So why do we treat each of them so totally differently?

kcglowboy 10 years, 9 months ago

There is no doubt Coach Brown left under less-than-desirable circumstances. His primary reason, we know now, is that while he loved the college game, he hated recruiting and wasn't very good at it. He just wanted to coach. And with the NBA, he didn't have to spend time begging 17-year-old kids to come play for him.

Had he left for another college program, he probably wouldn't be remembered quite as fondly. With that said, it's way past time for all of us to let go of our negativity toward Coach Williams and start remembering him for being the coach who took what Coach Brown started and elevated it another four or five big notches.

Steve Gantz 10 years, 9 months ago

IMHO, Coach Brown just can't stay in place for too long. He figured he had climbed to the mountain peak and it was time for a new challenge, of which of course he amazed us as well.

Tim Bingaman 10 years, 9 months ago

Also, somebody is going to get a hell of a coach in Billy G. sometime soon. It'll be interesting to see where he lands.

JHWK 10 years, 9 months ago

I agree - I just hope he got through his program and is sober. The pressure of a role like theirs is something I just can't imagine, no matter what I do in life. HCBS relies on his advice - I think - on a very regular basis.

Good guy to whom I wish all the luck!

100 10 years, 9 months ago

Nice Dragonslayer.

For anyone reading the comment below, the only thing KU got in trouble for with Brown was for flying a recruit to his Grandma's funeral. As I recall the kid eventually went to Memphis.

As for when he left, we all were hurt but we understood to a certain extent that he was ready for a challenge without recruiting, aka the NBA.

Look at what the Spurs have turned into since he arrived in '88 & brought his KU people (now GM Buford, current head Coach Popovich, ex head coach Bob Hill, current assistant in NBA Bill Pope-who was a manager at KU, eventually Pritchard & Randall also got their NBA front office starts in San Antonio thanks to Brown).

Larry Brown is a winner & we knew the NBA was his best fit once we were put on probation for getting a kid to his grandma's funeral.

He will always have a special place in our hearts.

EliHawk 10 years, 9 months ago

Larry is looked at differently for a few reasons. First, he won a national title, the first in 36 years, before he left. Second, fans look back now, with 23 years of hindsight, and realize Larry gave KU 5 years, which made it his longest tenured stop in a career of jumping around. No one expects Larry to have been a lifer. Also, and perhaps this is unfair, Roy's pretty quick success (and the general feeling among KU fans that the 89 Probation was wrongly assessed) makes the probation feel like not a big deal. Larry left to the NBA, which most fans can at least acknowledge as kind of a step up, and it's also a change that wouldn't have him competing with KU for championships and players. Larry was always going to leave, but at least he stayed a while, won a title, and left for the pros. And of course, having HCBS be from the Larry Brown tree makes Brown both more respected and welcome around the program. Roy, unlike Larry, always had pretensions of being a KU lifer, the kind of guy for whom this was his last job. He made a big show of turning down Carolina the first time, and so to jump again just 3 years later felt like a betrayal. It hurt that he jumped from KU, which should be a destination job, to another blue blood, which KU fans, always suspect of ACC/East Coast Bias, took as a snub. Unlike Larry, Roy jumped to another college team and competes with KU for players, championships, and prestige. You look at someone like Tyler Hansbrough, a Missouri kid Roy recruited to UNC who became an All-American, and that grates. Of course, it also hurt KU fans that they'd stuck with Roy through all the years of also rans, of the Arizonas and UTEPs and Rhode Islands, and never won a title with him, then he went to a loaded UNC team and won it without them in two years. That stung. There are a lot of reasons that Roy got hammered by the fans. Larry won it all, stayed as long as we thought, and when he went, went to the pros where he couldn't hurt KU. Roy was a lifer who jumped ship, never won it all until after he left, and still competes with KU from his new job. Of course fans will hammer him.

Kent Wells 10 years, 9 months ago

Wow. Ineresting take.

Coach Brown got jammed up for sending a Memphis State player (Vincent Askew) home to be at the funeral for his grandmother. It is something that just happened (very similar) with respect to the current program (Coach Self smartly sought permission first). If memory serves me right, the ticket was somewhere around $300. Wow.

It is that Askew was still on scholarship with MSU and was shopping schools to transfer. Did Coach mess up? Yes. Was the probation really as bad as cry baby made it sound (one of his first of many whiny shining moments)? Not really. Was the NCAA just being a tool back then throwing weight around. Yes!

Michael Auchard 10 years, 9 months ago

If Roy would have won a national championship, I bet people would have better memories of his tenure.

Winning that NC is the main reason people remember Larry as fondly as they do, whether they admit it or not.

Chad DeShazo 10 years, 9 months ago

I think the thing that I enjoyed the most watching Larry coach was when he'd get upset and shake that rolled up paper in his hand and stomp on the floor to get the attention of the ref or player that had his ire at the moment. I recall more than one technical foul assessed from that behavior but I just loved it when he'd start stomping on the hardwood.

Greg Lux 10 years, 9 months ago

Coach Brown put fire back in the KU Basketball program when he came on board. He was smarter then Dean Smith who was sure Danny was coming to NC to play basketball. But, no Coach Brown didn't recruit Danny he hired Danny's dad as a coach and put Danny in high school in Lawrence for one year. A move for the ages. One of my favorite Coach Brown stories comes from one of his 88 players. Coach was so worried about OU's speed he told his players to not play run and gun with OU. He wanted the Hawks to play half court offense only. But the team got together right before the game and agreed to just go out and "give'm hell". Every time out Coach would try and get them to slow it down. Every time the clock started they would turn in up. The result was one of the greatest first half's in NCAA Championship history 50 - 50. The moral to the story is you can coach all you want but the final decision will always be up to the players on the court. Thanks Coach Brown for bringing the KU Basketball program back to a national power. Thanks Coach Williams for continuing that tradition. Thanks Coach Self for keeping the KU tradition going and even improving something that was at the top ( hard to do for sure ).

Rock Chalk

Kirk 10 years, 9 months ago

The players were able to run with OU in the first half because they learned defense -- really well -- and that only comes from coach.

Steve Gantz 10 years, 9 months ago

Just a little nit pick, but I think Danny was headed towards NCState instead UNC.
But, yes, the best thing Brown ever did was hire Ed Manning!

Greg Lux 10 years, 9 months ago

I wrote this before the news of the lose of Ed Manning. My Deepest Sympathy to the Manning family and the KU family who knew him very well. Ed was a very good coach during his short term at KU. God Bless him and his family during this time of their lose.

Rock Chalk Ed Manning

chriz 10 years, 9 months ago

May I suggest using a different picture to show Coach Brown's "amazement" with AFH? He has that look on his face as if he's saying (sarcastically), "Yeah guys. Amazing."

kcglowboy 10 years, 9 months ago

Sorry I've been a board hog today -- wunnerful memories. Anyway, one last comment (I promise): Anyone today still "feel the power" the way Larry Brown and his staff used to ???

KU_FanSince75 10 years, 9 months ago

kcglowboy---- You board hog!!!!!!

No, seriously, I have enjoyed your posts.

Hank Cross 10 years, 9 months ago

My first year was Brown's 1st year. IIRC the basketball ticket was like a lunch card and you got it punched at every game and you could buy it without buying football tix. I think the next year you had to get both, and I remember picking up the BB and FB tix and giving the FB tix back.

There were some great games during that first year, beating Wichita State with Xavier McDaniel,and even the OT loss to OU. It made beating OU in the B8 tourney that much sweeter.

All you have to do is look where KU was before Brown and where it has been since him. Twenty+ win seasons and tourney bids are givens. We think of conference titles like the NY Yankees regard AL East championships. We've had our share of disappointments for sure. Those disappointments happened not because the teams were bad, but happened because the team failed to live up to their sky-high potential.

Brown came in a league with backwater hack coaches like Stewart, Hartman, Tubbs, Orr etc. and built a national power. For so many reasons, it will always be Larryville.

Steve Gantz 10 years, 9 months ago

The best coaching move Brown ever made was hiring Ed Manning, without a doubt. There was no way Danny was coming to Kansas before that.

My favorite coach Brown moment (besides the NC) was a play happened in front of coach. The ball rolled to his feet. The refs' decision didn't please Larry so he picked up the ball and rolled it all the way to the other end of the court. A satisfying T if there ever was one.

Maybe his most important contribution to KU bball however was re-establishing the program with a nice little 4 year run and then leaving. He opened the door for Roy who had more staying power, Brown would have left within a couple of years even if he hadn't gone on probation, and the rest has been simply amazing.

A lot of great memories from my KU years of 85-88. Hope to see a game in AFH again some day, I haven't even been back there since I graduated. I guess that's about the only thing Wilt and I had in common!

Topcitykid10 10 years, 9 months ago

I know this is Browns story but looking forward to Roy coming back when he is done with UNC, that ovation should last about 10 minutes straight if not longer. It would be cool to hang the names of Brown, Williams, Self in the rafters at one point.

Jabberhawky 10 years, 9 months ago

No National Championship = no banner in the rafters.

Topcitykid10 10 years, 9 months ago

I know KU has only had 8 coaces but Roy has a argument of being the best KU coach, at the rate that Self is going he is on his way up there too. BUT i'm saying Roy has done so much for KU bbal and deserves his name up there. BTW eff you Warrick.

Jabberhawky 10 years, 9 months ago

I agree that Roy did a lot for KU BB during his tenure here -- but I don't think what he did justifies the highest honor the program can bestow on someone. That should be reserved for the most outstanding players (on the court and academically) and the coaches who bring home nat'l championships.

Put another way, here's how your three banners would read if they were up there:


Self '08 [and counting]

Williams 0

BTW Who's Warrick?

bgthemanofsteel 10 years, 9 months ago

I think he is referring to Hakim Warrick, who played for the 2003 Syracuse team that stole our national title.

Warrick, if I remember right, was the guy that came out of nowhere to swat away Michael Lee's 3 point shot, which would have tied the game in the last minute.

And he undoubtedly would have hit it!

Pam McCormick 10 years, 9 months ago

Maybe I am different from other posters, but I got over my bad feelings about Roy in April of '08 when we owned his tarheals from start to finish in the final 4. Now I find myself rooting for his teams especially against Puke.

doctorWho 10 years, 9 months ago

Agreed. Williams leaving was a bummer when it happened, but I firmly believe KU got the better coach and recruiter in the end. And I'll take UNC over duke any day.

100 10 years, 9 months ago

Completely agree Jayhawk Pam.

And the greatest part of this whole thing is that none of this (literally) goes down without Doctor Naismith & Dean Smith.

Naismith's greatest recruiting victory came when he snagged "the world's best goal thrower" (Forrest C. Allen).

With Phog, came many... But one kid in particular, Dean Smith (a kid originally from Emporia who had spent his last year of high school in Topeka) decided he had to try out for the Jayhawks due to Phog Allen. At that point in time, Kansas basketball was as big as it could be without the Internet & so on... This love of University of Kansas basketball had been there for fifty years at this point! Loaded arenas, conference championship after conference championship.... Dominating teams & passionate fans. It was as passionate back then as it is today, except for the modern innovations of ESPN & the like. Even a team like Kentucky, really only had twenty years of a tradition at this point (since 1930 when Rupp took over a very poor program). But we had 50 years of dominance already, with a fanbase second to none (which would only slip for a couple years during Harps last couple years & the last few during Owen's tenure, but even then we still had a couple sellouts a year even during our worst year of 13-16).


100 10 years, 9 months ago


That's just perspective. So this KU tradition has always been part of us since Naismith. It comes directly from the inventor, the students & the fans. Unlike any other tradition. That's by far the best part. The whole thing started here at Kansas when a bunch of students knocked on Naismith's office door saying they wanted a team, so he set up an on campus tournament amongst the students to pick our first team!!

And the dominance really started with Phog, which mixed beautifully with the school spirit that was already there during Naismith's first few years. So Dean wanted to be part of this, only 10 short years after Naismith's death (the rules had only Bern out of Lawrence for a total of 17 years of the 58 that they had been around at this point).

So Dean Smith came. He barely made the team. He played on the 1952 national championship team. And the 1953 NCAA runner up. And went on his way trying to be a coach with a degree.

In 1957 he was in KC watching the Jayhawks & Wilt lose in the most sad ending in the history of an NCAA game. How could Harp not have a better play drawn up for Wilt? Anyway it still ticks me off. But it really made Dean mad that night, crying in front of the UNC coaches (who really got to know a man with heart that night who loved basketball & loved the Jayhawks).

Three years later he was hired as the UNC coach. He eventually coached Brown. And Roy.

When we came looking for a new coach to get our program back to the early Harp days & Phog Allen 50 years of dominance days... Dean in the middle of coaching Michael Jordan, couldn't take the job. But he told us to call Larry Brown.

And we did. And he brought Danny Manning along.

After Larry went to the NBA, we called Dean again. Again, Dean was very old at this point, close to retirement with a building going up with his Jayhawk name on it.. The Smith Center.

So he recommended his favorite assistant, Roy Williams, the man responsible for landing Jordan.

Roy came & became as Jayhawk s any of us. And UNC ne we completely recovered, whether it be recruiting or in practice coaching. But Kansas, finally was back to the days of the fifty years of Phog Allen (and a few years of Harp, and keep in mind Owens last season sucked but he still had an incredible winning percentage & a bunch of Big 8 titles & 2 final fours).

So we were back. But thanks to ESPN & the new thing called the Internet.. As well as CBS... The fanhood had grown even bigger... But in so many ways it was like having Phog's Jayhawks again.


Kent Wells 10 years, 9 months ago

Are we going to have to donate to a PayPal account to get the next installment?

100 10 years, 9 months ago


But here's the deal. Roy took off. There's a lot to say about that, but I say thank you. Because UNC had fallen so far, they didn't have an option. They had to have Roy at all costs. Roy was everything to them. Even though Roy had become as Jayhawk as any of us (he made sure we had Naismith court named, he made sure Wilt got back to the House), he still had a sick mother back at his old home. And truly, at this point, mother nature tends to allow good things to happen for good people.... And it worked out even better for us than we could have imagined (let's not forget Roy wearing that sticker even during the halftime interview & sticking up all summer long to UNC fans about his love of Kansas & the roots of Naismith, much to the chagrine of their usually respectful fanbase).

So now, thanks to Larry having Self on staff way back when, we get Self. And thanks to Dean Smith suggesting Larry to begin with, we get Self. And thanks to Dean playing ball for Phog... We get Self... And thanks to Phog being recruited by Doctor James Naismith....

We get Self!!!!!!!!!!

Kent Wells 10 years, 9 months ago

Good stuff 100. I'll be happy to donate to your PayPal account. With the funds, maybe you can sponsor my Larry in the Rafters campaign.

justinryman 10 years, 9 months ago

My first knowing of KU basketball was after my dad went to a Nike coaching clinic where coach Brown was at. One night my dad and another coach decided to leave the hotel and find a bar a block away or so. They were sitting at a larger table and in walked coach Brown, coach Knight, and a few others. They asked if they could sit down with them as the reconized them from the camp meetings. My dad said they were all very good guys, but that Larry Brown was sharing plays on a napkin with my dad. When my dad returned back to central Nebraska he told me all about it along with an autographed Larry Brown bar napkin(still got it), and I became a KU fan in 1986.

I met Roy Williams at the collage World Series in Omaha the year that UNC won the NC. he liked my KU hat and offered to autograph that, but it wa s dirty one and on its last leg, so Igot him to sign my program. It was at the end of the game, he spent about 10 minutes talking with my wife and I, even taking pictures with me. He was very nice and I even congratulated him on getting his NC. I told him I did not hold it against him for leaving, he went home, and you can't blame anyone for going home. He shook my hand and asked me where he could get a good steak, I offered my back yard got a laugh and then told him a nice little family place with great steak, not sure if he went or not.

100 10 years, 9 months ago

Great story brother. Roy is as Jayhawk as they come. (and he still let's his UNC followers know it!!!) Love that man.

REHawk 10 years, 9 months ago

Great stories here about Larry Brown. Memories will spring forth someday when Roy returns to sit at courtside, I imagine. Here's wishing the best to Billy G. What a trap he walked into after Kenstinky ousted Tubby. I envision Billy leading another and cozier Div. I program to national prominence. Is surprising that he has not yet resurfaced. If Tech gives Pat Knight the boot, it might be nice to see Billy back in the arms of the Big 12...although Lubbock might be too much of a deadend road for our sport. I winter in South Texas where football is king. If the word basketball is called forth in sports pages, it usually involves bold print for girls' teams. My wife teaches down here; claims that boys are reluctant to advertise that they play roundball. I know that some great recruits come out of the northern TX cities, but much of the state is so football insane that basketball is rarely given attention. Antithesis of Lawrence...or Burlington, Ks.

REHawk 10 years, 9 months ago

100, many thanks for your historical account and perspective today. What a journey for the Kansas coaching tree...eventually to land Brown and Williams and Bill Self!!!!!

John Randall 10 years, 9 months ago

""" Brown would have left within a couple of years even if he hadn't gone on probation, """

True, he wasn't likely to stay much longer – KU was already the longest tenure he had anywhere up to that time. However, implying that he left to avoid the probation is a really cheap shot at someone KU basketball is forever indebted to.

Coach Brown had already accepted the San Antonio job before the NCAA issued the probation and post-season ban. Larry even offered to return and suffer the results of his humanitarian gesture. Our AD was afraid the vindictive powers at NCAA would increase the penalties. The true story may never come out, but someone served a vendetta with that decision.

Scott Oswalt 10 years, 9 months ago

When I was bartending an event at the KU Alumni Center, I had the pleasure of meeting Larry Brown. Nicest guy ever. He likes scotch :)

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