I hear there was apparently some big basketball game last night. It goes without saying that I didn't watch. I really tuned March Madness out once my Tarheels lost last weekend, and actually didn't even realize VCU was eliminated until I read it in the paper Sunday morning. No, seriously.
That said, regardless of who won last night's title game (BTW, who won?), the real winner of this year's NCAA Tourney was
[Editor's Note: If Virginia is a commonwealth, not a state, why exactly is there a Virginia State University less than 20 mins away from VCU? Someone explain this one to me.]
Anyways, if you're wondering why Smart will probably be writing his own check, look no further than the drill he had his team running during practice the other day.
Call that corny, but as a one-time coach myself, I call that a crafty motivational tactic. If the coach is willing to run an Iron Man drill, drawing a charge and chasing loose balls in the process, then his players know they damn well better run through a brick wall in return. Sure, the Rams came up a bit short, but for a team with no real NBA talent making the Final Four is clearly a feat of coaching genius. Schools like NC State should be knocking down Smart's door begging him to come rescue their programs.
Yes, the stakes will be higher at his next stop. He'll be expected to leverage his name and face recognition to recruit big name players and (obviously) be expected to replicate this run to the Finals. With greater money comes greater expectations.
But something tells me Shaka will be just fine.
Question: Where do you think Shaka Smart will land? Do you think he'll withstand the pressure of higher expectations that come with a bigger paycheck and school?