Texas’ Shaka Smart close to Marquette deal

After another season that ended earlier than expected in Austin, Texas Head Coach Shaka Smart is expected to be Marquette’s next head coach. Smart, a Wisconsin native, has been the head coach at Texas for six seasons. He has led the Longhorns to three NCAA Tournament appearances but is yet to get a win. Smart has been on the hot seat for two years and if not for the pandemic he would’ve been fired most likely. Before taking over in Austin, Smart led VCU to five NCAA Tournament appearances including a Final Four run in 2011. The Longhorns are expected to pursue Texas alum Chris Beard, who has had a lot of success as Texas Tech’s head coach, among others.

Oklahoma men’s basketball coach Lon Kruger announced his retirement on Thursday following a 45-year career. Kruger, 68, has been in charge of the Sooners for the past decade, leading them to seven NCAA tournaments and a Final Four appearance in 2016. The Sooners finished 16-11 overall this season, going 9-8 in the tough Big 12 and advancing to the second round of the NCAA tournament before losing to Gonzaga. Before to taking over at Oklahoma, Kruger led UNLV to four NCAA tournament appearances in seven seasons, most notably a Sweet 16 run in 2007.

The 2021 Wooden Award Finalists were announced on Friday. Baylor guard Jared Butler, Oklahoma State guard Cade Cunningham, Illinois guard Ayo Dosunmo, Iowa forward Luka Garza, and Gonzaga forward Corey Kispert were among the finalists for the award for college basketball’s player of the year. Butler and Kispert are the only players on teams who are still in the 2021 NCAA Tournament. The others’ teams were all knocked out last weekend in the second round.

2021 Point Guard Hunter Sallis gave Mark Few and Gonzaga the biggest commitment in their program’s history according to 247sports. Sallis, the no. 6 ranked player in the class, committed to the Zags on his 18th birthday. The top combo guard in the class chose Gonzaga over Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, and home state Nebraska.

By Carter Huff

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