Statement from Shaka Smart

Clemson assistant Shaka Smart discusses his move to Florida.

Smart replaced Lewis Preston who left Florida after two years to join the coaching staff at Penn State.

"I want to thank Coach Purnell and the entire staff for giving me the opportunity to be part of a tremendous basketball program," he said. "I learned a great deal the past two years and had the chance to work closely with some outstanding people. I look forward to what lies ahead at Florida."

Widely regarded as one of the top young assistants in the nation, the 31-year-old Smart arrives at Florida after spending the last two years at Clemson where he helped the Tigers to 49 wins over the past two years.

Clemson reached the postseason in each of his two seasons with the Tigers, and advanced to the ACC title game this past season as well as the NCAA Tournament.

Prior to his tenure at Clemson, Smart was a three-year assistant at Akron, helping the Zips to a 23-10 record in 2005-06, their highest victory total since becoming a Division-I program in 1980-81.

The Zips went 14-4 in league play that year and advanced to the Second Round of >the postseason NIT.

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