I'm sure the Illini will be watching Shaka very closely during the Tourney this year.
Illinois athletic director Mike Thomas is expected to go after VCU's Shaka Smart to be the next coach. The two men once worked together at Akron.
That would be an exciting hire for them, no doubt. I wonder if Smart has any ties to Illinois (the state). The Illini won't be his only option, I have to believe.
I do not believe he is going anywhere, however things could change. He has ties to Chicago which he views sort of as his second hometown but that is where his ties end. Champagne is 140 miles away from Chicago and from what I've heard isn't an amazing city, perhaps quite the opposite. Shaka has said repeatedly he is happy where he is, and that more importantly, his wife is really happy. They just had a daughter and he doesn't seem like the kind of guy who is looking to bolt.
Here is a recent interview with Smart if any of you guys are interested. He is saying all the right things and I see no reason not to belive him.
His interview starts at the 42:25 mark
The Illinois job is considerably better than the ones he turned down last year though, which makes it a little more interesting. I mean, Bruce Weber wasn't considered a great recruiter and Illinois still pulled top 15 recruiting classes the last few years. If Smart keeps Jerrance Howard (who is a Friend Of Wes) around he'll have zero problems recruting the Chicago area -- he'll actually do better than Weber did there in all likelihood.
I think those two jobs are on the same level except that Maryland won a National title. NC State is also more prestigious. Shaka Smart is a great and relentless recruiter so recruiting should not be a problem wherever he ends up. Another big part is that Smart needs to get guys that will committ to pressing after every made basket. His "Havoc" style is not for everyone and recruiting higher profiled players comes with more attitude and selfishness. Smart has repeatedly said the grass is not always greener on the other side.
I totally disagree about Maryland and NC State. Maybe ten years ago for Maryland, but not now. And not NC State since Jimmy V died. Neither of those schools have been relevent in a decade.
Illinois has a much stronger athletic department than either of those schools, fewer recruiting obstacles and a better conference with the BTN. I bet Illinois can pay more, too.
I don't know much about Shaka Smart, but money talks, and wives generally speaking, like money.
Yeah Champaign is kinda dull, but Urbana whoa daddy, Urabana is kinda like Paris in the heartland of the USA. At least that is what they will tell Mrs. Smart.
Money talks and bullshit walks...
VCU has shown that they are willing to pay him and he is not the type of person that will leave just because of money. NC State offered double what VCU is paying him (which is 1.2 million annually, not including incentives). Also, Richmond is not some terrible city in its own right and Ms. Smart is a Harvard grad herself so she knows what she likes aswell.
If not this season than next. He's one of, if not the hottest commodity out there right now. VCU is never going to pay him as much as a high major would.
In addition, there's no guarantee that his success at VCU would have continued. VCU was a bubble team this year that managed to win their tourney and lock up an auto bid. There's no guarantee of continued success, and as previously mentioned, he's the hottest commodity out there right now, his stock is peaking.
As a cautionary tale, look at Brad Stevens and Butler. They didn't make the tourney this year in a not so great Horizon league, and while I would bet that many teams would be happy to poach him, how do you think they will feel if Butler misses the tourney next year as well?
I'm not saying that he should go to Illinois, but he's going to have his pick of the openings this year. I don't see him saying no if Calhoun retired and the UConn position opened up.
that he will never leave it's just that now is not the time. One senior is graduating from a team that just won their conference tournament. The team will be stacked next year, in addition to a very solid recruiting class coming in. I think he'll stick around for at least another year and then take a higher major job. Until then, VCU will compensate him fairely.
Another point about Brad Stevens and Smart. They're both incredibly young. There is no sense of urgency for them to take these high major jobs. They have safe jobs now and they'll have time to impress again if they fall short of expectations one or two years in a row.
Here's the flip side. SIU was nationally ranked and made the Sweet Sixteen, then tailspinned and never recovered. Now their HC is fired and will probably have to do a complete rebuild at another mid/low major in order to even work his way back up.
I'll reiterate that Shaka Smart is probably at the peak or very near it in terms of his percieved value, there's probably nothing short of a final 4 run that would increase that value (which, let's face it, probably won't happen). I'd argue that Stevens's stock has been depressed this year with Butler struggling. Perception can be a fickle thing.
Totally agree regarding the city of Champagne. I visited there in hs when i was applying to colleges, and they were high on my list of schools because of their engineering program, but I didn't even apply after i visited the campus. It's extremely boring, everything is spread apart, and surrounded by endless miles of nothing. Not the best college campus.
what would a realistic figure be for Smart to accept?
that it is hard to believe but this guy is not about the money. He'll leave when he thinks the time is right and I can assure you he won't go to the highest bidder. He is recieving 1.2 Million /year at VCU and that is below what the market had demanded.
what does the football coach get?
anytime anyone says its not about the money...
$2m per for 6 years is a very good argument
which is another thing he likes, a total commitment to basketball. NC State offered him a little more than 2 million a year for a number of years last year, and he turned it down
if he accepted the NC state job he would be mark dantonio
behind Duke, N.C.
Yikes. Shaka Smart with a higher level talent base to recruit from sounds kinda intimidating...
Smart's only been a head coach for three years, and he did not have to build up the VCU program (his two predecessors there were also very successful and moved on to bigger jobs). He's not necessarily a sure thing.
I actually played high school ball with Shaka at Oregon, WI. He was always a super driven guy that worked harder than anyone else even though he had limited size and jumping ability.
I really can't see him not wanting the Illinios job if he's up for it. He's a smart guy and it's pretty cool to see him doing so well.
Just one quick story about Shaka.... We would play pickup games all summer up in Madison and he would always be calling these ticky-tack fouls that no one else would EVER call in a pickup game. He had a break-away layup one time and I was the only one back. He tried to take it right up in my face and I just absoloutly stuffed him (i'm 6'4" and could jump back then) and he was all "foul"... He was a senior and I a sophomore so I was pretty pissed. A couple plays later I got a break-away and he was back. I dunked on him with two hands knocked him on his butt and I was all "foul?".. Anyway that's what I'll always remember about Shaka.
At the end of each season, a number of jobs open up. If you don't think Michigan assistants are going to be big targets, you're crazy.
Although I am certain Bacari Alexander will be a HC on the college level, I don't think it will be next season. I think Bacari sticks around at least one more season in order to get to work with Mitch McGary.
I bet he is already eating Captain Crunch in his underwear.
Solid Gold Baller.
was actually doing that on the bench yesterday, but I think it was actually Crunch Berries.
Whateva - Peanut Butter Crunch is where it's at.
needs to get their mind right. Peanut Butter Crunch is a top 10 cereal and that's a fact.
Damn you, anonymous interweb.
2. Strawberry Frosted Mini Wheats
3. Golden Grahams
4. Cinnamin Toast Crunch
5. Lucky Charms
6. Rice Crispies with excessive sugar
7. Cocoa Pebbles
8. Standard Frosted Min-Wheats
9. Raisin Bran with light sugar and bananas
10. Fruit Loops
It doesn't crack the top ten, maybe a top twenty cereal, but not top 10 (I didn't neg him though)
While I agree that PB Crunch is not a top 10 cereal, your top 10 lookes like that of a 5 year old. You better watch out for the diabeetus with all that sugar.
I'm a standard Cheerios or Special K kind of guy, or Rice Crispies (no sugar needed, the taste is already great). I can get on board with Honey Nut Cheerios or Fruit Loops though.
Steel-cut oats. Bob's Red Mill seven grain.
Man am I out of place here.
1. Waffle Crisp 2. Cinnamon Toast Crunch 3. Lucky Charms 4. Cap'n Crunch: Crunch Berries 5. Golden Grahams 6. Cocoa Puffs 7. Fruity Pebbles 8. Reese's Peanut Butter Puffs 9. Apple Cinnamon Cheerio's 10. Oh's
Don't argue with this. I know breakfast cereal like TheMathlete knows the order of operations, like Brian knows how to turn a phrase, and like Temendous knows recruiting.
THE KNOWLEDGE of the morning meal...
I won't acknowledge a list that doesn't have cinnamon life on it. As a freshman in the dorms, that was all 6 meals of the day.
Cereal bracket anybody? I like the 13 seed Frosted Mini Wheats over the 4 seed Froot Loops. FMW have a solid foundation of nutrition and flavor and have the fiber to knock out the Loops.
and I'm going with FMW as well in any battle over those Froot Loops. BucWheats (RIP) could've whipped all their asses, if it hadn't disappeared from store shelves. Lucky Charms rules them all, with the Crunch trio coming in 2/3/4. Stay away from the new Krave things, though - I think they just fired their coach. Couldn't finish a bowl of it, it was so bad.
Farewell to the many faces of Bruce
that it's good.
Bruce Weber, Ron Zook and GERG are going to start a men's only club called "Silvers' ". It will be a cash cow and there is only one requirement for admission.
That's right, baby. Our cruisers can't repel mane of that magnitude.
Concentrate all fire on Zook's rockin hairdo.
this has been a terrible year for illinois. both football and bball started out so promising, and then just fell apart.
It is both one of the most overrated jobs and underrated jobs in America. If you're the new coach there, you have to claim Chicago, and do it fast. I would play every "home" game when your students are on break at the United Center, try to get 6-7 per season there. Otherwise it is a recruiting wasteland...Champaign is really in the middle of nowhere.
Also not to troll, but this is not "OT," as it deals with a B1G team and a regular Michigan opponent.
I don't think exposure is Illinois's problem in Chicago; they cleaned up in Chicago when Henson was coaching and they played fewer games in the city then than now. The problem is that Weber was neither connected enough nor dirty enough to recruit the city.
Who's surprised by this one? Anyone? Bueller?
Expensive offseason for the Illini. Replacing head coaches for both football and basketball. makes me appreciate the situation we are in with great coaches in both sports.
I was lucky enough to be in Champaign for grad school in the middle of Illinos' 2004-05 run. Weber was a by-the-book type guy who succumbed to the pressure to recruit big names at the expense of his own system. He'll be happier at a mid-major
No one would be the least bit surprised to see him right back at Southern Illinois.
Which team quit on their coach more emphatically? Michigan against Mississippi State last year in football or Illinois against a horrible Nebraska team in basketball this year?
At least the bowl game fiasco was at the very end of the year. Illinois quit with like a month to go in the season.
the Womens BBall coach Jolette Law was fired several days ago as well . . . new AD is cleaning house like a MOFO!!
Q: So, coach Weber, what was your major accomplishment at Illinois?
A: Getting to the championship game with a team my predecessor recruited.
Ehhhhhh. . . . not so good.
At least he can say he got to a title game, most coaches can't.
grass is green
Smart would be a great hire because he should be able to recruit the chicago/midwest well and, unlike Weber, actually can coach. And if Illinois is able to recover from the Weber debacle, then the Big 1G may be the best basketball conference in America.
My old hometown of Carbondale Illinois, as well as, my undergrad alma mater Southern Illinois Salukis will be extending an offer for Weber to return. They just recently fired coach Chris Lowery, which was a poor coaching choice in the first place, and have been licking her chops for Illinois to fire Weber. Weber took the Salukis to the sweet 16 while he was there. SIU lost their next head coach to the big 10 as well with Matt Painter going to Purdue. Overall, Weber did pretty well at SIU, so I wouldn't mind seeing him go back.
So they aren't counting on making the NIT? I would have thought he got to coach a couple more games. Oh well. Maybe now he can take the time to get a throat lozenge.
Kids can come in, get mad with coach and damn near give up on him, and the AD decides to fire the coach.
There's much more to it than that (i.e. he recruited the kids!), but I half-feel bad for Coach Weber; he was a good guy and a pretty good coach when he had the right bunch.
Multiple sources saying Nebraska will also be looking for a new coach; press conference in Lincoln w/ Osborne at 4:30.
Anyone else think that Bruce's daughter was hot? Saw her during the press conference. Not bad.