Brad Stevens is staying at Butler. Like VCU’s Shaka Smart, he passed on UCLA’s overtures, which means the mighty Bruins of the Pac-12 have now been rejected by two coaches from the Atlantic-10.
As recently as 10 years ago – when Stevens was an assistant at Butler and Smart was an assistant at Akron – this was unfathomable.
What a waste of a week for Dan Guerrero, the UCLA AD. Why waste time courting Shaka Smart, and then a day flying to Indianapolis and flying back? If USC and Minnesota were smart, both would have been laying the groundwork with attainable coaches so that when UCLA jumped in after striking out with the two biggest names, it would be too late.
UCLA’s next move probably has to be Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall, who may or may not have talked to some UCLA intermediaries this week out West, where the Shockers are playing. If Marshall manages to beat Ohio State – Wichita State is a 4.5 point underdog – his price will rise significantly. What other college coaches out there might UCLA make a run at? Tommy Amaker? It just doesn’t feel like UCLA, right now, is a job people are clamoring for. Which is why I still think my Mike Brown prediction could happen.
And let’s be honest – the pressure to win at UCLA is going to be significantly greater than at USC or Minnesota. At those two schools, there won’t be a prominent announcer hammering you for under-performing.