Tuesday, June 2, 2015


Column: He’s the right hire for ISU


Fred Hoiberg’s departure from hometown Ames, Iowa, to the NBA still stings for anybody who roots for the Big 12, so imagine how it must numb Iowa State backers.

The Cyclones shaped up as legitimate national-championship contenders with Hoiberg at the helm, running NBA plays to which the roster was tailored and to which the players have become accustomed.

There is nobody the Cyclones could attract who could match Hoiberg.

Or is there?

A check of the American history books reveals that two historic events occurred on Sept. 14, 1940. The U. S. Congress passed the Selective Service Act, which required that men between the ages of 21 and 34 register with local draft boards. Once president Franklin Roosevelt signed the Act into law, it marked the first peace-time draft in our nation’s history.

The other event drew no attention at the time because nobody had any way of knowing that a baby boy born in Brooklyn had a brain that would develop into one more suited to teach basketball than any before or after.

Lawrence Harvey Brown, the only man on the planet to win both an NCAA title (Danny and the Miracles, 1988) and an NBA crown (Detroit Pistons, 2004), has what it takes to bring the Cyclones to even greater heights than Hoiberg did before leaving for the Chicago Bulls.

It took Brown five seconds to make SMU sizzle, proving that at least in his case, it’s not how old you are, rather how young you think. The Mustangs were shafted on Selection Sunday a year ago and lost to UCLA on a controversial goal-tending call this past March in the NCAA Tournament.

Sure, NCAA regulations have become an issue again for Brown, as was the case at UCLA and Kansas, but let’s be honest: Do you think Kentucky has any regrets about hiring John Calipari, whose Final Four appearances at UMass in 1996 and Memphis in 2008 were vacated? For that matter, do you think either UMass or Memphis regrets hiring Calipari? Not a chance.

It comes down to how serious Iowa State wants to be about instantly cashing in on the talented roster Hoiberg cobbled together, largely with talented transfers.

Like Hoiberg, Phoenix Suns head coach Jeff Hornacek was an Iowa State star. He’s tied for last in NBA head-coaching salaries with $2 million, which calculates to just $1 million per Morris twin. Landing him would calm a nervous fan base.

That’s nice, but winning a national title has to rank first, and anybody else ISU could land ranks at best second to the great Larry Brown.


Chris Shaw 6 years, 11 months ago

LARRY BROWN? For Iowa State? I'm speechless. Uh...No! Tom, I've never complained about an article but this piece is lunacy.

In the great words of Young Caesar in the movie Gladiator, "This vexes me...I'm terribly vexed."

Joe Ross 6 years, 11 months ago

On the basis of the school, I dont have any problem with the hire. Its a coaching job. Iowa State has a rabid following. Theyve got great players. Id be interested in your point of view regarding why SMU is a good destination for Brown, but Iowa State would not be.

Besides, the competition between KU and ISU would be at least two things: 1. An interesting and amicable rivalry 2. Competitive, which would help to prepare Kansas for the NCAA tournament.

The latter is the better reason to bring Brown to ISU. You want seasoned coaches in our league. The NCAA tournament has exposed our conference for paper tigers the last couple of seasons despite the roar of pundits' approvals and high seedings. Brown would do his part to add some real teeth to the conference, and this only helps Kansas. Brown to ISU would be a favor.

Sae Thirtysix 6 years, 11 months ago

JRoss / Keegs -


Mr Williams went to bat big time for Coach Brown at SMU. He isn't leavin' for the Clones. 3,360 in HS, an SMU legend, TX basketball legend, ABA with Coach B.

Not leaving for Ames - fact.

Joe Ross 6 years, 11 months ago

You say with a high degree of confidence that it is a matter of fact that Larry Brown will not go to ISU. But I think you make your case too vigorously. I'll let Keegan speak for himself, but my comments were not an attempt to gauge the chances of the Cyclones' hiring of Coach Brown. No. It's quite clear I was simply discussing the fit.

Chris Shaw 6 years, 11 months ago

Man, I wasn't expecting these type of responses. Maybe Tom better understands the Jayhawk audience than I do. Or he understands the "click" generation way more than I do.

Joe and Brett, good responses but I think you both as well as Tom are only looking at this from a short term (literally one season) perspective. HIRING Larry Brown to the Iowa State Basketball program would be lunacy and absolutely catastrophic to the future of the program.

The Big 12 does not need older, veteran, past their prime, one trick ponies back in the the conference. And, Iowa State certainly in no way shape or form wants that. The Big 12 has had way too many coaches like that in the past.


Chris Shaw 6 years, 11 months ago

Larry Brown does nothing for Iowa State for the future of their program. Does he get them a National Championship next year? Possible but not likely. Does Larry Brown get them to a Final 4? Odds are a better but also slim considering only Oklahoma (2002), Texas (2003), and Okie State (2004) outside of Kansas has made a Final 4 since the Big 12 began.

Larry Brown is 74 years old and will be 75 in September. Do you guys really think Larry is gonna recruit? He may, but if he does you are almost guaranteed that recruiting violations will follow because they have followed at every stop he's every made in college.

Is Larry Brown a hell of a coach? Absolutely! He's a Hall of Famer, but Larry Brown has changed more jobs than a hooker has had clients in the red light district of Amsterdam. Larry Brown is for Larry Brown.

Iowa State has the opportunity to have some staying power in the Big 12 with the right vision and right direction. Larry Brown would literally be a 9 month fix and Iowa State would be in rehab for the next decade trying to fix their 1 year addiction for success.

Iowa State has to hire somebody that understands the Clones and their history. Fred Hoiberg understood that (He was the man for the job and I believe he's gonna regret the decision to go to the NBA). Iowa State needs somebody with ties to the school, understands the recruiting components of the school, can manage this season, but more importantly make an "Impact" for their program over the next decade (Not next season). Too much short term thinking in this decision with Larry Brown.

In the end, Iowa State considering Larry Brown is literally 0%. The fact it was even brought up is comedy in itself, but then again we Jayhawk fans stick to the Crimson and Blue no matter if it makes sense or not. Let me repeat again...Larry Brown to Iowa State would be catastrophic to the Clone program for years to come.

Benz Junque 6 years, 11 months ago

All hiring Larry Brown does is ensure that they have to do another coaching search in a few years. DUMB.

Tony Bandle 6 years, 11 months ago

Maybe Bruce Weber could take over..he has a pretty good record with other coach's players. :)

Greg Ledom 6 years, 11 months ago

He wouldn't do anything, but the players sure would.

Doug Longstaff 6 years, 11 months ago

Of course Larry would be a great hire, but has anyone seen anything remotely linked to him? Tom just likes to pull names out of you-know-where and see how many hits he gets on his story.

Remember when he picked Turgeon's brother to be the new women's basketball coach? Despite never coaching (head or assistant) at a 4-year college before?

This is simply an attention grabber. We've all given it to him.

Waylon Cook 6 years, 11 months ago

he wrote more about Turgeons brother than the dynamite guy that we did hire.

Steve Corder 6 years, 11 months ago

Without question, losing Hoiberg is going to sting for awhile, but I-State fans may look back some day and be happier with his replacement. After all, Hoiberg never won the conference championship (please, a three day season ending tourney is not even close to a grinding 16 game conference schedule).

Kurt Eskilson 6 years, 11 months ago

Every time the Hawks play on national TV the announcers are always talking about how KU's string of conference victories is bigger than their home losses during the same time span – and saying how historically incredible that is. So … your statement that about "out side of KU …" is way off the mark.

Rodney Crain 6 years, 11 months ago

Now this is funny, I laughed out loud reading this. Perfect Onion Material actually.

Larry Brown, a 75 year old (in September) thrice NCAA violation coach? I am sure Iowa State would love to throw caution to the wind, that sounds so like them, to take a anything to win now attitude. I can hear them now, "no really guys what could wrong..." Who cares if they vacate it, at least we will have a year or two to celebrate.

Love the comments, this would be a great hire? Really? Gosh some of the folks on here are nothing but living bobbleheads. Yep, sure, why not, do it, you bet, perfect...

No idea what they are putting in the wheat in Kansas, but they would have to put the same thing in the corn to hire Larry there. Talk about a step in the wrong direction. I am thankful for what he did for us, but this would make zero sense there at this time in his career.

Thanks for the laugh while I wait for the Blackhawks to play. A second Peabody? Sure why not!

Waylon Cook 6 years, 11 months ago

Mangino is more realistic(and yes I am aware this was not a football article).

Don Johnson 6 years, 11 months ago

My kid went to ISU, and I went to KU. I worked for a year in Ames. ISU is my second favorite BIG12 team. I would think that ISU would want to think long term. Consistency in coaching is an important key in long-term success. I can't see why they would be interested in Larry Brown, a coach I truly respect. ISU is at a level in their program where they could attract a young and dynamic coach. They should not waste this opportunity.

Layne Pierce 6 years, 11 months ago

Larry Brown to Iowa St, would simply suck. If you knew how bad the KU program was when LB was hired and the way that he brought it back. Our ship was truly sinking beneath the waves of mediocrity and Larry righted the ship. He did not leave after one year. And yes we got on probation, for a player who never played a minute for KU. Still, never underestimated the importance of what he did.

If we want to tear our hearts out, why not bring in Danny Manning for ISU, or Roy Williams, or Mark Turgeon. Do we really like any of those options better?

Even in this age of absolutely no loyalty to anything, and everyone is for sale, even the suggestion of Brown to the team that really is our most significant conference rival is heretical. I too find myself vexed, and not just a little irked.

Harlan Hobbs 6 years, 11 months ago

Just for the record, the NCAA investigators have been sniffing around the SMU program for the last several months. Don't know that it will amount to anything, but with Vick decommitting from them and coming to KU, there might be more to the story.

Suzi Marshall 6 years, 11 months ago

ISU's hiring of LB would be a staggering brilliant move. Brown is like the old west hired gun brought as a conclusive piece to finalize a fight. ISU's '16 team can be a National Championship team. For that, you go out an hire a gun to win right now. Brown is hungry to coach a championship caliber team. Bring him in along with Jeff Hornacek as the "coach in waiting" and the Cyclone fans will go nuts.

I love the job Holberg did as ISU. It was an eye-opener how all those ISU fans came into KC for the Big 12 tournament and took over the Sprint Center and the P&L District. They simply came onto our turf and dominated it, which sets the stage for a great rivalry.

With regards to the Selective Service Act, it it noteworthiness to add that Congress passed the act for the Army (&Air Corp) to be operational for only one year. The sentiment was to dissolve the Army in October '41..."Over-the-hill in October." In that one year period, the Army went from about a half million men to about two million. The country narrowly avoided a major disaster when Congress passed by ONE vote, in late September '41, to extend the act keep the Army (and Air Corp) intact...only weeks before the Jap attack on Pearl Harbor. Likewise a LB hire at ISU could be Kansas' worst nightmare. However, this is not war but a competitive sport. I say ...bring it on ISU.

Layne Pierce 6 years, 11 months ago


I personally am not interested in helping ISU. I bleed crimson and blue. Our little game is probably not even worth going into because, Larry Brown will not coach against KU on a regular basis, and Iowa State wants a coach of the future, not a future hall of famer.

I personally don't think LB could do what Hoibert couldn't and take Iowa St to a conference championship, let alone a banner.

Lastly Suzi, would you leave Larry Brown's view of KU in the pregame film, or X it out.

Richard Duran 6 years, 11 months ago

Is Keegan drunk a lot? Harbaugh for football, Auriemma for WBB, LArry Brown to ISU?

Len Shaffer 6 years, 11 months ago

Not drunk, just lazy and desperate for material where he doesn't have to put any actual thought into it.

Suzi Marshall 6 years, 11 months ago


Likewise, I have no interest in helping ISU and bleed the same crimson and blue. However, I very much miss the rivalry we enjoyed with Missouri and see ISU as a possibility to fill some of that void. I'd hate having LB coach against KU but after all; it's only a game. I don't think ISU has ever been loaded with the talent, relative to the rest of the field, as they will have in '15-'16. I would love to see him win a NC again.

Lastly, I'd leave the LB view of KU in the pregame film and play it extra loud every-time he played in AFH.

Bryce Landon 6 years, 11 months ago

Tom Keegan trolling the fanbase w/ incendiary articles again. Larry Brown would NEVER put himself in a position where he would have to coach against his former team. He is too deeply emotionally invested in Kansas after winning the national title here.

For my part, I hope Iowa State hires some schmuck who will run them into the ground like Frank Haith did to Missouri and like Bruce Weber is doing to Kansas State.

Eric TheCapn 6 years, 11 months ago

Lawrence Harvey Brown, the only man on the planet to win both an NCAA title [...] and an NBA crown....

Oh, and 40-some other people:

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