Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Smart takes over at Texas


— Big 12 basketball Media Day notebook. ...

New Texas coach Shaka Smart was coach at VCU in 2011 when the Rams beat KU in the Elite Eight, 71-61. A reporter referenced it to being a “nightmare” for KU coach Bill Self.

“First of all, I’ve had a lot of bad nightmares. I wouldn’t say that’s the worst ever,” Self said. “That’s one of many we’ve had.”

Smart replaces Rick Barnes, who is now at Tennessee.

“I love Rick Barnes (former UT coach). I loved to compete against Rick’s teams. We’ve had some epic battles over the years,” Self said. “At the same time I was very happy for Shaka. He’s a good coach, good guy. I think he’ll bring energy, enthusiasm to the Longhorns. I think they’ll continue to be very good. It’s a positive for our league to have a guy like Shaka.”

Of his first Texas team, Smart said: “We have one of the more experienced teams around, not just in this league, but I think around the country. At the same time, there are a lot of experienced teams in this league. But sometimes guys that have been playing for a while maybe have a certain way that they think is going to create success for them. A big part of a coach’s job, I learned this from Billy Donovan, is to clearly define and hold accountable what goes into winning. So that’s our job as coaches is to get these guys to understand what we feel is going to go into our team being successful and our guys individually having success.”

Nice pants: West Virginia coach Bob Huggins wore Mountaineer pajama bottoms to Media Day

“I had to do a little speaking thing at graduation, and President (E. Gordon) Gee came in with a pair of pants on like this, and I thought, ‘Boy, that’s a great idea for Media Day.’ So I ordered me a pair,” Huggins said. “He wore one gold and one blue sneaker though, Chuck Taylors. I didn’t go quite that far. But I don’t have the bowtie either. He had the bowtie on as well. Kind of sets the trend for fashion in our state.”

Prohm speaks: New Iowa State coach Steve Prohm has taken over for Fred Hoiberg in Ames: “Obviously we’ve got a lot of expectations, but that’s a good thing. That’s a credit to what they’ve done over the last several years. The job Fred did, the job this senior class has done. They won a lot of games. Georges (Niang) and Naz (Long) have an opportunity to be the winningest players in the history of the school at Iowa State, and that’s an unbelievable achievement to be a part of something like that,” Prohm said.

Self on the scandal that is brewing at Louisville involving a former assistant coach reportedly bringing in exotic dancers to meet with recruits and players: “I don’t know details or so-called facts. I do know it’s sad. It doesn’t shed a positive light on our sport at all,” Self said.

Self did say it’s possible for a head coach like Rick Pitino to not know everything a player or staff member is doing at all times. “I think at a Sprint, Verizon, ATT, whatever major companies there are, I bet their CEO has some employee sometimes do something that goes against company policies even though they’ve been educated over and over what they can and can’t do. Still yet the CEO is ultimately responsible. Sometimes the coach gets a bad name for stuff people assume they can control when in all honesty we go to unbelievable lengths to make sure we do it (educate).”

Self on new rules to prohibit use of hands on defense: “I’ll be shocked if we don’t have multiple games this year where there are 60 free throws shot. ... Fans will have to be patient, too.”

KU’s Perry Ellis on freshman forward Cheick Diallo: “He’s getting better and better each practice. He’s working hard, willing to learn, getting extra time in before practice to learn stuff. He is altering shots around the rim which is big.”

KU’s Hunter Mickelson is one, polite gentleman: “Hunter calls everybody ‘sir’ or ‘yes maam,’’’ Self said. “Hunter was late to my house the other day for a non-important event. He had to buy a new battery or something (for car). He’s five minutes late. He could have been 45 minutes late and it didn’t matter. He felt so bad he was not there on time. He’s such a good kid. Everybody loves him.”


Joe Ross 6 years, 11 months ago

"...'cause I think there's probably a lot of things that go on with our program that I would like to think that I know about that I probably dont know about..."

If Kansas has any concern in this area, then Jerrance Howard is the source of it. If there is someone who is susceptible to bending the rules or finding "inventive" ways to recruit, JH is the man. I wouldn't have worried about him had he not hid some pretty important stuff from Coach Self that could have affected either the program directly, or indirectly by sullying the reputation of the school and program. PLEASE lets keep our program clean. Never want to become a UNC, Louisville, Syracuse, etc.

Chris Shaw 6 years, 11 months ago

Come on Joe. Let's not turn a blind eye. Define "Clean"? To the degree or extent of the rules being bent we will never know, but let's not be naive about the situation(s) that occur on a daily basis within the sport of college basketball.

I mean, is Coach K "Clean"? I could bring up Corey Maggette and Myron Piggie. I could bring up Lance Thomas and his $94,000 jewelry spending spree. I could bring up the recent Rasheed Sulaiamon case as that is fishy all the way around. But you know what...Coach K and Duke remain "Clean".

As far as it sits right now, UNC and Roy Williams are still "Clean". Let's not talk about them potentially throwing the women's basketball team under the bus, but they still are clean.

What about the Darrell Arthur case? What about the Pump Brothers? What about Josh Selby's handler in High School? Is Kansas and Bill Self "Clean"?

That is for all you to have your own opinions, but I certainly have mine as well. Do I think Duke, Kentucky, Kansas, UNC, UCLA, Indiana, Louisville, Syracuse are clean entities? I'm sure they try to be, but the current system in place for college athletics does not allow for programs to be "Clean".

Because of TV contracts, boosters, agents, dirty shoe money...all these programs skirt, toe, and cross the lines. Clean? I don't think so Joe Ross.

It's so easy to say Kansas and Bill Self are "Clean" and then point your figure at other schools and call them dirty cheats. Let's wake up and solve the problem instead of ignoring the bigger issues.

Right now, Nike, Adidas, and Under Armor own these kids and have a great big say on where, when, what, how, and why they choose or make the decisions they do when it comes to a college institution. You don't think Adidas has a big say or limits the recruits that come to Kansas?

Does Bill Self run a "Clean" program? I'm sure he tries like hell to do so, but you have all these third party entities that really make it impossible to do so. I don't care what program is out's impossible to run a clean program with the current system in place with college football and college basketball.

Big fan of yours Joe Ross, but I see too many times Kansas fans saying the exact same thing you're saying and quite honestly...I think it's an easy statement to make. It's so easy to point fingers and turn a blind eye to the real problems that are going on.

John Calipari? He's not the issue. Let's wake up people. It's the system that is currently failing these kids. Nike, NCAA, NBA players union, agents, TV money...these people have got to stop. them out to make change.

Joe Ross 6 years, 11 months ago

If you think Im naive, youre naive. If you redress the tone, Ill address your comments.

Bryce Landon 6 years, 11 months ago

I would agree. I haven't trusted Howard since he was busted for possession of hippie lettuce. How Self could keep him on the staff is mind-boggling.

Chris Shaw 6 years, 11 months ago

Redress my tone? I think you missed the part, "I'm a big fan of yours, Joe Ross"? Funny how that works. I don't care if you address my comments or not.

Still a big fan of yours, Joe Ross.

Jay Scott 6 years, 11 months ago

Shaka won ONE league title in the various JV loops VCU competed in. One. Bruce Weber is more accomplished.

Aaron Paisley 6 years, 11 months ago

No he's not. Shaka Smart consistently made the tournament in a league that was traditionally a 1 or 2 bid league whereas Bruce Weber struggles to make the tournament in a league that usually sends at least half their league to the tournament.

Jay Scott 6 years, 11 months ago

What has Smart accomplished that Weber hasn't? Sorry Aaron. Weber has him beat. That's just reality.

Erich Hartmann 6 years, 11 months ago

Agree with Jay. Shaka didn't even win his own JV-level conference 4 yrs out of the last 5. Now lets put him in the BigXII and see how he does?

Can Shaka recruit? Probably can. But where were the high-star recruits at VCU?

Can Shaka coach? Some ability.

Does Self lose to Shaka a 2nd time? Not this year. Self's only weakness is when his roster is young and inexperienced. Or soft. Or both. That situation is NOT present this year. The quirky thing about that MorrisHawk overall #1 seed that lost to VCU: they played soft and slow in that one game, and it cost them. 6 turnovers by Markieff alone, and Reed (trusted senior green light shooter) goes 1-for-7 from 3. Much like Sherron (trusted senior, NC-winning greenlight shooter) went 0-for-6 vs UNI. We ride these horses, but sometimes its not your day.

I'm just jumpin at the chance to put Shaka in his place--especially after his comment this spring after getting hired by TX. He's got a lot to learn.

Marius Rowlanski 6 years, 11 months ago

The only nightmare was that Kansas had a clear path to the championship game. I would rank it in the top 10 worst losses in KU history.

That might be an interesting topic for discussion.

Bryce Landon 6 years, 11 months ago

The TCU game in 2013 was infinitely worse. I'm still baffled that the Jayhawks only scored 13 first half points against a Horned Frogs team that would go on to a last place finish in the Big 12.

Tom Jones 6 years, 11 months ago

The TCU game would rank around #60 in my "worst KU losses" list. It meant nothing. We still won the league and that was an average KU team.

Every tourney loss and about a dozen regular season losses by much better KU teams were worse than the TCU game.

Chris Shaw 6 years, 11 months ago

Man, you guys are pretty hard on Shaka. He's a damn good coach and one I think is gonna be good for the league. At least I hope. I want him to come at Kansas and Self full throttle. I want him to challenge for that supremacy.

In his 6 years at VCU Shaka has finished second in the conference 4 times. Let's keep in mind that he took over a program that was gutted by seniors in 2009 that won the Colonial. He then takes over in 2010 and after 3 years in the colonial VCU changes conferences to the Atlantic 10. 2 out of his 3 years in the A-10 his teams finished second. Do you know how hard it is for a School/program to change conferences?

I don't think I have to point out that not only has Kansas lost to VCU (a shaka smart team) Kansas has lost and played many competitive teams from the A-10 in Self's tenure. Don't make me bring up those losses to prove a point.

Shaka coming to the Big 12 conference is a good thing. You don't have to like him, but I hope he fields some very competitive teams to push Kansas and Self to that next level of NCAA Championships.

Jay Scott 6 years, 11 months ago

I'll be surprised if he outlasts Strong.....

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