The VCU Rams have built a very strong basketball program under the leadership of Shaka Smart. Even though the Rams play in a mid-major type of conference (A-10), the media and fans treat them as if they play in a power-conference. The days of being in a one-bid league, playing with no national spotlight and going unnoticed are all but gone. The Rams, however, may start becoming a victim of their own success.
According to some small rumblings, a top Rams assistant coach, Mike Rhoades, may be the apple of the Florida International Panthers‘ eye. Rhoades, who is only 40, has been involved with college hoops for just over 10 years — albeit, most of them at much lower levels of competition.
The thought of bringing in another young, energetic coach to the fold might be too good for the Panthers to pass up. Florida International is looking for a new coach after Richard Pitino left for a bigger program, the Minnesota Golden Gophers. Since FIU has already show the ability to hire young, bringing in Rhoades wouldn’t exactly be a shock.
Kentucky Wildcats assistant, Orlando Antigua, is also a name that seems to be on a lot of lips for the job as well. Antigua has 10 years of experience on a major-college level. For Antigua, however, the job would be unlikely to bring a pay raise and will only result in earning some extra power.
The Miami Herald has reported that FIU seeks advice from an unofficial committee on such matters. The fake-committee comprises Rick Pitino and Billy Donovan — both of whom have had stellar college careers, obviously.