Shaka Smart Style Showcases Success in Season

Editor’s Note: This story contains opinionated statements. 

During the early afternoon of Thursday, March 10, players on Marquette’s men’s basketball team will begin trickling into Madison Square Garden to face off against the Creighton Blue Jays. The players will don their jerseys, stripes lining the players’ sides.

But the one Marquette man I’m most interested in will be just courtside, pacing and occasionally slamming the floor: head coach Shaka Smart. Who’s to say what Shaka will be wearing? In preparation of the BIG EAST Tournament, here’s a recap of some of the Smart styles we’ve seen this season.


Photo by Collin Nawrocki ([email protected])

Season Ticket Holder Practice

Oct. 14

Shaka debuted this new “Lost in the Fight” tee for a practice at Fiserv Forum. This is one of the first looks we got into Shaka’s style – both in coaching and fashion.

4 out of 5 polos


Photo by Collin Nawrocki ([email protected])

Haunted Hoops

Oct. 31

Shaka stuck to a tried and true tee for this “Haunted Hoops” event at the Al McGuire Center. Milwaukee community members were invited to the Al to watch an open scrimmage and play Halloween games and activities.

While kids were showing up as Buzz Lightyear or Wonder Woman, Shaka dressed up as the coach who would turn Marquette’s men’s basketball program around.

The blue and white joggers look custom. I wish he would have chosen a different shoe, but I think he was trying to go for a color-coordination moment with the light blue lettering.

5 out of 5 polos


Photo by Collin Nawrocki ([email protected])

Marquette v. Bowie State

Nov. 4

In this exhibition game, the team did not come to play around and neither did Shaka’s outfit in this 98-40 win.

This striped polo and white long sleeve is a certified Shaka classic.

He knows business professional shirts and ties are so over; an effortless layered look is definitely in this season.

The candid pieces also make Shaka’s sideline hype easier.

5 out of 5 polos


Photo by Collin Nawrocki ([email protected])

Marquette v. Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville

Nov. 9

Despite being second to first-year guard Stevie Mitchell and his 14 point performance, Shaka stole the show. This monochromatic piece pops against the white jerseys.

I would have liked to see more gold accents throughout this fit, but it’s early in the season.

3 out of 5 polos



Photo by Isabel Bonebrake ([email protected])

Marquette v. New Hampshire

Nov. 12

This outfit drew inspiration from Shaka’s SUIE fit, but it didn’t work as well and that may be reflected in the win of 75-70 too. The light gray polo is a bit too oversized and contrasts too much with the black. Let’s just say, I expect more from you, Shaka.

2 out of 5 polos

Photo by Collin Nawrocki ([email protected])

Marquette v. No. 10 Illinois

Nov. 15

“The theme of this game was audacity,” Shaka said after the game.

Shaka definitely had audacity to wear an achromatic outfit to clash against the bright, U-of-I orange.

While this Marquette win was one of the best from this season, I think the outfit should have matched the energy Shaka was bringing.

1 out of 5 polos


Photo by John Leuzzi ([email protected])

Marquette v. Northern Illinois

Nov. 27

Shaka finally brought some color to the home games. This long sleeve and polo combo was totally out of the blue (haha) for Shaka. I’m a big fan of the championship blue, so this is an automatic W – just like the game.

Photo by Collin Nawrocki ([email protected])

5 out of 5 polos

Marquette v. Jackson State

Nov. 30

Just as quickly as we see a splash of color, Shaka returns with another bloutfit (aka “black outfit”). Even the shoes Jordan 11 Jubilee are all black.

I’ll give some leniency because Marquette cruised to a 30-point victory over Jackson State.

4 out of 5 polos


Photo by Isabel Bonebrake ([email protected])

Marquette @ No. 23 Wisconsin

Dec. 4

We can see from this away game photo that Shaka’s style doesn’t switch up on the road. This rival game was disappointing, but Shaka’s fit eases my pain slightly. The shoes are 100% needed for this apparel to work.

3.5 out of 5 polos


Photo by Collin Nawrocki ([email protected])

Marquette v. No. 4 UCLA

Dec. 11

Another disappointing but understandable loss (upsetting top 10 teams is where we draw the line, I suppose). This navy blue long sleeve is a subtle change in the Shaka staple.

Photo by Collin Nawrocki ([email protected])

4.5 out of 5 polos (but only if it’s a navy blue long sleeve)

Shopping with Golden Eagles

Dec. 12

Marquette’s basketball teams and Kohl’s cooperated on this event to merge the Marquette and Milwaukee communities. I love the Jordan winter gloves. Both on and off the court, Shaka has great style and heart.

5 out of 5 polos


Photo by John Leuzzi ([email protected])

Marquette v. No. 20 Seton Hall

Jan. 15

This close game was a nail biter, but with the championship blue once again shining, we know who won the fashion and basketball contest. This is one of the best outfits I’ve ever seen from him. No notes.

Photo by Alex DeBuhr ([email protected])

5 out of 5 polos

Marquette v. No. 20 Xavier

Jan. 23

The ref should have given Shaka a technical for un-sportsman’s-like conduct: out-dressing everyone.

Following this game, Marquette debuted at No. 22. If AP had a top 25 poll for fashion, Shaka is top two and he’s not two.

5 out of 5 polos

Photo by Collin Nawrocki ([email protected])

No. 24 Marquette v. No. 12 Villanova

Feb. 2

I’m a bit surprised Shaka’s accessories didn’t include a broom for this sweep. This cerulean polo is a different but welcomed choice for Shaka’s repertoire, especially paired with the navy long sleeve.

5 out of 5 polos


Photo by Sarah Kuhns ([email protected])

Marquette v. Georgetown

Feb. 16

Georgetown isn’t a big contender for Marquette. That may be why Shaka didn’t go all out in the styling department for this look. While you already know I’m adoring the blue polo, the shoes are throwing me a bit off.

Photo by Collin Nawrocki ([email protected])

3 out of 5 polos

Marquette v. Butler

Feb. 26 – National Marquette Day

Natty Marquette Day is all about wearing the most amount of blue and gold you can possibly fit on your body. For his first NMD as a Golden Eagle, Shaka seemed to take the subtle route. To really show he’s a trendsetter and not a trend follower, he opted for a black and white ensemble.

2 out of 5 polos


Photo by Collin Nawrocki ([email protected])

Marquette v. St. John’s

March 5

Here’s the man of this and every hour looking smug, knowing the Golden Eagles would pull off a win for Senior Night and Al’s Night. To finish off the last home game of the regular season, Shaka stuck to his roots of havoc defense, getting lost in the fight and a distinct fashionable flair.

5 out of 5 polos


As Marquette looks ahead to the beginning of the BIG EAST conference tournament along with the NCAA tournament, the most mad thing about March is the lack of designers trying to replicate Shaka Smart’s style.

This story was written by Randi Haseman. She can be reached at [email protected].