3-point shot: SMU eyes Buzz Williams

1. SMU is joining the Big East in 2013 and wants to make a slash in replacing Matt Doherty. The Mustangs, according to sources, have Marquette’s Buzz Williams in their sights. But those close to him would be stunned if he were to leave Marquette, now a top Big East program, for a school that will enter the league at the bottom. The money can’t be more than comparable to what he makes now, and proximity to his hometown can’t be that big a deal, right? Unless something happens to prove otherwise, chalk this one up to wishful thinking.

2. Illinois has now been spurned by VCU’s Shaka Smart and Butler’s Brad Stevens. This should be yet another sign how well schools pay at some spots outside the power six. And it speaks volumes about being happy with your situation, school, boss and city for a coach’s family. Now that Illinois has struck out with Smart and Stevens, it should focus on Ohio’s John Groce. Groce has done wonders with the Bobcats and has strong Big Ten ties. I’d be surprised if Groce were to turn this gig down if offered. He’s hot now and, while he could win the MAC next year, it’s still likely a one-bid league and winning the conference tournament is a tenuous proposition.

3. South Carolina would like Kansas State’s Frank Martin. But if Martin is seriously interested in leaving Kansas State (he has publicly said he hasn’t talked to anyone), he should look at Mississippi State, which is a better basketball job than South Carolina. There is plenty of talent in the state, more recent success in the sport, and a more passionate fan base for hoops.