Texas Basketball: AD Chris Del Conte Issues Vote of Confidence for Shaka Smart

Chris Dukes

Texas officials look like they will stick with basketball coach Shaka Smart for another year based on recent comments to the media. 

Texas athletic director Chris Del Conte issued what could only be construed as a vote of confidence in a comment to the Austin American Statesman on Friday. 

“Shaka’s our coach,” Del Conte told the Austin American-Statesman. “Nothing’s changed. We won five of the last six down the stretch, finished third in the conference. We have a good team coming back. Nothing’s changed on my end.”

Smart came to Texas with big expectations after leading underdog VCU to the Final Four, but results on the Forty Acres have been mixed during his tenure. 

Smart is 90-78 overall, 40-50 in the Big 12 and 17-34 against ranked opponents during his time at Texas with just two NCAA Tournament appearances. 

Still, there is reason to be optimistic about the future at Texas. The Longhorns could return all four starters from last year's squad if forward Jericho Sims decides to wait a year for the NBA Draft. 

“I’m really excited,” Smart told the Statesman. “I’m big on controlling what I can control, and that’s been my mentality all season long. If I really allowed myself to get super caught up in everything that was said or written, it would’ve been a very distracting season."

Texas was 19-12 overall in 2019-20 with a 9-9 record in the Big 12. The Longhorns looked to be down-and-out with six games to go, but a five-game win streak pulled the team back into contention for a NCAA Tournament berth.