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Old 03-21-2012, 07:36 PM
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Default Report: Shaka Smart rejects Illinois

AND THERE WAS MUCH REJOICING IN RICHMOND!!!!

http://espn.go.com/chicago/ncb/story...turns-illinois
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VCU coach Shaka Smart turned down Illinois' offer to become its men's basketball coach, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

Smart, 34, had been Illinois' top choice to replace Bruce Weber, who was fired March 9.

The Sun-Times cited multiple anonymous sources saying Smart informed Illinois athletic director Mike Thomas of his decision.

Illinois is one of three Big Ten schools never to have a minority football or men's basketball head coach, and Thomas recently talked about the importance of diversity in this hire.

"For me as it falls under my job description, it's really about hiring the best basketball coach," Thomas said March 9 on "Chicago's Gamenight" on ESPN 1000. "But in saying that, it's also my job to make sure we have a quality pool and a diversified pool. We gotta have some diversity. It's gotta be a pool of strong candidates. But at the end of the day, it's my job to get the best basketball coach for the University of Illinois."

Smart was an assistant coach at Akron when Thomas was the athletic director there.

Illinois also has contacted Simeon Career Academy coach Robert Smith about the job, although it was not a formal interview, according to a source. Some believed Smith would be an effective assistant coach to recruit the Chicago area -- he recently won his state-record fifth state title -- but a source said he's only interested in being the head coach.
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Old 03-22-2012, 04:00 AM
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AND THERE WAS MUCH REJOICING IN RICHMOND!!!!

http://espn.go.com/chicago/ncb/story...turns-illinois
I wonder why he doesnt want to leave VCU. You would think that he, like most coaches, would want to take the job that would give him the best chance to win a national championship. I would think that at illinois he would be able to get better players than he would at VCU. Maybe he really likes the underdog role and feels he does his best coaching when in that position
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Old 03-22-2012, 02:02 PM
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I wonder why he doesnt want to leave VCU. You would think that he, like most coaches, would want to take the job that would give him the best chance to win a national championship. I would think that at illinois he would be able to get better players than he would at VCU. Maybe he really likes the underdog role and feels he does his best coaching when in that position

He's in a city he loves at an institution he loves coaching a team he loves. He knows full well that the grass isn't always greener. Look at the last 3 coaches to leave the CAA: Capel goes to OU, has a terrible record after Blake Griffin & gets run out of town to go back to being an assistant; Anthony Grant goes to Bama & his teams on about the same footing as we are (plus, now that Shaka's turned them down, Grant is one of Illinois' fall-back options); Jim Laranaga goes to Miami & has to spend the whole season trying to through mid-majors under the bus in the hopes of getting his team into the NCAA, but instead they lose in the 2nd round of the NIT.

So there's 3 guys who left a mid-major to go to a bigger name school that would allow them to get better players & have a better shot to win the national championship, yet two of them are doing far worse than Shaka/VCU & the other one is a step behind him (not just a second choice, but exiting the Big Dance a round sooner this year).

Also, consider this: all of the schools are recognized as being top programs had to start somewhere & that start was always an amazing coach deciding to dig in & develop the program. When you’re always seen as a stepping stone to the next school, your program will never truly grow. We’ve been lucky to have good coaches get their start with us, but now we’re even luckier to have a great coach committing to us. Since the turn of the millennium, we’ve never had a coach spend more than 4yrs in Richmond but for the first time, it looks like we’ve got someone who wants to bring us to the next level as opposed to springing himself to the next level.

Listen, max, I get it: you’re an ODU fan & need to find a flaw in Shaka, so you try to portray him as being soft or scared of the bigger stage. That’s fine, tell yourself what you need to. But just bear this in mind: Of the team that (for the first time in 8yrs) swept our regular season series, only one of the is graduating & 6 of them will be hear for another 6yrs. We’ve got an even better recruiting class coming in (including the younger brother of our only senior, who is touted to be even better) and from here on out, these are all players who Shaka brought in specifically for Havoc, not Anthony Grant’s players he was able to convert amazingly well. Life is only going to get harder as a Monarch.

O, & if Shaka’s scared because he’s not going to the bigger stage after 3yrs in the CAA, what’s it say about Blaine Taylor being stuck at ODU for ten? Our coach is getting calls from the big schools & choosing to stay with us. Yours is telling people he’s ready to move on but no one’s interested.
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Old 03-22-2012, 06:23 PM
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He's in a city he loves at an institution he loves coaching a team he loves. He knows full well that the grass isn't always greener. Look at the last 3 coaches to leave the CAA: Capel goes to OU, has a terrible record after Blake Griffin & gets run out of town to go back to being an assistant; Anthony Grant goes to Bama & his teams on about the same footing as we are (plus, now that Shaka's turned them down, Grant is one of Illinois' fall-back options); Jim Laranaga goes to Miami & has to spend the whole season trying to through mid-majors under the bus in the hopes of getting his team into the NCAA, but instead they lose in the 2nd round of the NIT.

So there's 3 guys who left a mid-major to go to a bigger name school that would allow them to get better players & have a better shot to win the national championship, yet two of them are doing far worse than Shaka/VCU & the other one is a step behind him (not just a second choice, but exiting the Big Dance a round sooner this year).

Also, consider this: all of the schools are recognized as being top programs had to start somewhere & that start was always an amazing coach deciding to dig in & develop the program. When you’re always seen as a stepping stone to the next school, your program will never truly grow. We’ve been lucky to have good coaches get their start with us, but now we’re even luckier to have a great coach committing to us. Since the turn of the millennium, we’ve never had a coach spend more than 4yrs in Richmond but for the first time, it looks like we’ve got someone who wants to bring us to the next level as opposed to springing himself to the next level.

Listen, max, I get it: you’re an ODU fan & need to find a flaw in Shaka, so you try to portray him as being soft or scared of the bigger stage. That’s fine, tell yourself what you need to. But just bear this in mind: Of the team that (for the first time in 8yrs) swept our regular season series, only one of the is graduating & 6 of them will be hear for another 6yrs. We’ve got an even better recruiting class coming in (including the younger brother of our only senior, who is touted to be even better) and from here on out, these are all players who Shaka brought in specifically for Havoc, not Anthony Grant’s players he was able to convert amazingly well. Life is only going to get harder as a Monarch.

O, & if Shaka’s scared because he’s not going to the bigger stage after 3yrs in the CAA, what’s it say about Blaine Taylor being stuck at ODU for ten? Our coach is getting calls from the big schools & choosing to stay with us. Yours is telling people he’s ready to move on but no one’s interested.
I was not trying to find a flaw with Shaka at all, I think he is an amazing coach, I just found it strange that he would not want to take a step up in schools thats all. I would also find it strange if Taylor got offered the Illinois job and said no. My statement had nothing to do with the fact that I went to ODU, I would have made the same statement had any coach turned down a top level coaching job to stay at a mid major. In fact I'm waiting for the day when Bobby Wilder, ODU's football coach, leaves ODU to go coach at a bigger school. Great coaches need to be at schools that give them the best chance at winning and that is a school in a major conference. If VCU had plans to move to the Big East it would make sense for Shaka to stay but no scool in the CAA is going to be able to draw the type of talent to be able to contend with schools like UNC, Duke, Kansas, Kentucky, Ohio State, Missouri, Michigan State and half the Big East year in and year out.
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Old 03-22-2012, 06:57 PM
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I was not trying to find a flaw with Shaka at all, I think he is an amazing coach, I just found it strange that he would not want to take a step up in schools thats all. I would also find it strange if Taylor got offered the Illinois job and said no. My statement had nothing to do with the fact that I went to ODU, I would have made the same statement had any coach turned down a top level coaching job to stay at a mid major. In fact I'm waiting for the day when Bobby Wilder, ODU's football coach, leaves ODU to go coach at a bigger school. Great coaches need to be at schools that give them the best chance at winning and that is a school in a major conference. If VCU had plans to move to the Big East it would make sense for Shaka to stay but no scool in the CAA is going to be able to draw the type of talent to be able to contend with schools like UNC, Duke, Kansas, Kentucky, Ohio State, Missouri, Michigan State and half the Big East year in and year out.

OK, Max, sure. My bad. You’re an unbiased observer who’s never dogged on VCU every chance you get around here, sorry if I misrepresented your history. Do me a favor, though, & actually pay attention to my post as a whole: a big name doesn’t mean a big opportunity, it can just be a big mess. Why would he abandon the 3yrs of hard work he’s put in here at VCU getting right on the cusp of being a household name & perennial bracket-buster (like Gonzaga did back in the 90s) just to step into a big spotlight with a program that’s in shambles. He had to decide between a community that loves him with only upside in front of him and a way riskier spotlight with much less room for error. He’s learning from the mistake of others. I wouldn’t have faulted him for moving on (it’s part of the life of being a mid-major fan), but I think he made the smarter decision.
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Old 03-22-2012, 07:15 PM
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I think he made the smarter decision.
Was it the Shaka Smarter decision?



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Old 03-22-2012, 09:20 PM
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OK, Max, sure. My bad. You’re an unbiased observer who’s never dogged on VCU every chance you get around here, sorry if I misrepresented your history. Do me a favor, though, & actually pay attention to my post as a whole: a big name doesn’t mean a big opportunity, it can just be a big mess. Why would he abandon the 3yrs of hard work he’s put in here at VCU getting right on the cusp of being a household name & perennial bracket-buster (like Gonzaga did back in the 90s) just to step into a big spotlight with a program that’s in shambles. He had to decide between a community that loves him with only upside in front of him and a way riskier spotlight with much less room for error. He’s learning from the mistake of others. I wouldn’t have faulted him for moving on (it’s part of the life of being a mid-major fan), but I think he made the smarter decision.
Ive dogged VCU once and that was because I felt there were 3 teams that were more deserving than VCU last year. I said congrats to you this year when you made your post. You on the other hand called me a MF_ER when VCU made it to the final 4 last year and this year when you made your post you felt the need to say you wished VCU could have beaten ODU 3 times even though you and I had not talked once about basketball this entire season. IMO if a coach is truly elite he is going to win when he takes that step up in competition. Alabama was 6-7 before Saban got there, in his second year they went 12-2. (he has won 2 national titles at the school) Florida was 7-5 the year before Meyer got there, national title second year there. Kentucky missed the tournament the year before Calipari, went to the Elite Eight in his first year. Elite coaches will win where ever they go, they are the ones that make the grass greener on the other side, and IMO Shaka is an elite coach.

You did answer my question though as to why he may not want to take the position. He might feel at home in richmond or it might be the fact that he wants to see what his system can do once its filled with player who were recruited for his system.
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Old 03-22-2012, 06:04 PM
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I wonder why he doesnt want to leave VCU. You would think that he, like most coaches, would want to take the job that would give him the best chance to win a national championship.
LOL, going to Illinois isn't much of an upgrade IMO. Actually, taking a team like VCU to the big stage and changing the culture at a smaller program is going to make more of a name for yourself than going to a bigger school with higher expectations.
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Old 03-22-2012, 07:16 PM
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He's in a city he loves at an institution he loves coaching a team he loves.
Like Mark Few.

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Actually, taking a team like VCU to the big stage and changing the culture at a smaller program is going to make more of a name for yourself than going to a bigger school with higher expectations.
Mike Price comes to mind. He's living proof that the grass isn't always greener, as Ben mentioned.
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Old 03-22-2012, 08:13 PM
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1. LOL, going to Illinois isn't much of an upgrade IMO.

2. Actually, taking a team like VCU to the big stage and changing the culture at a smaller program is going to make more of a name for yourself than going to a bigger school with higher expectations.
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.
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