Tulane basketball rebounding under Mike Dunleavy

Mike Dunleavy played on the first Spurs basketball team I ever covered.

He came off the bench in the 1982-83 season, when the Silver and Black won 53 games and advanced to the NBA’s Western Conference finals.

In the wake of his playing career, Dunleavy became an NBA head coach for more than 20 years, working for four franchises, notably the Los Angeles Lakers.

Last year, he surprised some by taking a job at Tulane of the American Athletic Conference.

Tulane won six games last season in a difficult first year in New Orleans, but the Green Wave have since started to raise some eyebrows.

Thursday night, they knocked off the SMU Mustangs, 73-70.

People took notice because SMU was a 30-win, NCAA team from last year, and it’s a good bet that the Mustangs will play in the national tournament again this year.

Here’s a story from the New Orleans Advocate on the victory.

I haven’t checked all 351 NCAA Division I programs, but I do know that Dunleavy is one of at least four former Spurs players coaching at that level.

The others, that I know of, are Avery Johnson at Alabama, Larry Krystkowiak at Utah and Johnny Dawkins at UCF.