On Episode 79 of our In The Paint Podcast, co-hosts Ronnie Flores and Devin Ugland discuss the impact Lute Olson and John Thompson had on college basketball and beyond.
Click the play button below to listen!
Olson, who passed away on August 27th at the age of 85, was the longtime coach at the University of Arizona, where he served as the program’s leader from 1983 to 2007, amassing a 589-187 record, including a 1997 National Championship. Prior to Arizona, Olson was the head coach at Iowa for nine seasons and Long Beach State for one season.
Thompson, who passed away on August 30th at the age of 78, led the Georgetown University basketball program for 27 years. Thompson compiled a 596-239 overall record, including a National Title victory in 1984. Aside from his basketball accomplishments, Thompson’s program had an impressive 97 percent graduation rate.
Our guests for this episode are former college and professional players who played and/or were recruited by Olson or Thompson. First, longtime NBA player and current Pacific head coach Damon Stoudamire joins and shares stories of how Olson recruited him and helped develop him into an NBA point guard.
Second, Evric Gray, who played three seasons at UNLV, hops on as a guy who was heavily recruited to Georgetown by Thompson. Gray gives us an inside look at how important of a figure Thompson was and tells an interesting story of where Thompson extended his offer.
Lastly, former University of Arizona guard Reggie Geary comes on the show to go in-depth on why Olson was able to have such a successful career across multiple decades.