Shaka Smart
AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall

Are We Sure That Shaka Smart Was A Smart Hire For Marquette?

Shaka Smart has been hired as the head coach for Marquette that plays in the Big East. I have to be slightly concerned for this team. This isn’t me saying that Shaka Smart isn’t or couldn’t be a good coach but I think he is completely unproven. Sure, in 2011, he took VCU to the Final Four. That could have been because of his coaching or just the team itself because what has he done since then? With VCU or Texas, he never made it past the Round of 32 after that Final Four run with VCU. It was a risky hire for Texas when they hired him in 2015. He had (still does have) loads of potential, it just hasn’t come to fruition yet.

Maybe the Big 12 was just too much for Shaka. The highest he got in the conference was 3rd. His last two years were considered the best ones with Texas and there’s nothing to show for it. His last straw with Texas is when Texas lost to Abilene Christian in the 2021 NCAA Tournament. Texas was smart (punny) to go after in-state rival head coach Chris Beard. With Beard, I think this Texas team will be dangerous next year after many great runs that Beard had with Texas Tech.

Marquette is a little bit of a smaller school than Texas in a weaker conference. Shaka Smart should be able to really prove himself there. VCU played in too small of a conference and I think Texas played in too big of conference for Shaka. With the Big East, there is competition in there, but not too much that Shaka can’t make some noise for himself. Marquette was 3rd to last in their conference standings. So the only way Shaka Smart can go is up. Smart is only 43, and still has loads of potential to be a great coach. Marquette was a smart (Punny again, too good) hire for them on paper. Now, the hire just has to pan out in reality.

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