The idea of a coach-in-waiting was a short-lived phenomenon in college football. College basketball now has a high-profile C-I-W in place.
Well, sort of.
SMU hired Larry Brown, 71, as coach last week, and this week, Brown announced that Illinois State coach Tim Jankovich, 52, had been hired as his lead assistant. Reports were rampant before Brown even got the job that Jankovich would come on board as the Mustangs' coach-in-waiting, but SMU officials haven't used that phrase.
One school of thought seems to be that Brown will be the coach for three years, then Jankovich would take over. In that scenario, the Brown era would cover SMU's final go-round in Conference USA (the 2012-13 season), then the school's first two seasons in the Big East.
Jankovich has an excellent coaching pedigree. He spent the past five seasons at Illinois State; before that, he had been an assistant at Kansas, Illinois, Vanderbilt, Oklahoma State, Baylor, Colorado State, Texas, Kansas State and Texas-Pan American. He also was coach at North Texas (1993-97) and at Hutchinson (Kan.) CC (1997-99). Among his former bosses: Bill Self, Eddie Sutton, Jack Hartman, Lon Kruger and Kevin Stallings.
He was 105-64 at Illinois State, with four NIT appearances but no NCAA tourney bids.
"The number and quality of coaches interested in coming to SMU has been tremendous, and to get someone with his experience and success as a head coach is invaluable," Brown said in a statement.
Jankovich made around $400,000 at Illinois State, and his SMU salary is expected to be a bit less than twice that.
As for Brown, one of the biggest issues with his hiring was his recruiting ability. He hasn't coached in college ball since the 1987-88 season at Kansas, when he led the Jayhawks to the national title. Brown told the Dallas Morning News that recruiting hasn't been an issue.
"Kids are so interested in me because I've had an NBA background," Brown said. "They all want to go to the NBA. … So that, in itself, is a huge advantage.
"The fact that I've coached a lot of great players – they're all interested in that and want to hear all about it. You get instant credibility right away."
Another hire that Brown has made that will help in recruiting is that of Ulric Maligi, who had been an assistant at Houston. Maligi is a former Texas AAU coach and also has been an assistant at Stephen F. Austin and UT Arlington.
• Derrick Coleman told the Syracuse Post Standard that he has discussed a role on Brown's staff at SMU. "It's something I will entertain," said Coleman, who played three seasons under Brown with the Philadelphia 76ers.
• Reports say UCLA signee Kyle Anderson, the No. 3 recruit in the class, has been told he needs surgery on torn ligaments in his thumb. He originally injured his thumb during the season at Jersey City (N.J.) St. Anthony's and hurt it again during practice for the McDonald's All-American Game. Surgery would mean he would be sidelined for up to three months, which still would have him back in plenty of time for the start of practice Oct. 15.
• Three of the nation's top 50 prospects have yet to make a college decision: No. 7 Anthony Bennett, a power forward from Henderson (Nev.) Findlay Prep; No. 22 Devonta Pollard, a small forward from Porterville (Miss.) Kemper County; and No. 36 Amile Jefferson, a power forward from Philadelphia Friends Central School. Jefferson and Pollard are expected to make their decisions within the next two weeks; Bennett has yet to make any official visits and it could be a while for him. Pollard will choose from among Alabama, Missouri, Georgetown and Texas. Jefferson seems likely to choose Duke, though Kentucky, Ohio State, North Carolina State and Villanova also remain in the hunt. Bennett reportedly is down to Florida, Kentucky and UNLV.
• We spotlighted PG Tony Chennault earlier this week as a guy who will be missed by the school he is leaving (Wake Forest, in his case). Chennault, a Philadelphia native, reportedly is leaning toward transferring to Villanova.
• There's just something about seeing a 6-foot-10 guy singing "Hakuna Matata" that we find amusing. As part of his Theater and the Catholic Imagination course, Georgetown senior C Henry Sims was part of a 100-student flash mob that performed the song at two campus locales. Teammates Moses Ayegba and Aaron Bowen also were part of the group that sang. At the end of each semester, students in Theater and the Catholic Imagination class perform at different spots on campus. At the end of the fall semester, Hoyas players Jason Clark, Nate Lubick and John Caprio were part of a group that sang holiday songs.
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