The Battalion. (College Station, Tex.) 1893-current, March 29, 1983, Image 11

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The Battalion Sports Tuesday, March 29, 1983/The Battalion/Page 11 Brown key ingredient in Vikes’ title season Bryan High basketball coach Larry Brown blows a bubble while watching a Viking game during the past season. Brown, in his fourth year at Bryan, coached the Vikes to their first state crown since the school opened its doors in 1971. Bryan compiled a record of 34-5, defeating Fort Worth Paschal for the title. When Micheaux speaks, the UH Cougars listen by Frank L. Christlieb Battalion Staff I Larry Brown’s a pretty popu- Ilar figure in the Bryan-College I Station area these days. I While names like Jackie Sher- II[ill, Shelby Metcalf, Tom IChandler and Merrill Green Iiavedominated area sports talk sljuring the past year, Brown’s |same and his short, thickset | mild have become courthold .■ I regulars. | You know Larry Brown, don’t l[0U? He’s the fellow who led the Bryan High School Vikings to ■heir first-ever state basketball Ihampionship a couple of weeks l|g°' . „ I With a community of support jehind them, Bryan’s no-name :oach and no-name players aved their best show for the Kate final in Austin against Fort Worth Paschal. What could Pas cal, the District 6-5A runner- ipduringthe regular season, do igainst Brown’s Boys from kyan, who had played both ;reat and just good enough to vin at various times before en- ering the state playoffs? Nothing. It’s plain, simple mdquite obvious from the looks if the 71-54 pail of whitewash he Vikings threw on Paschal. But it’s doubtful that Brown, vho was honored when Bryan ilayor Richard Smith proc- aimed Monday “Larry Brown )ay”in Bryan, could have fore- asted a state title earlier in the eason. The 35-year-old Viking oach, who just finished his burth season at Bryan, says it ookawhile for the pieces to fall nto place. “Wejust had the right chemis- ryand everybody played their oles,” he said in an interview luring a recent practice session irhich featured tryouts for next ear’s Viking squad. “Like our icint guard (Billy Chambers) — lis role was to handle the ball ndget the ball to the other peo- le. Rod Bernstine, our big re- ounder, had to hit the boards and be the muscle man inside. He did a great job. “When you have people play their roles and do it well, there’s no jealousy and selfishness among the other players.” Brown, who considers him self a follower of the ways of John Wooden, Bobby Knight and Dean Smith, heard all kinds of talk about his squad during the season. No major-college basketball talent. With an aver age height of 5-10 among the starters, how could the Vikings win the district crown, much less the state championship? In juries, injuries, injuries. What could Brown do to light back against the adversity and the negative attitudes? “Before the season started,” he said, “we thought we had an excellent amount of depth. But then we had James Flowers, who had knee surgery after a football injury, and another starter, Sean Snedeker, broke his ankle in the first game of the year. Greg Dunn was another player who hurt himself during football sea son. So that’s three key players who were out for the better part of the year.” In addition, Steve Reddell, the starting post during the 1981-82 season, quit the team in December to concentrate his efforts on Bryan baseball. “We had to regroup when we had those injuries,” Brown said. “Some of our younger players didn’t really come through like we thought they would. We sear ched early in the year by playing a lot of people — about 14 peo- le on varsity at the same time, ut we never could find the right combination of people until midway through the district schedule.” But then Brown received some advice from an unlikely source. He took it, and it paid off for him and the Vikings. “My wife gave me some advice,” Brown said. “She said I needed to play (wingman) Wil liam Dickson. I’ve always had a lot of confidence in William, but she’s had a lot more confidence in him than I have. She said I needed to stay with him. “Then after one of the games when we’d played bad, she told me we needed to play less people in order to let them get into the flow of the game. I had been taking them out and putting others in, so we never really got anything going.” And after all the shuffling had been done, Brown emerged with a full deck that included 6-foot forward Dickson, 5-8 point guard Chambers, 6-foot guard Kevin Bradsher, 6-3 post Bernstine and 6-1 forward Dar rell Mitchell. Add to that sixth man Kenny Keller, and you’ve got the stars of Brown’s 34-5 state championship show. Brown described his team as “a little bit immature in some areas.” However, he said, the team’s play and maturity im proved as the season progre ssed. “We started out the year win ning a lot of games,” Brown said, “but we weren’t overpowering anybody. By the time our play ers started blending together, we started getting some leader ship, especially from Rod Bern stine. When his leadership started coming through, the other kids responded. “Rod would beat up on (Ken ny) Keller all day in practice and Keller got better and better ev ery day. Keller got the respect, too. He didn’t quit or cry about it. So overall, we did mature quite a bit as the season progre ssed.” Brown said two games during the regular season could be clas sified as “turning points” for the See BROWN page 13 United Press International HOUSTON — Larry Micheaux, the only senior in the Houston Cougars’ starting lineup, has gained quite a repu tation as the team’s top lecturer. At each stop along the way in the NCAA tournament, Micheaux has had a last-minute reminder for his teammates that it’s a serious time of year. “I had my usual talk with the guys before the game,” Micheaux said. “This is my last year and 1 try to pep up the guys. Micheaux gave his usual pre game talk Sunday in Kansas City and whatever he said should have been put on tape and used Saturday when the Cougars take on the Louisville Cardinals in the NCAA semifinals. The team that has won 25 games in a row, earned the top ranking at the end of the regular season and reached the Final Four for the second straight year has only one senior in the starting lineup. And that’s Micheaux, the 6-9 Houston product who turned 23 two days before the Cougars destroyed Villanova in the Mid- w’est Regional finals, 89-71. “I always tell them they’ll be back next year,” he said. “I won’t. This is it for me. I want to go out a winner. I guess they took my speech to heart against Villanova.” Micheaux scored .30 points, combining with the seven-foot Akeem Abdul Olajuwon and steady guard Michael Young for 70 points — one less than the entire Villanova squad. In their three tournament games thus far, the Cougars have had to display patience against the stall tactics of Mary land, have had to thwart a super star in Memphis State’s Keith Lee and had to play a physical brand of ball against the rugged Wildcats from the Big East Con ference. And being physical is what Houston does best. “Villanova said they wanted to play a physical game,” Micheaux said. “I hope they got what they wanted. I like to play physical and that is the way we all played in that game.” Tuesday March 29 Wednesday March 30 Thursday March 31 Friday APRIL 1 The Hottest Event Of The Year ./ ' ' ’ at THE most sought after address in College Station 9:00 a.m. Friday April 1 Summer and Fall Preleasing Begins! If you missed.... Don't Miss. . . January — Nacho cookoff with margaritas February — Racquetball Tournament Valentines couple drawing March — Drawing for hot air balloon ride Outdoor concert 0x2** 693-4242 Sevilla TA0S Aurora Gardens 693-6505 April — Superstars competition Spring dance w/Carribean cruise for 2 drawing May — Kegs by the pool June — 2nd annual watermelon extravaganza July — Games picnic August — End of the summer celebration September — Softball Tournament October — Pregame warmup parties November — Bonfire bash December — Christmas partis Or contests Brownstone 696-9771