Yes, the same Rams who play a stylish brand of hoops, designed by first-year head coach Grant (pictured right), with a trapping defense that is a thing of beauty. Grant’s coaching allowed a team perhaps greater than the sum of its parts to show a prime time March Madness TV audience that tournament basketball games are still contests between teams, not necessarily platforms for dueling NBA prospects.
Grant has a recruiting class coming in that has been given high marks by the most outspoken avid Rams fans/boosters I know, basketball junkies who sometimes know it all. Now they can breathe a sign of relief. Billy Donovan is staying put at Florida and Grant says he’s happy to be here.
Grant is a wonder, he earned his raise. In 20 years of covering college basketball I’ve not seen a more talented and focused basketball coach. So, I fully expect he will coach a Final Four team in the next few years.
Update: Speaking of Grant, the message below from Phil Stanton, VCU’s sports information director, came in today:
"The VCU SportsCenter is set to host a panel of influential members of the sports field, headlined by Washington Redskins quarterback Jason Campbell and VCU men’s basketball head coach Anthony Grant. The event, which is free and open to the public, will be held April 17 at 7 p.m. in the Alltel Pavilion at the Stuart C. Siegel Center.
"'This is an unbelievable opportunity for every young athlete to have a chance to hear in person about the journey to success of great athletes and people,' VCU SportsCenter Director Dr. Richard Sander said. 'These are athletes and coaches who have great stories and are people who young athletes can learn great lessons. As a parent I would want my child to witness these individuals.'
"Other panelists will include local Varina High School football star and current San Francisco 49er Michael Robinson along with Randolph-Macon College three-time All-American Megan Silva. Rounding out the panel will be Virginia’s standout point-guard Sean Singletary, VCU baseball alum and former member of the Boston Red Sox organization Brian Marshall, former VCU track and field All-American Tankia Brown, along with U.S. Olympic gold medalist and recently hired VCU women’s soccer co-head coach Tiffany Roberts Sahaydak.
"In his first year as the head coach at VCU, Grant made quite an impression – collecting a CAA regular season title, the program’s third CAA Tournament crown, a school-record 28 wins, and a coach-of-year selection. Most notably, Grant led the Rams to their first NCAA Tournament win in more than 20 years, a stunning upset of sixth-seeded Duke in the first round.
"The VCU SportsCenter-sponsored event will allow the speakers an opportunity to share their own individual athletic stories and accomplishments, while providing the young athletes in attendance guidance on their own future endeavors. A question-and-answer session will follow the presentation. For more information please contact the VCU SportsCenter office at (804) 828-7821."