Monday, March 31, 2014

Got legs to it... Grant a candidate @ USF

I've commented on this before... I still think it is probably in everyone's best interest something happens.

By the time UNLV announced a two-year contract extension for Rice on Saturday night, by the time it looked like a successfully executed leverage move, Harlan already had long turned his attention to other candidates.

Potential USF targets include Massachusetts coach Derek Kellogg, New Mexico coach Craig Neal, Kentucky assistant Orlando Antigua, Florida assistant John Pelphrey and Florida State assistant Stan Jones.

Another name to consider is Alabama’s Anthony Grant, who once was a key member of Billy Donovan’s Gators staff and interviewed for the USF job in 2003. Grant has head-coaching experience at VCU, where he defeated Duke in a 2007 NCAA tournament game, and Alabama, where he has gone 99-71 in five seasons.

But this season, the Crimson Tide slipped to 13-19 – the most defeats by an Alabama basketball team in 45 years – and AD Bill Battle felt compelled to give Grant a written vote of confidence. Grant, who was Jeremy Foley’s choice as UF replacement in 2007 when Donovan flirted with the NBA’s Orlando Magic, makes $1.9-million per season.

Rest is here

27 comments:

Msmilie said...

USF has hired Orlando Antigua.

bobbyjack said...

Saw that... surprising hire. My guess is the $2 million HC wasn't out there for them so they went this route.

crimsontider said...

In other news, looks like Cuonzo Martin to Marquette…..

finebammer said...

lateral move. stupid.

crimsontider said...

Have you seen the bullshit he's had to put up with the natives in knoxville? I make that move in a heartbeat. Also, rumors are that Dave Hart will not match whatever offer he is given, so he is almost definitely gone.

Msmilie said...

I hope you will cop to the bullshit Grant has put up with from the natives if he takes Bama to the Sweet 16.

I actually think it's a good move on Cuonzo's part if he does take the Marquette gig. As CT points out, the UT fans have been relentless in their criticism of Cuonzo. Now they love him, of course, but there's no getting around the fact that less than a month ago there was a petition that had over 30,000 signatures calling for the return of Bruce Pearl.

Cuonzo strikes me as a smart guy. His stock is high right now, and he's on the verge of maybe having to rebuild with Maymon, McRae and, probably, Stokes moving on. If next year's team struggles, he'll probably hear the same crap from the fans. He has to ask himself if it's worth it.

crimsontider said...

I don't think the situations with Cuonzo and Grant are comparable, but whatever. If Grant can get next year's team to the sweet 16, then I will admit that I was wrong in calling for his job, I feel most of the fans will follow suit if your scenario comes through. That's some crow everyone would love to eat.
The thing that surprises me about the whole Cuonzo situation is not the fans, but how the boosters have turned on him, and how Dave Hart (someone I respect very much) has offered little to no support and appears to be content to let him go. It will be interested to see who they can get. Of course, the usual suspects will be approached by the UT brass. Gregg Marshall, Shaka Smart, and Archie Miller, but I can't imagine high quality coaches will be lining up to take over a program who's fans/boosters basically just ran off a coach who had 63 wins and a sweet 16 in his first three years.

finebammer said...

http://www.al.com/sports/index.ssf/2014/04/tennessees_cuonzo_martin_remov.html#incart_river_default



must not be that bad. $$$

crimsontider said...

Must've gotten a raise.

Alex said...

Engstrom left the team. It's not like we're losing our best player or anything but we're way too thin when it comes to big men. Not going for Pearl was a mistake. We're just going to get pounded on the glass again next year.

crimsontider said...

I think this is best for both sides. We can fill that spot with a better player (hopefully a big), and Engstrom can move on to Europe with his degree. Now, Coach Grant, go get a big man! No excuse to not enter next year with a full roster.

finebammer said...

like i said.

finebammer said...

he was a project from the git go. we don't need guards. we don't need projects.

crimsontider said...

http://www.al.com/alabamabasketball/index.ssf/2014/04/anthony_grant_my_belief_in_ala.html

Msmilie said...

And what big man would Pearl pull in? He can't do jack until August when his show-clause expires.

The key to improving the rebounding next season is that Grant picks up a guy late (they are actively recruiting at least three big men right now), and that Hale and Taylor get stronger over the summer so their rebounding numbers improve. And for what it's worth, the word is Nick is back with the team so we'll see what happens there.

finebammer said...

"Sporting some slick new glasses........"



speaks of his "vision" for the program.


this is propaganda pure and simple. casagrande knows this is who he has to work with for another year.


it 'd be interesting to know the those glasses have a script or if they're a fashion accessory.

Msmilie said...

Propaganda is a mighty big word to be using in regards to sports journalism. Take it down a notch, big fella.



So now the comments are going to revolve around Anthony Grant's eyewear........What a fine, intelligent group we have reading this blog. It just fills me with hope for humanity.

Msmilie said...

I assume he was thinking of those games when he made that comment. Throw in the South Florida return game (assuming they're coming to Tuscaloosa) and that's six games against mid-major power teams or teams from power conferences. I think Bama will add one more power team (Big12/SEC Challenge?) and then will finish the schedule with a good selection of mid-majors. That was the set-up this season (Oklahoma, Texas Tech, NIT, South Florida, Xavier, UCLA).

Sometimes the schedule strength comes down to a little bit of luck. When Bama announced that schedule last summer, I knew it was tough, but I didn't think at the time it would be #2 or #3 in terms of strength. Teams like Oklahoma, UCLA, Xavier turned out to be a heck of a lot better than anticipated.

I agree with Grant that you have to play a tough schedule to improve as a program. This year was tough, but most of those games were a possession or two away from being in Bama's favor. The key is to improve and win a few of those games next season.

Msmilie said...

For those of you suffering from Bama basketball withdrawal, Youtube comes to the rescue.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eOVTsikxvEk

Msmilie said...

Algie Key will transfer. Grant said he's looking for more minutes. Probably a smart move on his part. Two scholarships now open.

Msmilie said...

One more thing: Shannon Hale broke a bone in his foot over spring break (must have been a hell of a night) and will be out 4-6 weeks. Hopefully he recovers fully so he's ready to go by the start of next season.

Alex said...

All that being said, sometimes you just need to win one of those hard games to get your team to believe. Remember the year we went to the elite 8 we played one of the most difficult schedules in the regular season and our record was only like 17-12 but the key was we had beaten some top 25 teams which boosted our tournament resume enough to let us slip in.

GEE said...

http://www.al.com/auburnbasketball/index.ssf/2014/04/bruce_pearl_plans_to_rebuild_a.html#comments

GEE said...

looks like he's already got 2

crimsontider said...

Of course it's PR. Honestly, i'm on the fence regarding the schedule. The positives are that it gives you an opportunity to see where your program is, while also allowing you to make the tourney, with as few as 17, 18 wins. The flip side is that it could kill your season before conference play starts. Regardless, Grant is obviously putting all his chips on the table so we will know where this team is, and how good/bad it can be very early on.
Of course, Grant also dropped the dreaded "We're close" card, which I have heard from him a few times since he was winding down. That kind of rubbed me the wrong way, as it comes off as him not understanding the magnitude of how godawful we were this past year, while also coming off as an attempt to blatantly cover his ass while sugarcoating the problems. That may sound harsh, but nobody wants to hear that from a multimillion dollar coach.

Msmilie said...

I say give the guy some props. Most coaches in his position would be looking to load up the schedule with cupcakes in order to stack wins. The fact that he plans to continue playing a difficult schedule despite the hot seat shows he's got guts and believes in what he's trying to do. Now, it might blow up in his face, but I'd rather he go down swinging.

I don't think he's sugarcoating anything. He's been saying that he understands what he needs to do and that the results this past year were not what they had hoped for. That said, this team was much better than their record. For example: take five games (Drexel, South Florida, Xavier, Wichita State and South Carolina). Bama lost those five games by a combined 13 points. If Bama wins those games, they're 18-13 and who knows where they end up in the postseason. So it's not unfair for Grant to say they were "close" because they were when you break each game down. With the exception of the mid-point of the conference schedule when they looked beaten at Auburn and home against Tennessee, this team battled night in and night out. If they can improve the defense and rebounding numbers next season, I feel good about the chances for a turnaround.

Msmilie said...

Goody for Pearl. You guys are hilarious with your fear of Pearl. The guy isn't John Wooden. He did a great job at Tennessee to his credit, but Auburn is a completely different beast. He will make Auburn a much better program while he's there (I still say the O/U is 3 years), but this idea that he's going to dominate the SEC at Auburn is laughable.