Shaka Smart Speaker Profile
Shaka Smart Biography
Shaka Smart was born April 8, 1977 and is an Americancollege basketball coach, and the current head coach at University of Texas men's basketball program. Before accepting the jobat VCU, Smart served as an assistant coach of both the Clemson Tigers andFlorida Gators men's basketball programs.
VCU hired Smart to be the head coach in the spring of 2009after the previous coach, Anthony Grant, left to become the head coach of theAlabama Crimson Tide men's basketball team. Smart's hire made him the 10thyoungest head coach in Division I. In his first season, he led the Rams to a2710 season and a CBI Championship after VCU swept St. Louis in thechampionship best of three series.
Smart's second season began with forward Larry Sandersdeclaring for the 2010 NBA Draft after his junior season. Sanders' selection bythe Milwaukee Bucks with the 15th pick made VCU the first school in theCommonwealth of Virginia to have a player selected in the first round of theNBA Draft in consecutive years, as the Utah Jazz had selected guard Eric Maynorwith the 20th pick in the 2009 NBA Draft. The Rams under Smart went 2311 inthe 20102011 season. Smart led the Rams to their second consecutive ColonialAthletic Association Championship Game, where they fell to Old Dominion.
Despite not securing the automatic bid, VCU earned anat-large bid to the Southwest region of the 2011 NCAA Tournament. His coachingstrategy, positive outlook, and patience helped VCU upset the 6th-seededGeorgetown Hoyas and 3rd-seeded Purdue Boilermakers to advance to the Sweet 16in the NCAA Tournament for the first time in school history. VCU won 7271against Florida State University to earn the school's first spot in the EliteEight and subsequently defeated the University of Kansas 7161 for their firstFinal Four appearance.
Smart's teams play a style of basketball known ashavoc. Smart described his havoc defensive philosophyduring his introductory press conference as, We are going to wreak havocon our opponent's psyche and their plan of attack. On the court, thehavoc defensive mindset is visible through the heavy use of thefull court press and pressing after made baskets to disrupt opponents' timingof offensive sets. In his second season, VCU led the Colonial AthleticAssociation in steals. Offensively, Smart-coached teams play uptempo and pushthe ball after misses and makes with what Smart describes as The freedomto make plays in the open court.
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