Posted 03/25/2009 at 05:51 PM
Virginia Commonwealth head coach Anthony Grant and his wife spent today in Tuscaloosa touring the Alabama campus. It appears safe to assume that Grant will have an offer to take over the Crimson Tide program before the end of the day.
Will Grant accept the offer? Perhaps most importantly, how much time will 'Bama give Grant to make a decision?
You see, it says here that Billy Gillispie will be tasting a pink slip as soon as Kentucky's season ends (perhaps as early as tonight in South Bend). When that happens, UK will most likely make a second run at Florida's Billy Donovan.
This time around, the circumstances are entirely different for the dean of SEC coaches. The Gators aren't coming off back-to-back national titles. Instead, they have made consecutive NIT appearances.
Therefore, it's probably 50-50 as to whether or not Donovan bolts Gainesville for Big Blue Country.
If Donovan does leave, Grant would be Florida AD Jeremy Foley's first choice just like he was two years ago when Donovan temporarily accepted the head-coaching gig with the Orlando Magic. And make no mistake, Grant would rather be at UF than Alabama (or just about anywhere else). He spent 10 years in Gainesville as an assistant on Donovan's staff and was instrumental in recruiting the Oh Fours that led UF to national championships in 2006 and 2007.
And that's not it for Grant, who has a slew of other potential options. For starters, he could be on Virginia's wish list. Minnesota's Tubby Smith is believed to be UVA's first choice, but Smith said he's "extremely happy" at Minnesota when asked about other jobs earlier in the week.
In addition, the Miami job might also be open in the next week or so. How's that? Well, I believe that Georgia is going to strike out when it makes plays for Missouri's Mike Anderson and/or Oklahoma's Jeff Capel. At that point, Miami's Frank Haith could become the top option for Georgia AD Damon Evans. Haith is still fuming over the fact that UM had to go on the road in the first two rounds of the NIT because its home court was rented out for other events.
If the UM job is open, you would think the 'Canes would make a strong play for Grant, who grew up in Miami and has been a dominant recruiting force in the Dade-Broward County areas for more than a decade.
So obviously, Grant has some thinking to do this evening. If he turns down 'Bama, there is the possibility that Donovan could turn down Kentucky and maybe Georgia looks to someone other than Haith. In that scenario, UF and UM wouldn't be in the mix and only time will tell if Virginia is interested. Even in that case, though, staying at VCU isn't the worst thing by any means. The Rams return their entire roster except for Eric Maynor and that includes All-American candidate Larry Sanders.
As always, the coaching carousel promises to be interesting. And the dominoes could start falling by tomorrow afternoon.