Shaka Smart is only just now decompressing from his VCU Rams’ improbable Final Four run in the 2011 NCAA Tournament, and now according to some early reports Missouri basketball is interested in procuring his services. With Matt Painter and Mike Anderson already off the head coaching board, Missouri AD Mike Alden is running out of chances to make a splashy hire to regain Tiger fan confidence. Smart is a seriously unproven commodity, but it doesn’t get much splashier than making the Final Four out of the 11th seed.
Shaka Smart became VCU’s head coach before the 2009 season. Since then he’s taken them to records of 27-9 and 28-12, winning the College Basketball Invitational in his first year and taking them to the Final Four in his second. Tournament success aside, that’s not significantly better than the last VCU coach and defector, Anthony Grant (who’s since gone 32-27 as head coach of Alabama.) VCU’s Final Four run is one of the most memorable in NCAA history, but it’s hard to say whether the Missouri Tigers would be able to accurately divine Shaka Smart’s value after just two seasons as a head coach.