The basketball community lost an iconic, innovative and revolutionary coach Saturday evening, as the great Dean Smith passed away. Smith, who was 83, might be one of the most influential forces on the game, including his famous "four corner" offense that resulted in the implementation of the shot clock in college basketball.
After word came out this morning of Smith's passing, the Maryland community turned back to their ACC roots to remember the legendary coach who either knew, were influenced by or coached/played against Smith during his time at North Carolina.
Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon reflected on Smith's passing and talked about how the former coach influenced his coaching career:
It's a sad day for basketball we lost an all time great coach, teacher, role model, innovator, & just a great human being in Dean Smith.— Mark Turgeon (@CoachTurgeon) February 8, 2015
As a Kansan & Jayhawk I've always admired Dean Smith. He had a huge impact on me & my life through mentoring @LarryBrownSMU & Roy Williams.— Mark Turgeon (@CoachTurgeon) February 8, 2015
Thank you Coach Smith for showing us how it should be done.— Mark Turgeon (@CoachTurgeon) February 8, 2015
Maryland legend Len Elmore weighed in on Dean's passing:
"Basketball is a beautiful game when the five players on the court play with one heartbeat" – Dean Smith 1931-2015 pic.twitter.com/XuTAUltzqR— Brad Autry (@BradAutry) February 8, 2015
To those who whine the college game is unwatchable remember #deansmith's 5 players, 1 heartbeat analogy. The game is more than dunks and 3s— Len Elmore (@LenElmore) February 8, 2015
Maryland alumnus and ESPN personality Scott Van Pelt reflected on Smith:
Hard to articulate what it felt like walking into Cole on a cold winter night knowing your team had to face Dean Smith. He was a titan. RIP— Scott Van Pelt (@notthefakeSVP) February 8, 2015
Former Maryland coaching great Lefty Driesell reflected on Dean, who he faced a number of times:
Rest in peace, Dean Smith.