SHAKA WATCH: FRIDAY'S LIVE UPDATES

HornsDigest.com has up-to-the-minute updates on Shaka Smart's arrival in Austin on Friday, including a press conference expected at about 4:30 pm CT.

SHAKAWATCH FRIDAY LIVE UPDATE THREAD

2:15 PM UPDATE - Bob65 posted this lower on this thread, but it leads me to an obvious point.

How Shaka Smart gets his team pumped (Vine)

Smart is much more emotionally engaging and accessible to the players during a game than most coaches. Rick Barnes, for instance, always looked like he was miserable on the sidelines and rarely used the emotion of the game to pump up players. He was much more task-oriented. Not saying that was bad. It is what it is. Other coaches are very similar to Barnes. 

Smart will be much more animated on the sideline and much more emotionally connected to his players during a game. Smart will also coach from the sidelines during a possession. Smart's in-game energy alone will help put energy into the Erwin Center. (Thanks Bob65)

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11:30 AM UPDATE - Texas makes it official ... (introductory press conference expected to be around 4:30 pm CT)

The UT press release :

Shaka Smart named Texas Basketball head coach

Former VCU head coach becomes the 24th coach in UT program history. 

AUSTIN, Texas — The leader of a Virginia Commonwealth University program that advanced to the 2011 Final Four and posted at least 26 wins in each of his six seasons at the school, Shaka Smart has been named the 24th head basketball coach at The University of Texas, Men’s Athletics Director Steve Patterson announced Friday. The 37-year-old Smart will be introduced at a Friday news conference on the UT campus. 

“I’m extremely excited for the opportunity to be the head men’s basketball coach at The University of Texas,” Smart said. “I’m very appreciative of President Bill Powers and Athletics Director Steve Patterson for believing in me and giving me the chance to work with a tremendous group of young men. Coming to The University of Texas presents an opportunity to be a part of a special community. My highest priority is spending time and developing relationships with our current players, our former players and the young men who will make up the future of Texas Basketball.” 

While at VCU (2009-15), Smart posted an overall record of 163-56 (.744) and guided the Rams to five NCAA Tournament appearances. The 163 wins tied him for the second-highest number of total victories during the first six years of a head coaching career in NCAA history. VCU and %%MATCH_15%% are the only two programs in the country to have posted at least 26 wins in each of the past six seasons. 

VCU is one of only 11 schools in the nation to earn a NCAA Tournament bid in each of the past five years (%%MATCH_7%%, Duke, %%MATCH_12%%, %%MATCH_13%%, %%MATCH_8%%, %%MATCH_5%%, %%MATCH_6%%, %%MATCH_9%%, %%MATCH_4%% and %%MATCH_10%%). During Smart’s tenure, the Rams posted a 27-9 (.750) mark in postseason play and a 33-10 (.767) record in the month of March, including a 7-5 mark in five NCAA Tournament appearances. The Rams’ NCAA appearance this past March marked the first time in school history VCU had advanced to the Big Dance five straight years, and the first time in the history of the Commonwealth of Virginia that a Division I basketball program had accomplished that feat. 

Prior to Smart’s arrival, the Rams were ranked a total of nine weeks in The Associated Press poll in program history. During his six years, VCU made 22 appearances in The AP Top 25, including three straight rankings in the final AP poll in 2012-13 (No. 25), 2013-14 (No. 24) and 2014-15 (No. 25), a program first. 

“Leaving VCU was not an easy decision for me and my family,” Smart said. “I will be eternally grateful to the players at VCU with whom I shared such special experiences. They have taught me so much and changed my life.” 

“I’m looking forward to building on the past success of Texas Basketball,” Smart said. “This is a proud program that goes back over 100 years, and I embrace that history. There is tremendous potential in this program, and my job is to work extremely hard to ensure that we realize that potential. I can’t wait to get to work.” 

Smart’s style of play during his time at VCU was termed “Havoc.” Simply stated, it was a high-octane platform marked by full-court pressure and transition offense. The Rams led the country in steals per game for three consecutive seasons (2011-12, 2012-13 and 2013-14) and ranked fourth nationally this past year (9.5 spg). In 2012-13, VCU’s 422 total steals shattered the Atlantic 10 single-season record of 352 set by %%MATCH_14%% in 1998-99. The 422 thefts marked the 18th-highest single-season total in NCAA Division I history. During the 2013-14 season, the Rams registered 391 steals, 21 more than any other squad. 

VCU also ranked near the top of the national statistics in turnover margin and opponent turnover rate under Smart’s guidance. The Rams led the nation in turnover margin in 2011-12 (+6.47) and 2012-13 (+8.03) and ranked third nationally (+5.4) during the recent 2014-15 season. VCU’s +8.03 mark in 2012-13 was the sixth-best turnover margin by a NCAA Division I team since the 1992-93 season. 

“Havoc” was a hit with the VCU fan base. The Rams concluded the 2014-15 season with a streak of 66 consecutive sellouts at the Verizon Wireless Arena at the Stuart C. Siegel Center. That is the fifth-longest active streak in the nation, trailing only Duke, Kansas, %%MATCH_11%% State and Gonzaga.  

In the classroom, all 12 seniors during the first five seasons under Smart graduated with at least a bachelor’s degree. Three of the 12 went on to earn a master’s degree. In addition, all three seniors on the 2014-15 VCU roster (%%MATCH_17%%, Jarred Guest and %%MATCH_18%%) are on pace to earn their bachelor’s degrees later this spring.

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10 AM UPDATE - Big news from Scout's Evan Daniels that 4-star Texas commit %%MATCH_20%%, a 6-3 shooting guard from Galena Park North Shore, will stick with the Longhorns.

Scout's Evan Daniels' update on Roach

 

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9:30 AM UPDATE - Confirmed with VCU's associate AD %%MATCH_22%% that Smart has a buyout of $500,000 as well as a contract provision that Smart's new school (Texas) must play VCU in a home and home series or pay $250,000 to buy out that series.

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8:30 AM UPDATE - Looks like we'll get a press conference in Austin later this afternoon. Although that is not confirmed at this point.

Interesting that %%MATCH_23%% tweeted Shaka Smart has already been in touch with Ford, %%MATCH_19%%, %%MATCH_16%% and %%MATCH_21%%.

Impressive.

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8:00 AM UPDATE - Source close to the situation tells HornsDigest Smart's deal with Texas is 6 years and roughly $18 million. (And ended up being 7 years - with 6 years fully guaranteed - at roughly $3 million per year.) 

 


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