Billy on Grant, SC rumors

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Here’s what Billy Donovan said when asked by the South Carolina media about the coaching credentials of former assistant Anthony Grant, the current head coach at Virginia Commonwealth who is a rumored candidate to replace retiring Dave Odom at USC:

“Anthony is certainly someone that I have a close relationship with a great deal of respect for because of how hard he works. But I know that Anthony has things that he wants to get accomplished at Virginia Commonwealth. That’s where his focus is and I think it wouldn’t be fair to the school or the kids he’s coaching to speculate at this point. And it wouldn’t be fair to South Carolina’s program and a class coach like Dave Odom, who deserves to go out the right way. I’m sure right now that Anthony’s focus is completely on getting his team better. I would be surprised and disappointed if that wasn’t the case.”

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reported Thursday that VCU is working on a new deal to increase Grant’s annual base salary of $400,000. Grant’s current contract runs through the 2012-13 season.

South Carolina may not be the only SEC vacancy before the season ends. Alabama’s Mark Gottfried and LSU’s John Brady also are on the hot seat after 0-4 starts in conference play.

While it’s unclear if Grant’s name will carry as much weight if those two jobs open up, it’s clear that Grant is a hot name in South Carolina’s coaching search.