RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) – The Shaka Smart sweepstakes is once again the talk of college basketball. Even before the Rams lost to Indiana University Saturday night in the NCAA tournament, college basketball writers were already discussing the possibility of Smart leaving VCU for a school in a larger basketball conference.
One of the first schools mentioned for Smart’s services was the University of Illinois. The Big 10 school, and runner up in the 2005 NCAA tournament, fired its head coach Bruce Webber after a 17-15 record this season.
Smart has never mentioned leaving VCU for a larger school. At least one school, was reportedly interested in hiring him after last season’s run to the Final Four, yet Smart remained at VCU (albeit with a new contract that paid him north of $1,000,000 a year.)
What would it cost a school to secure Smart for its sideline next season?
ESPN college basketball analyst Fran Fraschilla told oregonlive.com Smart can be patient as he plans his future in coaching.
“He’s an extremely intelligent guy,” Fraschilla said. “He realizes he has the best job in his league (Colonial Athletic Association). He’s being compensated at a high level and he’s only in his 30s. He can be patient.” [Read more]