- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
- TAMPA BAY buccaneersENEMY lines WHAT A RIVAL COACH SAYSJune 28, 2012
- Faces in the CrowdJune 11, 2001
We played a box-and-one, with Yogi Poteet, who was 6' 1", guarding their best player, Cotton Nash, who was 6' 5". Cotton literally couldn't get the ball. Afterward I told Coach Smith it was the best-coached game I'd ever seen. You could see his genius even then.
He had put in a play two or three days before the game. We called it the Kentucky play. Larry [ Brown, Carolina's point guard] would bring the ball down the floor and take it into the middle, and the other four players would back out to the corners. Once, Larry drove to the foul line, and I slid in from the corner, and he dished it to me for a basket. That may have been the first Four Corners layup, though it didn't have that name at the time.
JOAN SMITH EWING:
INSTALLING THE SYSTEM, 1965-82
"It was as if he said, 'Just do as I say, and we'll win'"
After seeing their coach dangling from a tree, the 1964-65 Tar Heels went on to win nine of their remaining 11 games. The following season they added Smith's breakthrough recruit, a swaggering forward from Pennsylvania named Larry Miller. Freed at last from NCAA purgatory, finally with a team of his own choosing, the coach began to put together something that, if it wasn't a system--he bristles at the word, for to him it connotes rigidity--did have a kind of daunting industrial strength.
Smith started to make a family of the players passing through his program, from which none would be entirely weaned. (His feistiness in showing his loyalty once caused Terry Holland, then Virginia's coach, to remark, "There's such a gap between the man and the image the man tries to project.") In keeping with the spirit of a time of social turbulence, Smith did his own groping and struggling, both personally and professionally. During the 1970s he divorced and remarried, and he was widely second-guessed for losses in which he ordered his team into the Four Corners too early. Given his nature, he did plenty of second-guessing himself. Rules remained at the foundation of his philosophy. But no rule was exempt from the test of reason, which would sometimes introduce a rule to its exception.
LARRY MILLER, forward, 1965-68:
CHARLIE HOAG, college teammate and fraternity brother:
GEORGE KARL, guard, 1969-73: