Originally posted on Larry Brown Sports  |  Last updated 3/25/13

Shaka Smart quickly became one of the hottest coaching names in college basketball after leading Virginia Commonwealth to the Final Four in 2011 in just his second season as a head coach. Two seasons later, he remains a top head coaching target, and rival programs UCLA and USC reportedly have their sights set on the 35-year-old. UCLA fired Ben Howland Sunday. ESPN’s Andy Katz reports that athletic director Dan Guerrero is locked in on Smart as his top candidate to replace Howland. USC fired Kevin O’Neill in January and is looking for someone to replace interim coach Bob Cantu. The LA Daily News’ Scott Wolf reports that the Trojans are also interested in Smart. Smart has championed a “havoc” defense that features an up-tempo, pressing style of defense. His coaching style has helped him compile an impressive 111-37 (.750) record in four seasons. He signed an eight-year contract extension with VCU in 2011 and turned down the Illinois job last year. Would Smart be willing to leave VCU? Would a job like the UCLA one be enough to entice him to head to LA? It’s difficult to say, but he might feel more prepared for the big time now that he has been a head coach for four seasons. If either program lands Smart — and we don’t think that happens — it would set the program up for success for many years. Another interesting thought to consider is a wild one floated by former UCLA star and current FOX Sports analyst Marques Johnson. Johnson suggested that Howland could go to USC and compete against the program that fired him. Now that would blow my mind if it happened. Related posts: Shaka Smart Named After Zulu Chieftain Brad Stevens and Shaka Smart Prove Elite Coaching Can Get You to the Final Four SI article on UCLA tells us what we already knew: bad characters, Ben Howland’s lack of discipline took down program

Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

LeBron James says Kevin Love-Celtics trade rumor is false

Michael Jordan gifts Kobe Bryant full set of Air Jordans

Bethune-Cookman football player killed at party

Former UFC heavyweight Kevin Randleman dead at 44

WATCH: Chelsea scores three goals in less than 20 minutes

Broncos safety Shiloh Keo arrested for DUI


Mountain West admits error, says Boise St. shot was good

WATCH: John Calipari loses his mind, gets ejected

Former Clemson star Tajh Boyd to speak at John Kasich rally

Peyton Manning's alleged not-so-wholesome image

Hawks not shopping Al Horford at NBA trade deadline

Report: Lincecum has been throwing in secret location

Check out this custom camouflage Oregon helmet

Ejected John Calipari tweets “they don’t need me and I love it”

Popovich would 'buy ticket' to watch Warriors play

Jamal Murray destroyed South Carolina defender with dunk

WATCH: Lon Kruger gets Oklahoma hoops squad hype for Kansas test

Texas signee glad he didn’t pick Texas A&M after alleged racism

Dallas Stars have passed the early tests in February

Could Matt Forte become the revival for Patriots run game?

Are the Celtics legimate contenders in the East?

WATCH: Jabari Parker is no joke at NBA Rising Stars Challenge

How Marvelous Marv Throneberry became a Met

WATCH: Filip Forsberg goes beast on Lightning with this goal

Carmelo Anthony on trade rumors: ‘I’m not going anywhere’

College Basketball News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Ranking the ten best free agent pitcher signings

Who had the best NBA All-Star Game of the last 40 years?

The winners and losers of the 2016 MLB offseason

On Kobe Bryant and taking greatness for granted

Bucks need to choose between wins, development

Fantasy booking WrestleMania 32

Unrestricted free agents each team must consider re-signing

QUIZ: Name the winners of the NBA Slam Dunk Contest

Thank you Daniel Bryan

The timeless greatness of Jaromir Jagr

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker