Blog Entry

Grant has a tough choice/gamble in front of him

Posted on: March 25, 2009 2:48 pm
Edited on: March 25, 2009 3:37 pm

Anthony Grant is in a real-life game of Deal or No Deal .

Does he take Alabama (Deal! )?

Or stall and/or pass in hopes that something better presents itself, specifically Florida (No Deal! )?

That's the dilemma facing the VCU coach, who is on the Alabama campus today with his wife, meeting school officials for at least the second time in four days. Naturally, Alabama would like to move quickly, have an answer as soon as Thursday. But there'd be nothing worse for Grant to do than take the Alabama job only to watch Kentucky fire Billy Gillispie after this season (which multiple sources believe is more likely than not). Why would this be bad for Grant? Because if Kentucky were to fire Gillispie, it appears Mitch Barnhart would make another run at Florida coach Billy Donovan, and if Donovan jumped this time -- which is more possible than you probably think, for a variety of reasons -- then Florida would suddenly be open, and Grant would almost certainly be Jeremy Foley's choice to replace Donovan considering he was set to replace Donovan two years ago when Donovan eft for the Orlando Magic, if only for a couple of days.

So that's the situation.

Can Grant hold-off Alabama long enough to see what happens at Kentucky?

If so, that's what I expect him to do.

If not, then he'll have to choose between Alabama and the possibility of Florida (or something else altogether) opening.

It's a tough call, no doubt.

But either way, Anthony Grant will soon be a very wealthy man.


Since: Nov 21, 2006
Posted on: March 26, 2009 2:50 am

Easy Choice

 Grant choice is simple.  Go to Georgia.  You are 60 miles from Atlanta, which has a metro pop. of over 5 mill.  Every year the metro Atlanta area has 8-10 kids out of the top 100 in the nation coming out of high school.  You may not get all of them but if you can get half to stay and go to Georgia, within 3 years he would have a top program.

Since: Jan 19, 2008
Posted on: March 26, 2009 1:59 am

Grant has a tough choice/gamble in front of him

There are few things in sports you can believe in. If you coach basketball at North Carolina or Kentucky your going to win. If you coach football at Alabama or Texas your going to win. If you coach baseball for the Yankees your going to win. If you don’t, your not going to stay. Period! Fans from other programs may not understand, but the bar has been set and if you decide to coach at one of these places then you have to deal with those expectations. It’s simple as that. And when I say win, I mean win. Final Fours, B.C.S. games and World Series are demanded by the fans. These programs have the best facilities, sponsors and players. And they want the best coaches.

Joe Torre, Mike Shula, Tubby Smith, Billy Gillespie and Matt Doherty were not ran off. They simply did not live up to what fans for their teams expected. The same expectations they accepted when they said yes to take the jobs. They all became rich and there is no need to feel sorry for any of them. Billy G will get $6 million to get fired this week. Even in a great economy that is sweet, in this times it is even sweeter. Kind of reminds me of the AIG bonuses from last week. Run a company (team) down and get millions for doing it. And yes a NIT and double digits loses isn’t good in Kentucky.

And believe this, as long as there are Cats, Heels, Horns, Tide and Yankees there will be coaches who will sell their soul to get to coach them. The challenge to be the best at the best will be enough to hook them and the millions of dollars thrown at them will reel them in.

Since: Mar 11, 2009
Posted on: March 26, 2009 1:39 am

Grant has a tough choice/gamble in front of him

 If I'm Grant, I'm taking a step back and letting some things unfold first before I take a job. First, he should wait a week or two to see what spots open up (UK, Arizona, etc.). Right now you figure Virginia, Bama, and Georgia are all interested in him. Definitely not cream of the crop jobs, but all are very good spots for a young coach. I'm not sure why Donovan would leave for UK now; that team is looking pretty loaded next year, adding Boyton to some solid young talent, especially if Calathes stays. But if he does jump to UK (or Zona, you know the AD is going to try to make a splash) Grant is a mortal lock for the UF job, considering he was going to get it after only one year of coaching at VCU. I know I'm jumping all over the place here, but if I'm the AD at Kentucky, I'm handing Calipari and blank check and asking how much. I wish St. Johns would do that and get some excitement back in the Garden again, but that's not happening.

Since: Dec 13, 2007
Posted on: March 26, 2009 1:01 am

Grant has a tough choice/gamble in front of him

I too hope we keep BCG but I will be shocked if we do.  There will never be another UK no matter how hard Donovan works so I agree that he should join UK if given the opportunity. 

KVS, UK is not a has-been whiner school and UF is not an elite program.  If memory serves me, UK and UF were in the NIT.  Neither had great seasons and landed where they belong. 

Since: Dec 13, 2007
Posted on: March 26, 2009 12:56 am

Grant has a tough choice/gamble in front of him

We don't want Anthony Grant at UK.  No offense, I am sure he is an excellent coach, but VCU to UK is much too great a jump.  We only have 3 coaching options, should BCG be fired.  We should go after Billy D. first.  Should he choose UF, then in my wildest dreams, we go after Pitino but that won't happen.  So, after Billy D., we should go after Callipari.  Two years ago I loathed having Callipari here because he hadn't proven himself as a coach but after taking Memphis to the finals and coaching what should be a #1 team in this NCAA tourney, I feel comfortable calling him UK's coach.  He has the X's and O's, can recruit and can handle the pressure. 

Since: Jan 28, 2008
Posted on: March 26, 2009 12:40 am

Grant has a tough choice/gamble in front of him

KVS, I'll try to answer for you.  Although honestly I hope all the pressure turns up empty and Billy G gets a 3rd year to prove himself.  2 years simply isn't enough time, and I'd hate to be a laughingstock.

Donovan has taken UF to the NIT the last 2 years.  After back to back championships, that's not great.  Even though UK was mediocre this year, they were about as good as Florida was.  Donovan realizes that he can't recruit  the talent to Florida that he needs to be a dominant force in the SEC.  If he goes to UK, he will be able to recruit at that level.  He thought he could turn Florida into a "UK" like program, but it doesn't seem to be working.  If you can't beat em, join em.

Plus, he's got the history of working at UK under Pitino, and he would certainly handle the pressure.  If we fire Billy G we better have Donovan as a slam dunk.  Otherwise Barnhart is toast.

Since: Nov 11, 2006
Posted on: March 26, 2009 12:10 am

Grant has a tough choice/gamble in front of him

I like Grant and think he would be a stong coach at Arizona. However since we have yet to make a move on him you can be fairly certain he isn't on our short list. It's a shame. I'd much prefer a promising young couch here then some of the big names I hear tossed about in the Arizona rumor mill.


Since: Jun 22, 2008
Posted on: March 25, 2009 9:10 pm

Forget about the SEC

Tell Bama to shove it!  Go to a real basketball conference, the Big East or ACC. 

Since: Mar 21, 2008
Posted on: March 25, 2009 6:59 pm

Grant has a tough choice/gamble in front of him


I'd like to hear your opinion about why Donovan would consider moving from Florida to UK?! Why would he trade a current winner for a has-been whiner school in the same conference? 

Since: Mar 21, 2008
Posted on: March 25, 2009 6:57 pm

Grant has a tough choice/gamble in front of him


I would advise Grant not to take the Virginia job. That isn't really a step forward in his career, more like a lateral move. Plus, at VA, he'll struggle to have the 3rd best ACC team, as long as Coach K and Williams are coaching. At Alabama he has a chance to compete for the SEC title.

As far as Arizona, it will be interesting to see who will end up there. Arizona thinks a lot of itself after Lute's success. Remember that it was only a desert mirage of a job before Lute turned it into an oasis. I think Grant is a good young coach, but would Arizona consider him? I think that Mike Anderson would be a more likely choice, though he has strong ties to Alabama.

This will be an interesting off-season for coaches. Discontent is high at several places, with Arizona, Alabama and Virginia jobs already open. Personally, I think it would be stupid for UK to fire BG. He's a good coach, but a lousy personality, but hey, that's one school that thinks it walks on water, so I won't be surprised if they run him off.

Very interesting. Big opportunity for several coaches. Who will bite and who will be bitten?

Here is my opinion on who would be a good fit at different places....

If UK fires Gillespie, they should forget trying to pry Donovan from Florida and instead of looking south, they should look west. Ironically, the best fit for the UK job would be Paper Clip, uh Calipari, his schmoozz would be a perfect fit, but I doubt he would go face all that pressure. Really no other available top-notch coach will likely touch the job, the way two coaches have been run off.

Anderson would be great at Arizona or Alabama. If Grant is wise and takes the Alabama job if offered, then I think Arizona should pick Anderson. The only other person I think would be good for the Arizona job would be Mark Few at Gonzaga, but again, he has a great gig where he's at, so would he leave? I think the UA job would at least make him think about it.

Those potential changes would leave Missou (Likely) and Memphis (Unlikely) looking for coaches. Quality replacements for those schools would be harder to find. Here's a stab at the Missou job should Anderson leave, I say Missou should go after Brad Stevens from Butler, McCaffery at Siena.

 Oh well, if I had a crystal ball, then I'd be able to relax and watch the dinero roll in, hah, hah!

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