College basketball coaches can start recruiting again at noon Thursday, so time is of the essence. Texas coach Shaka Smart should have his staff in place by then, if current movements are any indication.
Two sources said former Virginia Commonwealth assistant Mike Morrell will follow Smart to Austin. Morrell was elevated to assistant coach after serving as VCU’s director of basketball operations. Morrell and Smart have worked together since the 2007-08 season at Clemson.
Also, Smart has offered a position to Darrin Horn, the former South Carolina head coach who has been out of basketball for three years. Horn spent five seasons with Western Kentucky before jumping to South Carolina, where he posted a 60-63 record in four seasons.
Horn became a TV analyst and has been working for ESPN’s SEC Network.
Texas officials routinely do not confirm anyone’s hiring within athletics until that person has been cleared by human resources.
There were reports Monday afternoon that current assistant Rob Lanier would be offered a position under Smart, but it wasn’t clear whether Lanier would stay.
Another source said Jai Lucas, John Lucas’ son, was still helping players with offseason workouts in hopes of staying on. He was a special assistant under former coach Rick Barnes.
Smart spent Monday night meeting donors and season ticket holders at an invitation-only event for Longhorn Foundation members. He also released a video on YouTube imploring former UT lettermen to come back and be a part of the basketball program.
“As former players, you built this program into what it is today,” Smart says in the video. “We need you around, and we want you around. Thank you for everything you have done.”
Contact Brian Davis at 512-445-3957.