Wizards

SMU's Brown, Tulsa's Manning in rare matchup

SMU's Brown, Tulsa's Manning in rare matchup

DALLAS (AP) Now that he's back in the college game, Larry Brown is looking for the next Danny Manning. Meantime, he's not very excited about coaching against the real thing.

When Manning and Tulsa visit SMU on Sunday night, it will be just the second time the most outstanding player from an NCAA championship team opposes his coach on the sideline.

Thinking back to the moment when Kansas won that title in 1988, Brown can hardly bear the notion of trying to beat maybe his favorite player in a 40-year career.

``It's going to be a special moment seeing him on the other bench coaching,'' Brown said. ``But I don't enjoy that opportunity because if we lose, I don't take losses very well and if we win, I'm not going to be happy about him being on the losing side. I admire the heck out of him.''

The 72-year-old Brown, a Naismith Hall of Famer who is the only coach to win NBA and NCAA titles, is coaching in college for the first time since the Kansas championship, and says he will ``go to high school games and look for kids just like'' Manning.

Their bond is pretty rare because Brown also coached Manning's dad, and Manning passed up a chance to be the first pick in the NBA draft in part because he wanted to win a national championship. He ended up doing it, and turns out he was just delaying the inevitable because the Los Angeles Clippers made him the top pick in 1988. Manning and Brown were later paired again for two years with the Clippers.

Manning, the eighth-leading scorer in NCAA history, says he remembers all those days fondly. Brown thinks maybe there's some revisionist history in play.

``I think he thought I was a jerk when I was a college coach and maybe I took it up a notch as a pro coach,'' Brown said. ``He thought it was like groundhog day and maybe wasn't too excited about it.''

It couldn't have been that bad. Manning called his old coach into his office last spring because he wanted to know what Brown thought about his decision to pursue a head coaching job after nine years on the staff at Kansas. Plus, Brown spent a lot of time around the KU program, especially in the 16 months between getting fired by the Charlotte Bobcats and hired at SMU.

``He had a huge impact on my life on and off the court,'' Manning said. ``A lot of the things he taught us when we were in school are still things that hold true today for me just in terms of you always want your team to go out and play hard together, be unselfish with their thoughts and their actions.''

Brown has seen Manning around basketball almost as long as he's been a head coach, going back to when Ed Manning's young son would show up at practice for the Carolina Cougars of the ABA in the early 1970s. For years, Brown figured Manning would be a coach. He just thought it would be in the NBA, where Manning had a 15-year playing career.

``I know when he was winding down at the end of his career, every coach that had him told me he mentored the young players,'' Brown said. ``It was like having another coach on the bench.''

From a practical standpoint, both first-year coaches are trying to win their Conference USA opener and go where they went together in 1988. Brown has a little more building to do.

SMU (10-5) hasn't been to the NCAA tournament in 20 years and last won a tournament game the same year Brown and Manning took the title. Tulsa (8-6) went to the regional finals 12 years ago under Manning's former boss at Kansas, Bill Self, but has just two tournament wins since and hasn't been to the NCAAs in 10 years.

``I think it's kind of cool that we're playing each other the first (conference) game,'' said Manning, who was with the Jayhawks when they won the 2006 title. ``Being at new programs and our first conference game ... I'm looking forward to it.''

For the record, the former player won the only other meeting of title-winning coach vs. Final Four standout. It was 1950, when Howie Dallmar and Penn beat Everett Dean-led Stanford 59-58. Eight years earlier, the Cardinal won the title with Dean on the bench and Dallmar on the court.

``There will be a lot of hugs before the game, but once the game starts the competitor in all of us will come out,'' Manning said. ``Once that game is over again, we'll go back to the hugs and love.''

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With another low shot total for Otto Porter, Coach Brooks says Porter needs to do more to help himself

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With another low shot total for Otto Porter, Coach Brooks says Porter needs to do more to help himself

After a night in which Otto Porter Jr. only took nine total shots, just two of them in the second half, many questions from Wizards reporters in the postgame locker room centered on how the team can get him more involved. This came on the heels of a seven-shot, zero-three outing for Porter against the Heat on Thursday and a preseason in which getting him more attempts was a persistent storyline.

It sounds like some are tired of talking about it. Point guard John Wall, who is part of the equation as the team's main distributor and highest usage player, put it in relatively strong terms.

"This will be the last time I talk about Otto Porter getting threes," Wall said. 

Wall went on to explain how it's a combination of defenses taking away the three-point line for Porter and the flow of the game creating better shots for others. It's a common explanation Wall has given on the matter in recent weeks, and it's understandable.

Head coach Scott Brooks has admitted his own role in Porter not getting enough shots, how more plays could be called for the small forward. But after the loss to Toronto, one in which Porter played just south of 25 minutes, he was a bit more blunt in his assessment.

Brooks believes Porter can be doing a lot more to help himself.

"Gotta get yourself open," Brooks said. 

When asked about Porter playing fewer minutes than usual, Brooks went on about the need for guys to play hard. That warranted a follow-up, as it seemed Brooks was questioning Porter's hustle.

Brooks explained what he meant by that in detail.

"You've got to move. You've got to set yourself up. You've got to run the floor. We got a fast point guard. I don’t know if you guys know that but he’s fast and if our wings aren’t running, what good is it when you’re going to have a one-man break? What makes teams play with pace is guys running." 

"I love Otto. You guys know that. But he has to play faster. He has to. Physically, he’s not going to jump over anybody and dunk over everybody, but he has to get himself into position. He’s a big-time player for us. He’s a glue guy. He makes winning basketball plays. He gets in plays but he has to do that consistently for us. He can’t do it for a half. He has to do it for the entire game. The guy can do it. I’ve seen it. He didn’t do it tonight but he’s going to bounce back. He didn’t do it the first two games but he’s going to bounce back and do it. And we need it.”

Porter, 25, was the Wizards' most efficient player last season, but averaged only 11.5 shots per game. With one of the best three-point shots in the NBA, the numbers suggest he should have a larger role.

The Wizards insist they are trying to get him more involved. In their eyes, it's time for Porter to do his part.

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Bradley Beal honored to pass Gilbert Arenas on all-time three-pointer list

Bradley Beal honored to pass Gilbert Arenas on all-time three-pointer list

Saturday night produced a link between some of the best players in recent Wizards/Bullets franchise history.

With a fourth-quarter three, Bradley Beal surpassed Gilbert Arenas on the franchise list for career triples

Beal, an All-Star last season, has already established himself as one of the best to play for Washington in decades. Afterwards, he paid homage to the man whose record he broke.

"I was always a fan of Gil. He was Agent Zero," Beal told NBC Sports Washington. 

"I loved everything about him; his confidence, his swagger on the floor. Granted, everyone talks about his off-the-court stuff, but what he did on the court is just untouchable. It's untouchable. He's a legend, for sure. Part of me wishes I could have played with him and just learned from him in a lot of ways. That's an accomplishment for me. I'm happy I was able to surpass it because he is a legend, in my opinion anyway."

Arenas' tenure with the Wizards was epic for its highs and lows. At his peak, he was arguably the most dangerous scorer in the NBA. But his downfall both on the court and off has left him as a notorious figure in the game's recent history.

John Wall, who has assisted on many of Beal's three-pointers, played with Arenas back in the 2010-11 season as a rookie. He is happy for his current teammate, who now has a distinct place in the team's history books.

"He's probably the best shooter I've ever played with in my eyes, so it's great to see him accomplish that," Wall said. "He's going to keep setting the bar higher and higher."

Beal passed Arenas in just the second game of his seventh NBA season. He's only 25 years old, so odds are he will keep adding to his franchise record for many years to come.

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