Marquette, Wake Forest Pursuing Shaka Smart


NCAA Basketball Tournament - First Four - Dayton

Another NCAA tournament is upon us, and that means another year of college programs trying to purge Shaka Smart away from VCU.

This time according to Jeff Goodman, Marquette and Wake Forest are courting the talented head coach.

Marquette is without a  coach after Buzz Williams left for Virginia Tech last week after a six-year run that included five NCAA tournament appearances.

Smart, 36, is a Wisconsin native who grew up just outside of Madison.

Marquette has also reached out to several other candidates, according to sources — including ex-UCLA coach Ben Howland.

Wake Forest firedJeff Bzdelik after four seasons. The Demon Deacons only draw is playing in the supposed best conference in America, the ACC.

Smart completed his fifth season as the head coach at VCU and is 137-46 in his tenure.

The Rams finished 26-9 this past season and were 12-4 in the A-10 before losing to Stephen F. Austin in the second round of the NCAA tournament last week.

It’s kind of hard to try and talk a guy out of leaving a program that is actually more successful than the one you are courting him for.

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  1. VCU is more successful this year, but Marquette over the long term has had much more success and history with its basketball program than VCU. (Marquette also has one of the top fan bases in the country.) I think the issue with Shaka Smart, is unlike Buzz Williams, he has integrity and would have a real issue with abandoning the team who gave him a chance and let him earn a name for himself.

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