Hearing VCU coach Shaka Smart continues to be the primary focus of the Texas basketball coaching search, according to two sources close to the situation, and that UT's search firm gauged the interest of Villanova coach Jay Wright as well as Boston Celtics coach Brad Stevens.
One source said Stevens respectfully declined UT's interest. Stevens' Celtics are in a battle for the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference, and the NBA regular season doesn't end until mid-April. Messages left for Wright at Villanova weren't immediately returned.
As of 4 pm CT Tuesday, a source close to the situation said Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall hadn't been contacted by any Texas intermediary. The source said Marshall had interest in hearing from Texas, but that it hadn't happened by late Tuesday morning.
HD reported Monday that Texas athletic director Steve Patterson didn't have Marshall among his top candidates because he didn't think Marshall would be a good fit at UT "personality wise."
Sources close to the situation said the knock on Marshall is that his personality might be a little too brash and hard to manage in Austin. Those sources said Patterson wants a coach who will provide an exciting, winning brand of basketball combined with a personality that will engage fans.
Another source said UT intermediaries reached out to former Spurs G and former Mavs coach Avery Johnson, the choice of UT booster Red McCombs, as well as former NBA coach John Lucas. But everything we're hearing right now continues to point to Shaka Smart as the front-runner.