Doc Rivers Gives Shaka Smart a Ringing Endorsement as Marquette’s Coach
Doc Rivers is a Marquette legend. He is one of the more revered players in Marquette’s storied history. In the current NBA, Rivers is among the greats that Marquette has. He is also a big Shaka Smart guy. It is no surprise then that Rivers is on board with Smart becoming the head coach of the Marquette basketball team. He said in a quote yesterday that Smart is ‘More of a Marquette man’ when referring to his time at Texas. I think that’s rather true and a very strong statement on what type of coach the Golden Eagles are getting. Here’s the quote in full.
“I texted him this, I think he’s more of a Marquette man,” Rivers said. “And that’s not taking away anything from Texas. I just think the way he coaches and the style of play that Marquette gets is an amazing fit.”
I did not realize a couple of things. One, that Rivers tried to get Smart here back in 2014. Two, that Austin Rivers was heavily recruited by Smart and the reason he originally committed to Florida before going to play for Duke instead when Smart left for VCU. Doing my best not to compare the current Marquette coach to the former one, but there was no relationship like that for Steve Wojciechowski when he arrived. He had Jabari Parker who was a hot prospect for the Bucks at the time and went to Duke yet there was no real Marquette connection. Smart has the ability to learn the ins and outs about Marquette through Rivers and use him as a vital resource as he starts his coaching career here. If you haven’t watched the hype video recapping this week, it’s a must-watch.
— Marquette Basketball (@MarquetteMBB) March 31, 2021