Anthony Grant Agrees to Become Alabama Basketball Coach

Ben GibsonSenior Analyst IMarch 28, 2009

PHILADELPHIA - MARCH 19:  Anthony Grant head coach of the VCU Rams talks to the team during the game against the UCLA Bruins during the first round of the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament at the Wachovia Center on March 19, 2009 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

So much for my grand theory.

Looks like Donovan's decision is believed by at least former Virginia Commonwealth University coach Anthony Grant. He decided to take the Alabama job, according to the Richmond Times Dispatch.

Grant's official word came around 7:30 Friday night, just hours after the Kentucky decision. It could have resulted in Billy Donovan's departure, and the opening of the Florida job that Grant clearly covets.

However, what's done is done, and now we are left to see where that leaves the coaching carousel.

Alabama should be happy—they have a solid coach, but more importantly, they have a good guy.

Grant is a personable and charismatic figure.  The players at VCU truly fought hard for him, and he was able to maximize his success while there. 

Three regular season titles in three years will go a long way in helping your stock.

Many inside the VCU organization loved how much Grant embraced the community and represented the school in such a professional, but also personal level.

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Alabama fans may be concerned about hiring a man with only three years of experience, but this is a calculated risk that will pay off. 

Grant knows the SEC after being a long-time assistant there with Florida. He was able to bring in quality recruits to the CAA like sophomore forward Larry Sanders.

Imagine how good the recruiting classes can be in the SEC.

Most importantly, the SEC is wide open at the moment. 

The cream of the crop, LSU, has five graduating seniors, and perhaps one more loss due to NBA entry.

Kentucky is in the middle of a coaching search, with one of their top names apparently off the board.

Tennessee and Florida are good, but certainly not in dominant positions for the near future.

Grant has a pretty good roster to work with, and if the fans give him a chance, he will be able to do great things with the Crimson Tide.

The real question is, where does this leave VCU?

The Rams have had some really good success this decade, thanks to the hard work of Grant and current Oklahoma Sooner coach Jeff Capel.

Grant's defection, coupled with the loss of all-time leading scorer and point guard extraordinaire Eric Maynor, is a very demoralizing one-two punch for the community.

Still, the Rams have struck gold before.  Their search committees have been able to find more than a few diamonds in the rough. 

Capel, after all, was the youngest coach in the NCAA when he was hired by VCU.  He had never even recruited before.

However, the administration clearly saw something in the former Duke point guard and son of the former Old Dominion University coach, Jeff Capel II.

I hope VCU can find a good replacement. Their fanbase has experienced a spike in the past few years after their big first round victory over Duke in 2007.

At a school without a football program, basketball was their opportunity to come together and cheer until their lungs gave out.

There is no joy in Richmond tonight, but there will be in Tuscaloosa.

Book it.


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