Author Topic: Dean Smith - RIP  (Read 2678 times)

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Offline airboy

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Dean Smith - RIP
« on: February 08, 2015, 08:33:01 PM »
Dean Smith - former UNC basketball coach died yesterday. 

Smith established “The System” and built a dynasty during the next 36 years. He guided UNC to two national championships, 11 Final Fours, won 879 games, and graduated more than 96 percent of his players. He guided the 1976 U.S. Olympic team to the gold medal and was enshrined in the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1983.

He became UNCs coach about a year before I was born.  He was coach the years that I was at UNC - and in 1982 won his first of two NCAA tournaments.  His players went to class.  Warren Martin (backup center) was in several of my (to be) wife's classes.  I had multiple players in my classes in the B-School and elsewhere.  There was never any scandal associated with the program while he was coach.

There were multiple rules changes in NCAA basketball due to Coach Smith's ability to dissect the rules and come up with a winning formula.  Two of his former Assistant Coaches: Bill Guthridge and Roy Williams also won NCAA championships.

His death was probably a release for his family - if they are anything like my family was when Mom died.  He had lost his mind years ago.

Read more here: http://www.newsobserver.com/2015/02/08/4540165_former-unc-coach-dean-smith-died.html?rh=1#storylink=cpy


http://www.newsobserver.com/2015/02/08/4540165_former-unc-coach-dean-smith-died.html?rh=1


Offline bayonetbrant

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Re: Dean Smith - RIP
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2015, 09:13:45 PM »
SI had a great profile of him about 2 months ago. When I'm not on the tablet, I'll try to find / link it
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Offline bayonetbrant

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Re: Dean Smith - RIP
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2015, 09:14:44 PM »
I was always surprised that he only had 2 titles. Seemed like he should've had more
The key to surviving this site is to not say something which ends up as someone's tag line - Steelgrave

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Offline airboy

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Re: Dean Smith - RIP
« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2015, 07:23:48 AM »
I was always surprised that he only had 2 titles. Seemed like he should've had more

Many of the years he reached the final 4 (11 times) he had inferior talent.  The method he coached (team play/passing) tended to build up a squad - but not generate individual super-stars who could take over a game.  His players did amazingly well in the NBA - they were well rounded, could dribble, pass, rebound, etc..... but the individual super-star route tended to win championships. 

Prior to the major reorganization of the NCAAs in the 1970s, it was pretty easy for a team from the West (think UCLA) to reach the Final 4 with next to no opposition.  While the rest of the country had almost all of the basketball talent.  Prior to the 1970s reorganization, you went to the region where your school was located.  This meant the NE/SE & Midwest had all of the talent - and the West was a cakewalk.  Wooden was a great coach - who had massive built in advantages in reaching the semi-finals and also being able to do more advance work on down the road opponents than anyone in the other regions.

But aside from Wooden (and Rupp in a much earlier era), there are not many coaches with 4+ NCAA Men's titles.  The single elimination tourney with a 64 game field makes it mighty hard to win the whole thing.  The larger the field, the harder it is to take it all.  That is one of the reasons why the NCAA tourney is such a fan favorite. 

Offline Marty Ward

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Re: Dean Smith - RIP
« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2015, 08:12:14 AM »
I was always surprised that he only had 2 titles. Seemed like he should've had more

Many of the years he reached the final 4 (11 times) he had inferior talent.  The method he coached (team play/passing) tended to build up a squad - but not generate individual super-stars who could take over a game.  His players did amazingly well in the NBA - they were well rounded, could dribble, pass, rebound, etc..... but the individual super-star route tended to win championships. 

Prior to the major reorganization of the NCAAs in the 1970s, it was pretty easy for a team from the West (think UCLA) to reach the Final 4 with next to no opposition.  While the rest of the country had almost all of the basketball talent.  Prior to the 1970s reorganization, you went to the region where your school was located.  This meant the NE/SE & Midwest had all of the talent - and the West was a cakewalk.  Wooden was a great coach - who had massive built in advantages in reaching the semi-finals and also being able to do more advance work on down the road opponents than anyone in the other regions.

But aside from Wooden (and Rupp in a much earlier era), there are not many coaches with 4+ NCAA Men's titles.  The single elimination tourney with a 64 game field makes it mighty hard to win the whole thing.  The larger the field, the harder it is to take it all.  That is one of the reasons why the NCAA tourney is such a fan favorite.

Not to take anything away from those old UCLA teams but you are correct that the tournament was easier to win if you came out of the west. Heck UCLA had a bye in the first round for just about every tournament they won in the '60's. They basically started the tourney in the Sweet 16. The east, particularly the ACC, was a BEAST back then. There were so many good teams that didn't make the tournament because only the league winner went back then. I think one tear Maryland was ranked #3 in the nation and didn't go, because NC State was ranked #1 and beat Maryland is one of the greatest college basketball games ever.
Smith was a great coach who had a huge effect on college ball and he seems to have been a pretty good person too. We probably won't see the likes of him in quite some time.
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Offline bayonetbrant

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Re: Dean Smith - RIP
« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2015, 08:25:25 AM »
ACC final in 1974.  NC State knocked off UCLA and interrupted their title streak on the way to winning it all.  That was the Thompson-Burleson-Towe team.  They were the powerhouse NC State team that no one remembers because they're all in love with the outta-nowhere Valvano team in '83.
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Offline airboy

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Re: Dean Smith - RIP
« Reply #6 on: February 09, 2015, 10:47:55 AM »
ACC final in 1974.  NC State knocked off UCLA and interrupted their title streak on the way to winning it all.  That was the Thompson-Burleson-Towe team.  They were the powerhouse NC State team that no one remembers because they're all in love with the outta-nowhere Valvano team in '83.

Not me, I remember that team well.  Tommy Burleson owned/managed a hardware store in Western NC for a long time.  But I was 12 in 1974 and watched unbelievable amounts of ACC basketball on local, broadcast TV.  Also listened to basketball on the radio.

Offline Marty Ward

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Re: Dean Smith - RIP
« Reply #7 on: February 09, 2015, 11:23:04 AM »
There have been some great basketball games in college history, UCLA-Houston in the Astrodome, UCLA-ND breaking the winning streak, Duke-Kentucky in the NCAA tourney but I agree with this guy.

"The Greatest College Basketball Game Ever Played

NC State Vs. Maryland 1974"

http://home.earthlink.net/~charlottewolf/greatest_college_basketball_game.htm
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Offline MetalDog

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Re: Dean Smith - RIP
« Reply #8 on: February 09, 2015, 05:06:04 PM »
There was a time, starting in 1990 and going for the next five or six years, that I watched a BOATload of college hoops.  I was a HUGE Big East fan, but admired the ACC a great deal.  And most of that was due to Dean Smith. 

I'm not sure if Coach Smith had Alzheimer's or dementia, but, I concur with the earlier sentiment that I am sure his family finally has some peace with his passing.  I watched my beloved grandmother succumb to dementia and I don't think there has been a harder time in my life.  RIP Coach Smith.
« Last Edit: February 09, 2015, 05:07:48 PM by MetalDog »
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Offline bayonetbrant

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Re: Dean Smith - RIP
« Reply #9 on: February 09, 2015, 06:49:29 PM »
That's back when I was watching a lot, too - mostly due to being in college :)

I'm not sure I've ever seen a team as dominant as the 89-90 UNLV team, either.  Fun fact, until Duke beat them in the '91 semifinal, the last team to beat UNLV was....?
LSU, over the holidays in '89, with Shaq, Stanley Roberts, and Chris Jackson.

Those Shaq & Jackson LSU vs May-Day Arkansas throw-downs were epic back then.
It was an all-timer of a Duke team, and a UNC team that no worse than the 2d-rated player at each position in one incoming class - they were the Fab5 before the Fab5.  And then the Fab5 came along...
The key to surviving this site is to not say something which ends up as someone's tag line - Steelgrave

"their citizens (all of them counted as such) glorified their mythology of 'rights'...and lost track of their duties. No nation, so constituted, can endure." Robert Heinlein, Starship Troopers