TEMPE, Ariz. — Arizona State men’s basketball coach Herb Sendek has filled the vacancies on his staff by bringing former NBA head coach Eric Musselman and NBA assistant Larry Greer into the Sun Devil program.
The coaches replace Scott Pera, who recently took an assistant position at the University of Pennsylvania, and Lamont Smith, who took a position at Washington.
Sendek said he and athletic director Steve Patterson, a former NBA front-office executive, specifically targeted NBA experience in the search process.
Musselman, a former NBA head coach for the Sacramento Kings and Golden State Warriors, comes to ASU after a successful season as head coach of the Los Angeles D-Fenders of the NBA Developmental League. The team went 38-12 and lost in the D-League Finals. Musselman coached the NBA’s Kings in 2006-07 and the Golden State Warriors from 2002 to 2004. He has a 108-138 career coaching record in the NBA.
Musselman also has international coaching experience with the Dominican Republic and Venezuelan national teams. This will be his first job in the college ranks.
“The pro game has been very good to me,” Musselman said, “but for the last five or six years I’ve had a great interest in trying to get into the right situation at the collegiate level, and a big reason I’m here is Coach Sendek and his reputation of being such a great x and o coach.”
Greer also boasts NBA experience after spending the last five seasons with the Portland Trail Blazers. He was an assistant on Nate McMillan’s staff last season after spending four years as an advance scout. He previously worked as a scout for the Houston Rockets under Jeff Van Gundy. In the college ranks, he has experience as an assistant at Wright State (2003-05) and Boston University (1994-2003).
“The best recommendation I can give to anyone is would I would hire them in a second if I was given the chance? If I got a job tomorrow Larry would be a call I would make,” Van Gundy said. “He is an ideal fit and a wonderful addition to Herb’s staff.”
Only associate head coach Dedrique Taylor returns from Sendek’s 2011-12 staff. The Sun Devils last season went 10-21 overall and 6-12 in the Pac-12 Conference. The coming season will be Sendek’s seventh as ASU’s coach. Sendek’s staff had been unchanged since 2008, when Smith came on board to replace Mark Phelps, who was hired as head coach at Drake.
“In talking to several people, it was clear to me Larry and Eric were great additions to the Sun Devil family because of unique backgrounds and a passion for the game,” Sendek said. “I love the fact Eric has coached at so many levels, including leagues where guys are trying to make the next step. Larry comes highly recommended by several people in the basketball world that I have a lot of faith in and are good friends with.”
Added Sendek: “For me personally, it’s like a kid at Christmas time. We spent Labor Day weekend over at the Weatherup Center talking basketball. And it was invigorating, it was fun, it was kind of like being a kid again at basketball camp. Today we introduced these guys to our players. They’re excited to be working with them and it’s really a great moment for Sun Devil basketball.”