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#pounditThursday, February 22, 2024

TJ Ford takes aim at Shaka Smart, direction of Texas program after blowout loss

Shaka Smart

Monday night’s blowout loss at Wast Virginia has many fans and also a prominent former player concerned about the state of Texas Basketball.

The Texas Longhorns got destroyed 97-59 at West Virginia and looked like they did not belong on the same floor as the Mountaineers. West Virginia went on a 20-0 run during the first half where Texas didn’t score for a stretch of seven minutes. The Mountaineers led 45-20 at halftime and were up by as many as 43 at various points in the second half.

The defeat was so ugly that legendary former Texas point guard T.J. Ford said the direction of the program was “disappointing and disheartening.”

That’s clearly a criticism of Shaka Smart, under whom the program is 12-6 and 2-4 in conference this season.

West Virginia coach Bob Huggins said the loss wasn’t on Smart.

Smart is in his fifth season at Texas and was an extremely high-profile hire by the Longhorns. They fired Rick Barnes to bring in Smart, who had taken Virginia Commonwealth to the Final Four. But the hire has not worked so far, as Texas seems to have gone downhill since Smart’s first season, when they went 20-13 and 11-7 in conference. They are on their way to making it four straight losing seasons in Big 12 play.

Smart has three years and $10.5 million remaining on his contract with Texas.


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