The two most talked-aboutcandidates for the South Carolinamen’s basketball coaching jobhave gone on record about it —even though the school itself hasbarely begun its search.
Virginia Commonwealth coachAnthony Grant on Tuesdaydeclined to say whether he wouldbe interested in USC.
“The only job I’m interested inright now is VCU,” Grant saidduring the Colonial AthleticAssociation coaches teleconference.“We’ve got a great situationhere, I’m excited about having achance to go up and beat Hofstratomorrow, and that’s where ourfocus is.”
Grant, 42, also refused toanswer a question on whether hewould want to go up againstFlorida coach Billy Donovan byjoining a rival SEC East school.
Grant spent 12 seasons workingunder Donovan, including 10 atFlorida before taking the VCUjob.
The USC job came openFriday when Dave Odomannounced he was stepping downafter the season. Grant was askedhis reaction to the news.
“Having been at Florida andcoached against his team, I havea lot of respect for him,” Grantsaid. “And I’m certainly happy forhim that he’s able to go out on hisown terms. And certainly to me,he’s having a Hall of Fame coachingcareer. A great person, a greatman, I just wish him the best.”
Grant’s comment came a dayafter Wichita State coach GreggMarshall released a statementsaying the same thing as Grant:Each was interested only in talkingabout their current program.
USC athletics director EricHyman has yet to say anythingpublicly about the search, andthere is no indication whetherGrant or Marshall are on Hyman’sradar.
Even though Odom announcedhis decision at midseason,programs usually wait untilafter the end of the regular seasonbefore making a hire.
Minnesota’s job opened upseven games into last seasonwhen Dan Monson resigned. Butthe Golden Gophers did not hireTubby Smith until a few days afterhis team, Kentucky, was eliminatedfrom the NCAA tournament.
Reach Emerson at (803) 771-8676.