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Shaka Smart Says Best College Basketball Programs From Virginia Are In CAA

VCU coach Shaka Smart does what he wants when he wants to do it. The Rams' shocking run to the Final Four in last year's NCAA Tournament proves that. He's a one-of-a-kind coach who speaks his mind, does weird things and gets away with it because it is a) awesome and b) works. So when he says something like this, it's really just Shaka being Shaka.

Smart, of course, is referring to his own team, George Mason and Old Dominion, all of whom made the 2011 NCAA Tournament and currently occupy three of the top four spots in the CAA standings. Truth be told, this isn't that controversial of a statement, as Litos notes. But since this was clearly a shot at the two ACC schools in Virginia, it drew headlines.

Virginia coach Tony Bennett has already issued a boring response to Smart's words:

"Well, Shaka’s a very good coach, and I certainly respect him," Bennett said. "That’s one man’s opinion. I think it’s a very good league. I certainly respect it. We played George Mason and Drexel, which are two very good teams. … Having coached in the Big Ten, the Pac-10 at the time and now here, and also played in a mid-major league at Wisconsin-Green Bay, you know, there’s great basketball all over the country.

"I think there are some, night in and night out when you’re going against a team, at least I can comment on the ACC, it’s a battle. The physicality, the size, the talent level, there’s certainly great challenges that you face top to bottom in a league like the ACC. But that doesn’t take anything away from really any league or the CAA. But I know one of the toughest leagues is the one you’re playing in. I certainly respect Shaka, and he’s entitled to his opinion."

ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ. Where's Seth Greenberg when you ... awww, dammit. You guys are so lame!