A report surfaced earlier in the day that VCU coach Shaka Smart had rebuffed an offer from the Illinois Fighting Illini to become Bruce Weber's successor. According to the latest report from the Chicago Tribune, that isn't true. The Trib's Shannon Ryan says Smart is still weighing his options. She also writes that Illinois is targeting an African-American coach.
As Smart considers a lucrative offer that sources said Illinois made, Thomas is under pressure to hit a home run with the hiring of a basketball coach to replace Bruce Weber, who was fired March 9 after nine seasons.
Thomas clearly is targeting African-American coaches after two board of trustee members voted against the contract of new football coach Tim Beckman, who is white. His choices after Smart include Alabama's Anthony Grant and Washington's Lorenzo Romar, according to a source.
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