Given that Shaka Smart is going to join CBS’ tournament coverage starting tomorrow, there’s a strong likelihood of him showing his hand today, otherwise that’d be a pretty big matzoh ball with Ernie, Seth and company. This could be the first of multiple posts today. I’m not optimistic, but it could be worse – we could be Nebraska.
Shaka Smart: Here’s Seth Davis reiterating his statement about Illinois being a top ten job and kinda sorta saying Smart should take it, but not sharing any actual information. It’s noteworthy that he denied Nebraska, but has been silent on Illinois. I’m still hung up on yesterday’s “unless something changes within 24 hours” notion, which would indicate to me that negotiations are still going on. I suppose he could have said “I really need to take a timeout and do some soul-searching on this” but come on – if you’re a college coach, you’ve thought about what your future holds and where you want to go. Does he really want to be the Mark Few of the East? Noble, I guess, but Mark Few has coached at one place, ever, and that place is Gonzaga. Smart was at six different schools from 1999-2009, so I’m not sure why he’s suddenly being held up as this High Priest of the Church of Mid-Major Loyalty. I’ll leave it to Herb to clear things up:
#shaka watch: `Nothing is or isn’t done,’ source close to VCU program told me this morning.
— Herb Gould (@HerbGould) March 21, 2012
Ah. I see.
Frank Martin is getting some unpublished buzz. If you recall, when this search started, I termed him the Mike Leach Candidate. I am on board with this – he’s punched above his weight at KSU (117-53!) and his teams, especially the ones featuring Jacob Pullen, were tougher than nails and fun to watch. He’ll also be in-studio for CBS.
Anthony Grant doesn’t look like he wants to be the second option:
While Shaka Smart remains in limbo, a source says that Alabama’s Anthony Grant has no interest in the Illinois job.
— stu durando (@studurando) March 21, 2012
Again, not an actual statement, so it’s hard to say he’s totally off the table, but tough break – my Grant fandom is well-documented.
Leonard Hamilton apparently is not interested in the job, according to Andy Katz, but also declined to comment publicly, so he’s not officially out.