Former San Antonio Spurs head coach Larry Brown and the 1-0 Southern Methodist University Mustangs are the next test for Texas State after the Bobcats’ one-sided win over the University of Texas at Tyler.
At the age of 72, Brown is the only coach to have an NBA championship and NCAA title on his resume. He won his NBA title in 2004 with the Detroit Pistons, who beat out a star-studded Los Angeles Lakers roster that included Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal, Gary Payton and Karl Malone.
Brown’s last coaching job was for the Charlotte Bobcats in December 2010. When Brown last coached at the collegiate level, he was cutting down the nets and celebrating a National Championship with the Kansas Jayhawks in 1988.
Like Texas State, SMU also had five players score in double figures in their season opener. Guard Nick Russell led the Mustangs with 19 points, guard Ryan Manuel contributed 14 points, forward Shawn Williams added 12 and guard Jalen Jones ended with 11 points and 11 rebounds. The Mustangs defeated Loyola Marymount 73-58.
SMU’s three starting guards accounted for 19 rebounds, which was 50 percent of the Mustangs’ total production against Loyola Marymount. Russell, Manuel and Jones’ aggressive play combined for 27 free-throw attempts, converting 81.48 percent.
Texas State has averaged 47 rebounds in their first two games of the season, and holds a +7.5 margin over their opponents. In both of their games, the Bobcats have collected 32 defensive rebounds while grabbing 30 total offensive boards. Texas State has allowed 13 and 14 second chance points on the season.
“Our guys are going to have to box out and keep them off the boards,” said senior guard Vonn Jones. “It’s going to help a lot that we have guys who can come off the bench and score and contribute while the other team is tired. The bench is one of our strengths, and that’s going to help us for the rest of the year.”
Contrasting styles of coaching will be on display Saturday when a more balanced Texas State team will face off against an SMU team who is more reliant on their starters.
Between the Bobcats’ first two games, the starters have averaged 23.7 minutes per a game, along with having a reserve come off the bench and scoring at least 16 points. In Texas State’s victory over UT- Tyler, 10 different players scored. SMU, on the other hand, had a starting lineup that averaged 32.6 minutes in their season opener. In the second half, only one bench player came in for 5 minutes total.
“This is the time of the year where we’re going to play everybody,” said Coach Doug Davalos. “Some of these minutes aren’t going to be so tight. Some guys are going to get more minutes and some are going to get less as we move on. If you take Joel Wright out of the equation, their bench outscored our bench 31-13. So I challenged our guys to make sure they’re ready when given a chance.”
Last time these two teams faced off, the Mustangs defeated the Bobcats despite career-highs at the time for J.B. Conley, Tony Bishop and Uriel Segura, who each scored 18 points. SMU held on to win 94-86 at Moody Coliseum.
Before the Mustangs race down to San Marcos, they will face rival Texas Christian University in Fort Worth on Thursday, Nov. 15.
Twitter: @ samuelrubbelke