24 Hours of Smart Media Reactions (Updated with added media reactions)
Updated: Mar 29, 2021
Excuse the Oxymoronic title of this post, but what were the Smart media reactions to Marquette's hiring of Shaka Smart yesterday? Mostly positive for Marquette and Texas. National media tended to see it as a way for Smart to escape being the face of the Coaches on the Hot Seat list while also providing him and Marquette a fresh start. Change of scenery, smaller school, slightly weaker conference could do wonders to recharge his coaching credentials. Jeff Goodman said MU should have waited - hear his argument below. Several media members said the shine is off Smart, but MU provides a place where he can recapture it. Texas media, especially fan media, predictably were not shedding too many tears on his departure for under-delivering while also opening up an opportunity for the Longhorns to grab a better coach they deem worthy of their institution, however out of touch with reality that may be.
We've pulled together some of those reactions here for you to enjoy.
Seth Davis from the Athletic (article requires a subscription to The Athletic).
"Smart had two years left on his contract, and it would have cost the school $7.1 million to buy him out. But one way or another, this was not going to end well."
Smart’s teams were never bad, but they were never good enough, either. His overall Big 12 record in six years was 52-56.
Smart had his turn as a shooting star, but that light has faded. He’s just a basketball coach now, eager for another shot, and he’s going back home to take it.
Smart's shrewd move to leave the Longhorns, made in the spirit of career preservation, was the right call
Consequently, Texas fans quickly went right back to where they were heading into this season, which is to say looking forward to the day they could move on from Smart, whose six years in the Big 12 were up and down and devoid of a single NCAA Tournament win.
The Golden Eagles are getting a 43 year-old former Final Four coach who has led his team -- first at VCU, then at Texas -- to eight of the past 10 NCAA Tournaments while solidifying himself as a major player on the recruiting trail. So, I think, Marquette made a really smart move here.
But what Shaka Smart just did is even smarter.
Jeff Goodman & Rob Dauster
Win-win for Texas and Shaka. Texas wanted to fire Shaka two years ago.
I just wouldn't have made this hire if I were Marquette. I would have waited to see if Porter Moser was available and likely a better fit for Marquette.
Easier to win in the Big East then the Big 12. Texas, honestly, is ecstatic that it happened
Mike Hart - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
ESPN analysts opine if Shaka Smart ran from a job, or ran toward a job.
Tim Cowlishaw - Dallas Morning News
Brian Davis - Austin American Statesman -
Texas Fan Media - this is what you are typically going to find. A number of Longhorn fans are happy to move on, but also acknowledged the classiness of Shaka Smart. They view his six-year at UT as underperforming and are potentially in line to get Chris Beard or another major upgrade (in their minds) over Smart.