NAMES EMERGING FOR SMART'S STAFF

A couple names are emerging as strong candidates to join Shaka Smart's coaching staff at Texas.

In talking to several people close to the situation, a name to keep an eye on as an assistant on Shaka Smart's new staff at Texas: former Western Kentucky and former South Carolina head coach Darrin Horn.

Horn, 42, is a natural because his teams have employed the same, full-court pressure defense that Smart prefers (combined with his head-coaching experience).

Horn, a former assistant to Tom Crean at Marquette from 1999-2003 (the Dwyane Wade Era), went 111-48 in five seasons as coach at WKU (2003-08). Then, he went 60-63 in four seasons at South Carolina before being replaced by Frank Martin (2008-12).

Another name to keep an eye on is VCU assistant Mike Morrell, who has experience recruiting in the state of Texas.

It also sounds like Jeremy Ballard, Smart's top assistant at VCU, is being considered as Smart's replacement as coach of the Rams.

Ballard's status could impact if Smart would offer an assistant coaching spot to Ballard or VCU assistant David Cason with one of them possibly ending up as Smart's director of operations at Texas.

Former Rick Barnes' assistant Rob Lanier, who also served as an assistant with Smart at Florida under Billy Donovan (2008-09), was a possible candidate to join Smart's staff.

But Lanier and Chris Ogden, an assistant at Texas the past seven seasons, have been offered positions on Barnes' staff at Tennessee.

Former UT assistant Russ Springmann, an assistant at Texas the past 14 seasons, was not retained by Barnes at Tennessee.

No word yet on if Smart will offer his strength and conditioning position to Todd Wright, who served 17 seasons under Barnes at UT while gaining a top reputation in basketball circles. Wright has a successful strength and conditioning business in Austin - Train 4 The Game (train4thegame.com) - as well as kids in school, and both reasons are likely to keep him in Austin.

 

 

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