Originally Posted by Max
1. really? Illinois had been to the NCAA tournament 10 times since 2000 (have been a top 4 seed 6 times and a 1 seed twice) made it to the Sweet 16 4 times since 2000 and in 2005 were national runners up. Does the program have some problems now, yea, but in most cases when you take over a program it is going to have some problems. If it didnt why did they fire the last coach?
2. What really makes a coach a big name is turning your school into a National power, look at Coach K. Spent 5 years at Army and then went to Duke. Duke had been to 8 NCAA tournaments before Coach K and have been to 28 since he got there. In fact the last time they missed the tournament was 1995. There is a reaason why most national powers are in major conferences.
You are kinda making my point for me when you say that turning your school into a national power is what makes a coach a big name. Shaka already has a good thing going at VCU and if he can keep winning, more better prospects will want to play for him there in the future. If it weren't for Shaka Smart (and Ben
) most people probably wouldn't even know what a VCU is.
Sure, he could go to a bigger school, but Illinois? They are hardly Duke, Kansas, or North Carolina. Sure, Illinois is bigger than VCU, and I understand that the 3 schools I mentioned don't need new coaches, but I don't see how Shaka would be better off there than at VCU. He is obviously happy with his situation, and he stands to gain more recognition by taking a smaller school to great heights than going to a bigger school where expectations are higher.
I totally understand your point, I just don't think Shaka really missed out on something by staying at VCU and tuning Illinois down. Now, if the New York Knicks, or any NBA team in need of a new coach came calling, or a really big time NCAA program came calling with a blank check, then I would agree with you.