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Does Anthony Grant care about Alabama basketball?

  • Lucky has some info on this program he holds close to him but he has hinted there are problems internally that we are ignorant too. He posted about this after the Cinci loss.

  • I have taken note of a few comments. That is why I would like to see him chime in now that the season is over.

  • Recalled this thread as I watched us drop another one today. Interesting looking back over all of our thoughts a season ago. Really not much has changed. This program needs a salesman - I would make Bruce Pearl say no.

  • CrimsonKat said... (original post)

    Recalled this thread as I watched us drop another one today. Interesting looking back over all of our thoughts a season ago. Really not much has changed. This program needs a salesman - I would make Bruce Pearl say no.

    Sorry Kat, UA will never hire a "show cause coach," such as Bruce Pearl, not with our history with the NCAA, the Board of Trustees will just never let it happen. They are afraid of a possible death penalty and don't need to give the NCAA reason to be snooping around campus.

    It took Coach K seven years to get Duke, a traditional basketball school, into a regular NCAA tournament program. Gettig Bama to that point in today's hoops world is an even tougher job. Imo, more patience is required.

    CAG does need to show improvement next year. I think the shooters (Coleman, Norris & Mitchell) CAG recruited next year to add to Hale is a step in the right direction. Hopefully Kessens & Taylor can become post presences next year and gobble up the rebounds. Plus Tarrant & Key provide quality minutes of guard play to help these guys adjust to the college level. Still waiting for Levi & Coop to step up and become consistent producers, since they are upperclassmen now, but they really aren't showing signs of doing so. Not sure they have the intestinal fortitude in them to do so. CAG needs to have a very good '15 recruiting class and already has a quality wing in Brandon Austin, but he needs a couple of post players, of which one needs to be a stud (hopefully Noah Dickerson) and then I would love him to find just a tough SOB such as Chris "the Junkyard Dog" Hines was, willing to do the dirty work and clean the glass.

    I am quite confident CAG will be back on the sideline for the '14-'15 season, but next year's team needs to show that the direction of the program is pointing upward again, the status quo or a downward direction (which I don't think is realistically possible) and he could be in serious trouble. I hope not. I want CAG to succeed at UA, it is just taking longer than all of us want to see. Remember my Crimson brothers and sisters, "good things come to those who wait." Unfortunately, it looks like we will have to wait longer, at least another season. RTR!!!

    This post has been edited 2 times, most recently by bwolff 6 months ago

  • I have a problem with what a poor job UA does of promoting basketball in general. And the game atmosphere and experience is embarrassing. That needs to change and hopefully it will soon!

  • CrimsonKat said... (original post)

    There is no doubt in my mind that Anthony Grant is a man of high character. I also think he has the potential to become a solid basketball coach in time. But, for me, the lingering question is whether Anthony Grant really cares about Alabama basketball. I am not speaking of wins and losses but instead whether he is here to build back a program or whether being a program-builder is in his DNA as a college basketball coach.

    Program Builder or Program Sustainer?

    It has been mentioned many times that there are coaches who can build athletic programs and there are coaches who can sustain athletic programs. Four years into his tenure, I think Grant may prove to be the latter of those two. If Billy Donovan had bolted for the NBA several years back, I am fairly confident that Anthony Grant could have stepped in at Florida, with some expected hiccups given the transition, and continued their run as a Top 15 program in college basketball. Grant is a good enough recruiter and a good enough gameday coach to at least sustain what Billy Donovan built at Florida.

    The Alabama job, when taken by Grant, was not one that needed to be sustained but one that required rebuilding. Moreover, and unlike its counterpart of Alabama football, the Alabama basketball program was not one of the 10 or so programs nationwide which sells itself (see Kansas, UCLA, Kentucky, etc.), a quality that obviously lends great assistance to the rebuilding project at hand. As such, the job description for the Alabama basketball coaching position accepted by Anthony Grant should have made very clear that he was coming to Tuscaloosa to sell (and thus build) our program as much as he was coming to coach X's and O's on the court.

    Coach First, Salesman Second

    Given the tradition of its program, UCLA basketball does not need a salesman -- UCLA football, on the other hand, needs a salesman (insert Jim Mora). Alabama is a good comparator for the inverse of this proposition. Nick Saban is not wired in this fashion but he could likely spend 365 days a year coaching X's and O's in his office and maintain our football program in the Top 10 year in and year out. Instead, Saban, although it is certainly not his favorite part of the job and his job security clearly does not depend on it, is the consummate promoter of Alabama football from speaking engagements to media opportunities to just generally promoting our University as a whole. How many times do you hear Nick Saban deflect credit to the University, its leadership, and even the fans when accepting praise? It is all part of SELLING the Alabama football program and the University of Alabama.

    Anthony Grant, for four years now, has ignored any responsibilities related to SELLING the Alabama basketball program much less any responsibilities concerning selling our University as a whole. I have heard UAB Head Basketball Coach Jared Haase on sports talk radio in Alabama promoting his program far more than Anthony Grant, which is embarrassing in and of itself. In fact, I cannot recall the last media appearance of any nature by Grant. I tuned in to the weekly Alabama Coaching Show on the radio four times this season -- Anthony Grant was on once and his assistants were on for the other three occasions. Have you ever seen Nick Saban send Kirby Smart to do his weekly radio show?

    When you fail to promote your program, it affects recruiting, it affects fan support, and it affects the general perception of Alabama basketball within the State and across the country. There is probably as little excitement about Alabama basketball today, four years later, than there was the day Mark Gottfried was fired. While you can blame everything from a stagnant offense to a fickle fanbase, the reality is that the majority of the blame falls on Anthony Grant's inability to promote our basketball program. Winning is a part of building excitement around the program and it will surely cure a lot of ills but it is just that, a part of the overall picture in building the program.

    Blueprint to Build a Program

    To be clear, I like Anthony Grant and hope he succeeds. But, the reality is that, if Grant continues the self-serving approach he has maintained over the first four years, the upcoming season will be his last. Grant's approach will get us in a Tournament game every few years but we will never have the long-term success we desire until Grant steps outside of his comfort zone and begins promoting this program. Fortunately for Grant, there is a blueprint to be followed in building the program.

    One example, although he is not the man of character that Anthony Grant is, would be Bruce Pearl. When he took over Tennessee basketball, the fan support was putrid. Pearl worked night and day though promoting Tennessee basketball from media appearances across the state to attending women's basketball games shirtless. Does Anthony Grant need to go shirtless to promote our program? No, but there are a lot of lessons to learn from Pearl (and some mistakes to learn from as well) in how to build a program.

    Even closer, take a look at how Patrick Murphy has built the softball program. Murphy developed fan support, and more importantly fan loyalty, long before this was a championship program. The softball players became an integral part of the Tuscaloosa community from service projects to something as simple as players delivering season tickets to fans door to door. Patrick Murphy has built a softball program with far less resources than Anthony Grant has at his disposal. Like with some of our basketball players on the court, it is not always a matter of the resources available (ie, talent) as it is with giving effort.

    If he cares, and I would like to hope he does, there is still time for Anthony Grant to build this program. At a minimum, he will have another year. One thing is for certain though, the Alabama basketball program is not going to build itself.

    I quit watching or caring about Alabama Basketball last year. It is sad as I used to watch all the games. No more.

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    If you want to walk the heavenly streets of gold, gotta knnow the password... Roll Tide Roll....

  • Of Course he does. Each time a paycheck hits his bank account.........

  • bama1fan

    CrimsonKat said... (original post)

    There is no doubt in my mind that Anthony Grant is a man of high character. I also think he has the potential to become a solid basketball coach in time. But, for me, the lingering question is whether Anthony Grant really cares about Alabama basketball. I am not speaking of wins and losses but instead whether he is here to build back a program or whether being a program-builder is in his DNA as a college basketball coach.

    Program Builder or Program Sustainer?

    It has been mentioned many times that there are coaches who can build athletic programs and there are coaches who can sustain athletic programs. Four years into his tenure, I think Grant may prove to be the latter of those two. If Billy Donovan had bolted for the NBA several years back, I am fairly confident that Anthony Grant could have stepped in at Florida, with some expected hiccups given the transition, and continued their run as a Top 15 program in college basketball. Grant is a good enough recruiter and a good enough gameday coach to at least sustain what Billy Donovan built at Florida.

    The Alabama job, when taken by Grant, was not one that needed to be sustained but one that required rebuilding. Moreover, and unlike its counterpart of Alabama football, the Alabama basketball program was not one of the 10 or so programs nationwide which sells itself (see Kansas, UCLA, Kentucky, etc.), a quality that obviously lends great assistance to the rebuilding project at hand. As such, the job description for the Alabama basketball coaching position accepted by Anthony Grant should have made very clear that he was coming to Tuscaloosa to sell (and thus build) our program as much as he was coming to coach X's and O's on the court.

    Coach First, Salesman Second

    Given the tradition of its program, UCLA basketball does not need a salesman -- UCLA football, on the other hand, needs a salesman (insert Jim Mora). Alabama is a good comparator for the inverse of this proposition. Nick Saban is not wired in this fashion but he could likely spend 365 days a year coaching X's and O's in his office and maintain our football program in the Top 10 year in and year out. Instead, Saban, although it is certainly not his favorite part of the job and his job security clearly does not depend on it, is the consummate promoter of Alabama football from speaking engagements to media opportunities to just generally promoting our University as a whole. How many times do you hear Nick Saban deflect credit to the University, its leadership, and even the fans when accepting praise? It is all part of SELLING the Alabama football program and the University of Alabama.

    Anthony Grant, for four years now, has ignored any responsibilities related to SELLING the Alabama basketball program much less any responsibilities concerning selling our University as a whole. I have heard UAB Head Basketball Coach Jared Haase on sports talk radio in Alabama promoting his program far more than Anthony Grant, which is embarrassing in and of itself. In fact, I cannot recall the last media appearance of any nature by Grant. I tuned in to the weekly Alabama Coaching Show on the radio four times this season -- Anthony Grant was on once and his assistants were on for the other three occasions. Have you ever seen Nick Saban send Kirby Smart to do his weekly radio show?

    When you fail to promote your program, it affects recruiting, it affects fan support, and it affects the general perception of Alabama basketball within the State and across the country. There is probably as little excitement about Alabama basketball today, four years later, than there was the day Mark Gottfried was fired. While you can blame everything from a stagnant offense to a fickle fanbase, the reality is that the majority of the blame falls on Anthony Grant's inability to promote our basketball program. Winning is a part of building excitement around the program and it will surely cure a lot of ills but it is just that, a part of the overall picture in building the program.

    Blueprint to Build a Program

    To be clear, I like Anthony Grant and hope he succeeds. But, the reality is that, if Grant continues the self-serving approach he has maintained over the first four years, the upcoming season will be his last. Grant's approach will get us in a Tournament game every few years but we will never have the long-term success we desire until Grant steps outside of his comfort zone and begins promoting this program. Fortunately for Grant, there is a blueprint to be followed in building the program.

    One example, although he is not the man of character that Anthony Grant is, would be Bruce Pearl. When he took over Tennessee basketball, the fan support was putrid. Pearl worked night and day though promoting Tennessee basketball from media appearances across the state to attending women's basketball games shirtless. Does Anthony Grant need to go shirtless to promote our program? No, but there are a lot of lessons to learn from Pearl (and some mistakes to learn from as well) in how to build a program.

    Even closer, take a look at how Patrick Murphy has built the softball program. Murphy developed fan support, and more importantly fan loyalty, long before this was a championship program. The softball players became an integral part of the Tuscaloosa community from service projects to something as simple as players delivering season tickets to fans door to door. Patrick Murphy has built a softball program with far less resources than Anthony Grant has at his disposal. Like with some of our basketball players on the court, it is not always a matter of the resources available (ie, talent) as it is with giving effort.

    If he cares, and I would like to hope he does, there is still time for Anthony Grant to build this program. At a minimum, he will have another year. One thing is for certain though, the Alabama basketball program is not going to build itself.

    Outstanding post!

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