DAYTON, OH - MARCH 16: Head coach Shaka Smart of the Virginia Commonwealth Rams reacts after a play in the second half against the USC Trojans during the first round of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at UD Arena on March 16, 2011 in Dayton, Ohio. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Just to be clear, I'm not including Buzz Williams or Brad Stevens. We're already aware of the collective interest of OU fans in getting those guys, and we're also already aware that the odds are not stacked in our favor. However, there's three other Cinderella teams that have made quite a stir in the tournament this year. Would you be interested in any of those coaches?
Shaka Smart coaches VCU, and is new on the coaching scene. He's been an assistant since 1999, and has been at some fairly big basketball programs (Dayton, Florida, Clemson). Last year was his first as a head coach at VCU. The Rams went 27-9, but only 5th in conference. They went on to win the CBI tournament. And this year, VCU went 23-11 and has since won three consecutive tournament games. He's similar to Jeff Capel in that he's very young and new to head coaching (plus he's coaching VCU).
Leonard Hamilton coaches Florida State, and he's been around longer. He's held head coaching gigs since 1986 when he had his first job with Oklahoma State. After having some success at Miami in the late 90s, taking them to the Sweet 16, he experimented with an NBA job but only lasted with the Wizards for two seasons. He's been at Florida State since 2002, and they have improved in his tenure, although it's been very gradual.
Chris Mooney coaches Richmond and he's also a young coach (38). Richmond has rapidly improved in his 6 years there, and they've had at least 20 wins the last three seasons. Richmond has a bit of a history generating some decent head coaching prospects. John Beilein had some decent success there, and was tapped to be the Michigan head coach. He's really turned around that program.
Would you be interested in any of these coaches? Vote for the coach you would be most interested in, or select "no".
Shaka Smart, head coach VCU (37 votes)
Leonard Hamilton, head coach Florida State (10 votes)
Chris Mooney, head coach Richmond (16 votes)
Not interested in these candidates (46 votes)
109 total votes