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Shaka Smart          

Head Men's Basketball Coach at University of Texas

Shaka Smart was born April 8, 1977 and is an American college basketball coach, and the current head coach of the Virginia Commonwealth University Rams men's basketball program. Before accepting the job at VCU, Smart served as an assistant coach of both the Clemson Tigers and Florida Gators men's basketball programs.

VCU hired Smart to be the head coach in the spring of 2009 after the previous coach, Anthony Grant, left to become the head coach of the Alabama Crimson Tide men's basketball team. Smart's hire made him the 10th youngest head coach in Division I. In his first season, he led the Rams to a 27–10 season and a CBI Championship after VCU swept St. Louis in the championship best of three series.

Smart's second season began with forward Larry Sanders declaring for the 2010 NBA Draft after his junior season. Sanders' selection by the Milwaukee Bucks with the 15th pick made VCU the first school in the Commonwealth of Virginia to have a player selected in the first round of the NBA Draft in consecutive years, as the Utah Jazz had selected guard Eric Maynor with the 20th pick in the 2009 NBA Draft. The Rams under Smart went 23–11 in the 2010–2011 season. Smart led the Rams to their second consecutive Colonial Athletic Association Championship Game, where they fell to Old Dominion.

Despite not securing the automatic bid, VCU earned an at-large bid to the Southwest region of the 2011 NCAA Tournament. His coaching strategy, positive outlook, and patience helped VCU upset the 6th-seeded Georgetown Hoyas and 3rd-seeded Purdue Boilermakers to advance to the Sweet 16 in the NCAA Tournament for the first time in school history. VCU won 72–71 against Florida State University to earn the school's first spot in the Elite Eight and subsequently defeated the University of Kansas 71–61 for their first Final Four appearance.

Smart's teams play a style of basketball known as "havoc." Smart described his "havoc" defensive philosophy during his introductory press conference as, "We are going to wreak havoc on our opponent's psyche and their plan of attack." On the court, the "havoc" defensive mindset is visible through the heavy use of the full court press and pressing after made baskets to disrupt opponents' timing of offensive sets. In his second season, VCU led the Colonial Athletic Association in steals. Offensively, Smart-coached teams play uptempo and push the ball after misses and makes with what Smart describes as "The freedom to make plays in the open court."


Older » Shaka Smart's new contract at Virginia Commonwealth

For Shaka Smart, he has both at Virginia Commonwealth. On October 11th, Smart signed a new contract with VCU -- different from the one he signed this past ...

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