If you were one of the best college basketball coaches in the nation and you were stuck at a mid-major school, wouldn’t you want to take a higher-paying job at a more prestigious school? Shaka Smart is in that exact position right now, trying to decide if he wants to stay loyal to the VCU Rams and settle for another season in which a Final Four would be a surprise.
Smart, 36, is already considered one of the best young coaches in college basketball after just five years as the head man in charge at VCU.
In his first season as a head coach with the Rams, Smart’s team recorded 27 wins and so it began. A Shaka-coached VCU team has never recorded less than 26 wins in a season, including this year, and he has even led the underdog Rams to a Final Four.
While he never won a regular season conference title, Smart has made the most with a program that would otherwise go unnoticed.
It had been reported early on Monday afternoon that Smart was close to take the job with the Marquette Golden Eagles, ending the team’s search for a replacement of Buzz Williams who bolted for Virginia Tech just a week earlier.
Since that rumor was leaked, it has been rumored that a deal is not as close as people think, but still likely:
Shaka turned down UCLA, remember. RT @jerrymeyer247: Hearing from multiple sources that Shaka Smart to Marquette is after all very likely
— Nick Baumgardner (@nickbaumgardner) March 24, 2014
It will be interesting to see if Smart takes the job at Marquette, seeing as he turned down the Illinois Fighting Illini and, even more prestigious, the UCLA Bruins head coaching positions a year ago. Marquette is, however, closer to home as Smart is originally from Madison, Wis.
Whoever ends up with Smart as their head coach will be in for some serious success in the near future.
Connor Muldowney is the Content Associate for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @Connormuldowney, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google. You can also reach him at email@example.com.