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The University of Illinois was on a mission to lure VCU basketball coach Shaka Smart away from Richmond.  The Illinois brass backed the  effort with statements that inferred money was no object.    Their cause was justified because Smart is one of Americxa’s brightest young coaches.

The Fighting Illini will have to continue the fight elsewhere as Smart has decided to end the brief romance and vow his committment to the VCU Rams.   The 3rd-year coach had just signed an 8-year extension after last year’s Final Four season, and then led a young Rams team to within a basket of the Sweet 16.

Like any professional, Smart was obligated to at least listen to what Illinois had to offer, which he did,  before coming to the conclusion that he wanted to finish what he’s started here in Richmond.   Surely as VCU continues to have success, more offers will come, but for now, VCU fans can rest easy.   Shaka made the “SMART” decision!

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