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Larry Brown Wrong to Cut SMU's Starting Point Guard

DALLAS, TX - DECEMBER 28:  Jeremiah Samarrippas #12 of the Southern Methodist Mustangs at American Airlines Center on December 28, 2011 in Dallas, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
Ian HanfordFeatured Columnist IVNovember 2, 2016

Larry Brown did not wait long to make waves with his new SMU team. Brown cut star point guard Jeremiah Samarrippas on Wednesday.

Brown has a reputation for coaching with an ego. Cutting one of the Mustangs' best players is not doing that reputation any favors. Telling Samarrippas that he is not good enough to play for you simply does not make sense. 

Maybe Brown thinks he is still coaching in the NBA or an elite college program. He is not, though. Brown made a major error in judgment by stacking Samarrippas' talent against what he perceives as elite.

Putting Samarrippas' talent aside, this was a terrible move off the court. Brown needed to establish discipline on his new squad, but creating this kind of stir in a new locker room spells trouble.

The Mustangs have played for Brown for less than a week. Some players played with Samarrippas for two years. This mistake will resonate throughout that locker room for the length of the 2012-13 season. 

The impact of this decision will be felt on the court as well. Samarrippas logged 32 minutes per game in 2011 and provided constant leadership on the court. He was a pesky defensive presence and a catalyst for the Mustang offense. 

SMU was on the right track as a program. Adding a Hall of Fame coach was supposed to create a positive vibe in the locker room and on the court. 

Instead, Brown disrupted the unity of his squad and breached any trust he may have created. 

This bizarre decision will be very tough to recover from given Brown's reputation. Not only must he find a new point guard to execute his offense, but he must find a way to establish a working relationship with skeptical players. 

The decision to cut Samarrippas was wrong on all counts.

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