Longhorns’ AD to offer basketball job to Smart

Published 3:43 am Thursday, April 2, 2015

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas athletic director Steve Patterson is scheduled to travel Thursday to meet with Virginia Commonwealth coach Shaka Smart to make an offer to coach the Longhorns, a person with knowledge of the trip tells The Associated Press.

Texas hopes to introduce Smart as its new coach as early as Friday, according to the person who requested anonymity because the talks with Smart are considered private.

Patterson has zeroed in on Smart since firing Rick Barnes last weekend after 17 seasons. Smart, 37, has been among the hot candidates for several high-profile jobs since leading VCU to the 2011 Final Four.

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Smart’s teams have won at least 26 games each of the past six seasons.

Barnes’ Texas teams won three Big 12 titles and made 16 NCAA Tournament appearances. But Texas hasn’t advanced past the first weekend of the tournament since 2008.

Marshall says ‘No’

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — Alabama athletic director Bill Battle is moving on to other men’s basketball coaching candidates after courting Wichita State’s Gregg Marshall.

Battle released a statement saying he learned Wednesday night that Marshall had opted to remain at Wichita State. The Crimson Tide is seeking a replacement for Anthony Grant, who was fired on March 15 after making just one NCAA Tournament in six seasons.

Marshall has led the Shockers to four straight NCAA Tournaments, including the 2013 Final Four. Battle traveled to interview him on Monday.

After striking out with his top candidate, Battle says he remains focused on trying “to get the best person available to lead the Alabama men’s basketball program.”

He says that person will be someone “who understands and values our program.”