Dean Smith

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Dean Smith

Postby boulder3m on Wed Feb 11, 2015 4:36 pm

I just had to post on this topic. Dean Smith, regardless of whether you liked UNC, was a tremendous influence on college basketball for my generation. He demanded that his players go to class and graduate. He taught TEAM first basketball and his players were the first to "point out the passer" when a player scored. He understood the game and where it had been and where it was going. He used the "four corners" offense when it was very much a part of the game, but he also was an early advocate of the shot clock and three point line which made the four corners obsolete. His ability to win with players who were also students probably ran some bad eggs out of coaching, and forced many new coaches to do things the right way. He was a true gentleman in so many ways, both on and off the court. His advocacy of equal justice and rights was legendary, and he brought Charlie Scott in as the first black Carolina player. In one of the great tragedies, he was a man who remembered everyone with whom he came in contact-yet died as a result of a form of dementia. He did it the right way and proved you could win doing it the right way.
I will tell one story that tells you about the man. At the funeral of Frank McGuire, following the service, a friend who was a former South Carolina basketball player decided to go to the fellowship hall for the reception after the service. As he walked into the large room he saw a group that included Lou Carniseka of St Johns, a couple of ACC coaches and Dean Smith. As the former player walked by Coach Smith saw him and left the group of coaches. He greeted this former back-up reserve player by name and told him he had always wanted to meet him. It seems that in the player's senior year he was a second string center, and the USC starting center had gotten sick. When the player was announced, Coach Smith told him, he panicked because they knew nothing about him. My friend played well in the first half, and even though UNC won the game, Coach Smith said he always wanted to shake his hand because he had played so well in a reserve roll. My friend was stunned, because he had no idea Dean Smith even knew who he was-let alone that story. Coach Smith treasured every one of the players, coaches, managers, trainers, secretaries, and janitors who worked with UNC basketball. The stories of his phone calls on their birthdays are legendary.
I will also mention that our coach, Mike Young, talked about the passing of Coach Smith on his radio show on Monday night, and recounted how much Coach Smith meant to basketball, and especially basketball throughout the region. It is too trite to say RIP; but those of us who knew him are glad that he is free from the terrible disease that attacked his incredible brain and memory. There will never be another.
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Re: Dean Smith

Postby woffordgrad94 on Wed Feb 11, 2015 7:21 pm

When it comes to college basketball coaches, Dean Smith is the example to be followed. He did everything the right way. It's humbling to think about because I doubt I could ever be half as good of a man as he was.
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Re: Dean Smith

Postby fgs44 on Wed Feb 11, 2015 11:33 pm

My high school coach was a North Carolina high school coaching legend. I went to New Hanover High School, the largest high school in the state at that time. Leon Brogden was the head football coach and basketball coach, when I was in school. He had two NFL QB's playing in the NFL back in the day, Sonny Jurgensen, and Roman Gabriel. However, Coach Brogden's true calling was basketball. We did things back then that were on the cutting edge, including running a motion offense and the "four corners". We won the NC state basketball championship three years in a row in 1960, 61, and 62. We had a point guard by the name of Jimmy Moore, who never scored much, but handled the ball without turnovers, and handed out assists like nobody I have ever seen. Dean Smith was at our games, and watching our summertime program in those years, and recruiting Jimmy Moore, who became his "first" Wilmington recruit. We ran the four corners long before North Carolina did--I am sure that Dean and Coach Brogden spent a lot of time talking about how to run it, and what it could do--We scored a lot of easy buckets--It was not just a slow down tactic--
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Re: Dean Smith

Postby Eyes of Old Main on Thu Feb 12, 2015 12:51 am

Dean Smith was a fine man, an excellent coach and a great ambassador for college basketball. He approached his job and his life with class and it shows in the reverential opinions most everyone has for him. If there were more Dean Smith's, the world would be a better place.

One Smith story I will always remember is when Jim Valvano was dying of cancer, one of his main bucket list items was to throw out the first pitch at Yankee Stadium. The obliged and scheduled a date for him, but when the day came he was too weak to travel so Dean Smith flew to New York and threw out the pitch for his friend (and arch rival). Bear in mind, at that time UNC/NC State was a baskeball rivalry much more on par with what UNC/Duke is now at that time. That type of decency and respect is seldom seen among bitter rivals today.

It's funny that we lose Dean Smith and Jerry Tarkanian in the same week. One is an example of how to do things the right way, the other not so much. Polar opposites, to be sure. That being said, it will be interesting to see how Coach Smith's passing affects the ongoing academic fraud investigations in Chapel Hill. So far, UNC has fought tooth and nail to keep the scandal from going back that far. I'm not sure whether he was involved or not, but that situation is a mess and certainly runs counter to the idea of the "Carolina Way" that Smith created.
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Re: Dean Smith

Postby boulder3m on Thu Feb 12, 2015 9:47 am

fgs44- You are so right on the Four Corners. Most of the haters think it was a slow down tactic, when it could be a very effective scoring system. Eyes- I hesitated to mention Tark the Shark in the same post, but you are so correct. I had an old fried who was on the NCAA Infractions Committee when Tark was at his worst. His stories were great. Evidently Kentucky was just as bad!
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Re: Dean Smith

Postby woffordgrad94 on Thu Feb 12, 2015 12:38 pm

I never liked Jerry Tarkanian. I always thought he was arrogant and a cheater. He didn't care about his players or if they graduated. He cared only about himself and winning games by any means he could. I always rooted against him and his teams. That man, with his super sized ego, was a stain on college basketball.
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Re: Dean Smith

Postby lawdog on Thu Feb 12, 2015 1:16 pm

Boulder, thanks for starting this thread. Coach Smith was one of the all time greats. His insistence on team play and making the extra pass was iconic. He was an intense competitor, make no mistake, but was committed each day to doing the right thing, without seeking personal accolades. His reach into the game and the lives of others was astounding. Appreciate others sharing their observations.
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Re: Dean Smith

Postby woffordgrad94 on Thu Feb 12, 2015 1:20 pm

lawdog wrote:Boulder, thanks for starting this thread. Coach Smith was one of the all time greats. His insistence on team play and making the extra pass was iconic. He was an intense competitor, make no mistake, but was committed each day to doing the right thing, without seeking personal accolades. His reach into the game and the lives of others was astounding. Appreciate others sharing their observations.


I totally agree. It's too bad these people don't:

http://www.carolinasucks.com/forums/ind ... opic=29797
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Re: Dean Smith

Postby woffordgrad94 on Thu Feb 12, 2015 1:20 pm

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Last edited by woffordgrad94 on Thu Feb 12, 2015 1:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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