Two Pieces Of Coaching Info On A Monday Morning

A blue & gold tie? WHAT DOES IT MEAN?

We may as well plug these two together, as they came skipping across Twitter at roughly the same time.

First, the specific news as it relates to Marquette.  ESPN's Jeff Goodman is reporting that both Marquette and Wake Forest have had contact with Virginia Commonwealth University head coach Shaka Smart.  The VCU head man is 137-46 in five seasons of steering the Rams, including a Final Four appearance in 2011, a Colonial Athletic Association tournament title in 2011-12, and NCAA tournament appearances in each of the last four seasons.

Now, this qualifies as facts, not rumors, so there's at least that to sit on.  It carries with it the same amount of trepidation as the news that MU had spoken with former UCLA and Pitt head coach Ben Howland, of course, if not more because Smart is currently employed.  The case for Smart jumping to Marquette is that he has roots in Wisconsin, having attended Oregon High School in Oregon, WI, which is just a few miles south of Madison, and that Marquette has proven that they're willing to spend money to win, not necessarily on the coach, but on the program in general.  The case against Smart leaving VCU is that he has no reason to leave VCU unless it's for a job that he has no intention of ever leaving, namely jobs like Duke, Syracuse, North Carolina, or even Wisconsin.

The other news is slightly less specific, but still important when taking the full picture of the coaching search.  ESPN's Andy Katz was the first person to hit my timeline with the news that Dayton has extended head coach Archie Miller through the 2018-19 season.  Nothing about this is surprising in any way, as Miller guided the Flyers to their first NCAA tournament appearance in five years, and their first Sweet 16 appearance since 1974 with their win over Syracuse on Saturday.  Miller was going to stay a fringe candidate for Marquette's open spot at least until the Flyers left the NCAA tournament, and the trip to the second weekend was probably going to keep him out of the running for the job, as he wouldn't be available to interview at least until at some point after Dayton's Thursday night game against Stanford, if not later.

More on AE as it becomes available...

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