Posted on: May 6, 2011 8:51 am
Edited on: May 6, 2011 8:59 am

Dixon, Miller among possible Maryland targets

Maryland's search for Gary Williams' successor is underway and figures to center on some of the men connected to most high-profile openings over the past few years -- specifically Pittsburgh's Jamie Dixon, Arizona's Sean Miller and Villanova's Jay Wright, multiple sources have told CBSSports.com.

Notre Dame's Mike Brey is also in the mix.

Brey is a Maryland native who would almost certainly take the job if offered, according to a source. But the same source said Dixon, Miller and Wright would probably have to make it clear to Maryland officials that they're uninterested before the ACC school moved that direction. The level of interest from Dixon, Miller and Wright varies and is unclear, though all three would at least take a phone call and listen, multiple sources told CBSSports.com, considering the Maryland job is widely viewed as one of the nation's best because of tradition, support and a rich recruiting base of Washington D.C. and Baltimore.

One thing worth noting is that Dixon has an existing and strong relationship with first-year Maryland athletic director Kevin Anderson, who was previously the AD at Army when Dixon's sister, Maggie Dixon, was the school's women's basketball coach. She died from heart failure in April 2006 at the age of 28 just after completing her first season at Army. It should also be noted that Dixon has in recent years rejected multiple overtures to remain at Pittsburgh (most notably from Arizona, Southern California and North Carolina State), that Miller likely has a preseason top 20 team at Arizona and that Wright is a Philadelphia native who has passed on countless opportunities over the past five years. Those things could help the job fall to Brey or somebody like Minnesota's Tubby Smith or VCU's Shaka Smart.

Williams retired Thursday after 22 seasons at the school.

He led Maryland to 14 NCAA tournaments and the 2002 national championship.
Posted on: April 4, 2011 3:30 pm
Edited on: April 4, 2011 3:31 pm

Smart rejects N.C. State, staying at VCU

HOUSTON -- Shaka Smart agreed to a new and extended contract with VCU on Monday after rejecting a multiyear offer from North Carolina State, multiple sources have told CBSSports.com.

The news was first reported by CBSSports.com's Gregg Doyel.

"[N.C. State] talked to [Smart] and made an offer," VCU athletic director Norwood Teague told the Charlotte Observer after Doyel's initial report. "We countered and he is staying."

Smart, 33, led VCU to its first Final Four this season.

The Rams lost to Butler here in Houston on Saturday night.

N.C. State is searching for a replacement for Sidney Lowe. Sources have told CBSSports.com that the school has seriously pursued many candidates already -- among them Texas' Rick Barnes, Arizona's Sean Miller, UCLA's Ben Howland, Xavier's Chris Mack, Memphis' Josh Pastner and Texas A&M's Mark Turgeon. All have decided to pass on the opportunity to work under athletic director Debbie Yow, whose reputation within the coaching community is hindering her ability to find a marquee coach.
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: April 9, 2010 9:56 am
Edited on: April 10, 2010 8:38 am

Sources: Clemson has interviewed at least five

Wright State's Brad Brownell is one of at least five coaches who interviewed for the opening at Clemson over the past two days, multiple sources have told CBSSport.com. The others are Wofford's Mike Young, Jacksonville's Cliff Warren, ODU's Blaine Taylor and former Boston College coach Al Skinner.

Brownell has won at least 20 games four straight years and was widely considered the Horizon League's best coaching prospect until Butler's Brad Stevens rose to prominence this season. The Indiana native was in play for the Indiana job that went to Tom Crean two years ago. His candidacy at Clemson suggests the ACC school is considering hiring a rising star as opposed to someone whose career is on the decline like Skinner, the 57-year-old who was fired at BC last week. Young and Taylor both led their teams to the NCAA tournament this season. Warren coached in the NIT.

Other candidates Clemson has, will or could target are VCU's Shaka Smart, Western Kentucky's Ken McDonald, Ohio's John Groce, Oklahoma's Jeff Capel and Baylor's Scott Drew. Multiple sources told CBSSports.com that Clemson officias desired a meeting with Arizona State's Herb Sendek, a former North Carolina State coach, but that he turned down an interview request.

Clemson is searching for a replacement for Oliver Purnell.

He left last Tuesday to take over at DePaul for more than $15 million.
Posted on: November 21, 2009 11:00 pm
Edited on: November 21, 2009 11:22 pm

Smart's third game at VCU results in huge win

The best thing about getting the VCU job as your first job is that it's the VCU job.

It's proved to be a springboard to bigger and better things.

A culture of winning exists around the program.

You're set up to be successful.

But all those things could also be interpreted as bad things for Shaka Smart, because -- as I detailed in a column back in June -- there's nothing simple about being a first-time head coach inheriting a team losing the best player in school history. With Eric Maynor in the NBA, that was the situation Smart walked into, and he knew it. But he also knew the VCU fanbase -- having just watched Jeff Capel and Anthony Grant win consistently -- wouldn't be interested in hearing any excuses for a possible, if not probable, slow start.

"The fans don't care about that," Smart told me this summer, about a month after he was hired away from Billy Donovan's staff at Florida, just like Grant before him. "Their deal is: 'Hey, this guy before you was winning, and we brought you in here to do the same or more.'"

Smart did "the same or more" Saturday night.

His third game as a head coach resulted in an 82-69 win over the 17th-ranked Oklahoma Sooners coached by Capel, whose contract at VCU required him to return to the Siegel Center as a visitor if he ever left for another job. Capel did indeed leave for another job after the 2005-06 season; he replaced Kelvin Sampson at OU. The byproduct (because of the contract) was the Sooners having to serve as the first ranked opponent to ever enter the Siegel Center.

They exited double-digit losers.

Willie Warren missed 11 of 14 shots, including all eight 3-point attempts. The CBSSports.com Preseason First Team All-American battled cramps in the second half, finished with eight points and six turnovers, then sat on the bench with a towel draped over his head and watched the VCU students storm the court and celebrate. Off to the side, Smart mostly remained calm and cool. It was a big win, sure. But as he told me when he took the job, this is what he was brought to VCU to do -- to be successful on a relevant level, to maintain a national profile for the Rams,  to win big games just like his predecessors, and maybe even beat one of them, if possible.
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: March 31, 2009 11:52 am
Edited on: March 31, 2009 12:01 pm

VCU to hire Florida assistant

VCU is set to announce Florida assistant Shaka Smart as its next basketball coach, a source told CBSSports.com early Tuesday.

A news conference will be held in the next 48 hours.

Smart comes to VCU after one season on Billy Donovan's staff at Florida.

Before that, he was with Oliver Purnell at Clemson.

Smart replaces Anthony Grant, who left last week to take over at Alabama.

Like Smart, Grant was also a Florida assistant.

Category: NCAAB
Posted on: January 29, 2009 10:19 am
Edited on: January 29, 2009 10:20 am

Georgia fires Felton

Georgia has scheduled a Thursday press conference to announce the firing of Dennis Felton, a source close to the coach confirmed to CBSSports.com.

The decision comes after the Bulldogs lost 83-57 to Florida on Wednesday night.

It was their seventh consecutive defeat.

Georgia is 0-5 in the SEC.

The reality is that this move would've been made last season had Felton not led Georgia to an improbable run through the SEC tournament, which led to an automatic berth in the NCAA tournament and a vote of confidence from Georgia athletic director Damon Evans. Short of that, Felton would've never even started this season, and because multiple sources have told CBSSports.com that VCU's Anthony Grant would've been the top target last March -- one prominent industry source went to so far as to say "it was done," meaning he believed Grant would've accepted a fair offer -- you can rest assured the Billy Donovan protégé will also be at or near the top of Georgia's wish-list again.

This development means two SEC jobs are now open.

Alabama is the other.

Grant's name has been mentioned there, too.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com