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March 22, 2009

UGA and Anthony Grant getting closer?

Virginia Commonwealth's Anthony Grant

David Hale of the Macon Telegraph says that Anthony Grant was in Atlanta after his team was eliminated from the NCAA Tourney for "recruiting" purposes.'s Brett Jensen takes it a step further saying that UGA has offered the job to Grant (subscription required).

(UPDATE: David Hale has confirmed directly from UGA that no such offer has been extended. More on that shortly)

I'm expecting multiple false starts -- both real and rumored -- during this search. I think the administration is expecting that as well. So this could all be nothing. Or it could be the start of an announcement process next week. Georgia can do much worse than Grant (age 42).

His accomplishments at Florida (12 years):
    1 National Title
    2 Final Fours
    2 SEC Tourney Titles
    2 SEC Regular Season Titles
    3 SEC East Titles
    Dozens of obscenely talented players
As a head coach at VCU (3 years):
    3 CAA Regular Season Titles
    2 CAA Tourney Titles
    2 High Major Wins (Duke & Maryland)
Pearl and Donovan were both mid-major coaches before landing in the SEC so hiring a mid-major doesn't scare me. And it doesn't mean "Felton II." More than anyone else we could possibly interview, Grant knows what type of athlete, effort and system required to win in today's SEC.

The downside with the guy I've mentioned numerous times. He's in a mediocre at best league where one transformational player completely shifts the power structure of the league. His transformational player was recruited by his predecessor, and I think his offense needs a lot of work.

Bottom line -- he could be Mark Richt, or he could be Brad Scott. We won't know until he gets here. If he's coming here.

I was hoping and continue to hope that we'd shoot a bit higher and use Grant as a strong Plan B candidate. I continue to hope that is the case. My own sources haven't said word one about these rumors, but they usually don't chime in over the weekend. My sources are all union labor, and don't work weekends. (kidding)

Let's see where we are on Tuesday.


Note 1: I heart Mike Anderson and Sean Miller
Note 2: Grant's agent is a UGA grad.


Anonymous said...

I really don't think we can land a real big name once Arizona and Kentucky open up. Heck even Virginia is probably a better job. We'll be lucky to land Grant.

Anonymous said...

Welcome to the Dawg Nation, Anthony Grant.........hopefully!

Anonymous said...

A black coach?

Anonymous said...

Paul, your only qualm about Grant seems to be that his best player the best couple of years was a guy he didn't recruit. This, you seem to imply, indicates your reservations about his ability to recruit top flight talent. However, in your intimations you are entirely overlooking the very central role he played in recruiting the players that led Florida to back-to-back national titles. It is patently obvious from his time at Florida that he can recruit and his tenure at VCU has made it patently obvious he can coach. Factoring in his youth, appeal to star athletes (find Maynor's quote about him), coaching ability, ties to Florida & Georgia recruiting circles this would be an absolute home run hire for the Dawgs. DEAR GOD LET THESE RUMORS BE TRUE!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Another young up and coming coach who has had moderate success at a mid major? sweet, I cant wait

P.S. Is VCU even up the level of a mid major?

Anonymous said...

One more of those mid major coaches that will be wisked away to a much higher profile conference and team if he is successful.

Anonymous said...

Anthony Grant on Florida

(from St. Pete Times in '07, when he was watching the Gators repeat their title after leaving the previous year):

"Where else would I be?" Grant said at the time. "I still love these players. I love the University of Florida. I'll always love this program."

Sounds like a guy that will wait it out and see if the UF job opens up after UK likely fires Gillispie in a few days.

MikeInValdosta said...

I pray we are not putting all of our eggs in one very coveted basket.

The Watch Dawg said...

I'm just not convinced that we're already offering the job to Anthony Grant, especially after his team wasn't very impressive in the tourney. Maybe we are, and if we do I'll be excited to see what he does, but I have to believe we aren't laying down our cards just yet.

Unknown said...

Anon 10:26,

Those aren't my concerns. My concerns are:

1. He has only won 2 high-major games. Felton had won 3 before arriving.

2. One elite player can dominate a small conference and make the coach look like a genius. Like Chris Marcus (a pre-injury lottery pick) did at WKU.

3. His offense is the same POS that Felton, Hewitt and Purnell run. It wins when it's loaded with overwhelming talent that can win individual battles consistently. (like UF had and like we won't have for several years)

Those are my concerns.

I don't have any recruiting concerns. He'll recruit lights out.


Anonymous said...

Wasn't very impressive???....He was playing UCLA, a traditional powerhouse and loss by one. If we go after Grant, I think it is a great hire. He is known as a great recruiter and is a good coach. And please my fellow UGA fans, stop being so negative...saying he is going to leave for the next great job or he is waiting for something else. Don't you see that we are trying to change that culture of being pathetic in basketball? That culture won't change with that line of thinking. Have faith that we are going after the right coach and we are going to turn this basketball program into a SEC power. Many mid-major coaches have come into a big job and succeeded.

MikeInValdosta said...

I am not a big fan of his and most have probably seen it, but here is what Andy Katz had to say Friday:

"Oklahoma athletic director Joe Castiglione is one of the top five athletic directors in the country. He knows he has to get ready for the onslaught of suitors for Jeff Capel, notably from Georgia and Virginia. Capel has a great situation at Oklahoma. But the only issue is that he probably should be in the Big 12's top three or four in salary behind Bill Self (Kansas) and Rick Barnes (Texas), rather than in the middle of the pack. If Virginia and Georgia pursue Capel as expected, that might nudge him up further. Capel is smart. He knows that Georgia isn't a great basketball job. Virginia has players in the state and is in the ACC, but do you want to be going up against your former coach (Mike Krzyzewski at Duke) or the one of the most dominant recruiters not named John Calipari (Memphis) in Roy Williams (North Carolina)? It's not like Wake Forest, Boston College, Florida State, Clemson, Virginia Tech, Maryland or Georgia Tech are dropping anytime soon, either.

The coaching carousel won't move until some of these major jobs hire, since a lot of them are going after the same names: Capel, Minnesota's Tubby Smith, VCU's Anthony Grant, Missouri's Mike Anderson. Maybe I'll be proved wrong, but I can't see Smith leaving Minnesota. Capel and Anderson have good situations which they don't have to leave. Grant has Larry Sanders returning, and I'd be more inclined to see him go to the ACC than the SEC.

• Most of these schools continue to use search firms for hiring coaches instead of simply doing it themselves. Athletic directors who make bad hires continue to get second and third chances to do it again.

Anonymous said...

I like Capel or Anderson. Both of them have proven they know what they are doing both recruiting and schematically, despite what Jason Whitlock says.

I must say I was dismayed by Andy Katz's dismissal of our position, given what we know about our new AD's seriousness and our willingness to do to what it takes...not to mention the recruiting in-state.

The only downer for us is our lame conference, IMO.

Ludakit said...

I'd put Sean Miller and Jamie Dixon as my top two gets with Grant likely being the third behind that. I understand that Alabama and possibly Virginia are in the hunt for Grant as well, so that may be the reason for jumping the gun here, but I see it as just that...jumping the gun.

With the amount of money we have saved up and can spend, I see no reason to not go after someone who's a little more proven than Grant. That being said, I won't be disappointed, but I still think we could possibly be getting a little ahead of ourselves.

Between facilities, money and access to potential recruits, I don't know why we'd move so quickly. Even with other programs opening up, there are names out there that we could get even if the other guys get names as well.

That being said, as long as it isn't Lon Kruger, I'll be pretty happy.

Anonymous said...

As PWD states, Grant's offense(same as Felton's) is what scares me, seeing as it depends on the talent on the court and we all know UGA lacks in that department as of now. I know it's more unlikely to pull Dixon away from Pitt, but I would have him, Sean Miller, and Capel as my top 3 and hope I could somehow come away with one of those three.

Unknown said...

Anon 10:24,

A black coach? 2 of our last 4 coaches were black. What difference does it make?

As far as I remember, only Alabama, Auburn, SC, Vandy and UF haven't had black coaches yet. UGA and ARK have already had two each.

Anonymous said...

I love this blog and agree with the thoughts expressed, but I must say this whole "I heart this coach" or that coach is pretty gay. I heart him, or I heart this or that? This kind of talk honestly reminds me of my 9 year old niece talking with her friends, or the teeny bopper girls I overhear at the mall, our local pool, etc.

With all due respect (again I love this blog and agree with most of the thoughts expressed here), if we're going to continue using this "heart" stuff we might as well regress further into something like this headline/post:

"OMG! LOL!!11 My BFF sez we are gonna hire the crazy best coach! She hearts him already. CYL!!"

Jim Wood said...

Apparently anon 11:13 AM does not understand humor.

Anonymous said...

David Hale says that UGA says that no contact has been made nor has an been extended to Grant, and VCU says that UGA has not contacted them about Grant.

Anonymous said...

David Hale reports that UGA says that they have not contacted or extended and offer to Grant, and VCU says that UGA has not contacted them about Grant.

Anonymous said...

Let me start by saying that I really like David Hale's writing and that I appreciate that he is so on top of everything going on with UGA (the off-season details are always top notch).

But... there is something seriously wrong with this headline:

"Georgia may be making movement in coaching search"

Either there are some strange grammatical/word choice issues there...or this is David's way of telling us that Damon is about to crap the bed with this hire.

Anonymous said...

From the AJC:

“I can say with complete authority that neither Damon Evans nor Dr. Adams has ever had a conversation with Anthony Grant as of today, Monday, March 23,” Felton said in an e-mail denying the report. Felton sent copies of his e-mail to numerous reporters who cover the Georgia program.

Looks like doublespeak. Neither of them had a convo b/c the search firm did.

Anonymous said...

I am sure I read DE was serious about bb.Overpaying for Felton 2 is not serious.UGA has the money,The state of Ga. has the talent.Now get serious and hire a proven coach not named Tubby(been there...).btw traditional power ucla is that like the traditional power ky. beaten by an awful UGA team ?

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