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Shaka Smart leaving VCU to take over Texas

Shaka Smart tried to build a dynasty at VCU but after realizing just how hard that was he has moved on to Texas, where they are hoping he can provide the jolt they needed.

Shaka Smart tried to build a dynasty at VCU but after realizing just how hard that was he has moved on to Texas, where they are hoping he can provide the jolt they need.

Shaka Smart has finally moved on. He’s leaving his job at VCU and has accepted the head coaching job at Texas, replacing the recently fired Rick Barnes.

Smart made the popular PR move of staying at VCU, where he lead the team to the Final Four in 2011. He became a mega star of college basketball coaching after that run but he has started to lose his luster a little bit the last four years. In four years since making it to the Final Four, Smart’s team has not made it past the Round of 32 in the NCAA Tournament. The past two years have been one-and-done trips.

He’s had a remarkable 163-56 record with the Rams but he found out that it was harder to build a dynasty at a mid-major program like VCU a place with only a 7,600-seat arena, than it might seem.

And while he was still a popular guy in the business, he jumped at a marquee job and took over Texas, one of the best athletic programs in the country. A place with a $25 billion endowment and over 51,000 students and a 16,540-seat arena for his team to play in.

Barnes did a great job in Texas, going 402-180 with 16 NCAA Tournament appearances in 17 seasons. But the lack of deep postseason runs finally caught up to Barnes and they program decided to move on. Now, they hope Smart is the man who can take them to the next step and get them over the hump. Under Barnes the Longhorns proved they can attract major basketball talent at a big-time football school but he only advanced to the Sweet 16 five times and past it only three times. The 2003 NCAA Tournament is the only time under Barnes the program made it to the Final Four.

Sometimes programs get stagnant under a coach and it seemed that even though Barnes was doing an incredible job winning, the program just wasn’t doing enough. Smart is the spark Texas is looking for.

His “havoc” defense has done wonders not only in the CAA and Atlantic-10, but against many of the best programs in the country and in the Big 12, where he can recruit bigger and more athletic players, he could have a field day running the show.

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Corey Johns

Editor in Chief
You could say Corey was born to become a sports journalist. His father won a national championship coaching college soccer. His mother is a baseball fanatic who hasn't missed seeing an Orioles game since 1983 (literally, sometimes it's annoying). His great uncle was a big-time boxing promoter and his maternal grandfather was once a department head at the Baltimore Sun. Basically, sports and journalism run through his blood. He played just about every little league sports there was when he was a kid and was a multi-sport athlete in high school; even playing in the first-ever high school sanction Rugby game in the country. Eventually he retired from sports as an undefeated Maryland state Rugby champion as a high school senior. Perhaps lack of athletic talent has more to do with the retirement, but he will tell you that it more had to do with a great desire to jump right into media. Upon his graduation from University of Maryland, Baltimore County as a triple communications major, Corey started the So Much Sports network and has continued to grow his websites and continues to work to make them premier sports media outlets.

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