We’re not saying that Earl Grant is anonymous, but when you go to look up the new BC coach, you have to make clear that you’re not looking for the musician Earl Grant, who is also not exactly a household name.
Of course that doesn't mean anything. In 1980, no one could pronounce Krzyzewski, let alone spell it.
But it is fair to say that Grant is not well known.
A native of Charleston, he has spent a lot of time in South Carolina as a player and coach, but was also an assistant to Gregg Marshall at both Winthrop and Wichita State before his fall.
He assisted Brad Brownell at Clemson and recruited well, particularly given Clemson’s relative limitations and place in the ACC pecking order.
After Clemson, he took the head job at College Of Charleston, a wonderful if underappreciated basketball school but again down the pecking order of South Carolina basketball programs.
He had one tough year in his first season but then posted seasons with 17, 25, 26, 24,17 and, in the Covid season, finished 9-10.
As we’ve said, everyone should get a pass so let’s let that go.
Averaging nearly 22 wins a season over five seasons at Charleston is pretty good and he made the post-season twice, once in the NIT and once in the Big Dance.
After his second season he never finished lower than fourth, again, excepting the Covid season.
So he’s shown some chops.
But he was a surprise hire by the Eagles. What’s the draw?
Well there are several.
First, he’s young, just 44. Second, he’s shown some consistent and desirable qualities at the Citadel, Winthrop, Wichita State, Clemson and Charleston. Third and most importantly, he’s been part of programs that cannot get the top players but that nonetheless became highly competitive.
And fourth, he appears to be a genuinely decent person, which is a quality that a Jesuit institution is bound to find appealing.
At his last three stops - Winthrop, Wichita State and Clemson - he helped to find and recruit undervalued players who he also helped to turn into legitimately excellent players.
He was a key part of drawing KJ McDaniels and Jaron Blossomgame, among others, to Littlejohn.
Given BC’s woes, and how far behind the rest of the ACC they currently are, it’s possible that this could turn out to be a tremendous out-of-the-box hire. He brings a lot of energy to Boston College which we see from his first roster which features seven freshmen. Seven others are listed as transfers but we’re not sure how many he’s responsible for. We’re guessing he brought in Brevin Galloway, who played at Charleston, and we think we recall seeing that Quinten Post had transferred from Ole Miss and that TJ Bickerstaff has come over from Drexel.
We could be wrong though and aren’t going to worry about that right now.
The fact is that he’s put together a very different roster in a big damn hurry. We honestly have no idea how good they are or what he’ll do with it but the fact that he’s managed to convince so many guys to join him at BC before he’s even coached a game is striking. They must think highly of him.
And of course, if he manages to turn BC around, then he’ll be one of the most desirable young coaches in the nation and BC’s challenge will change from bringing him to Boston College to keeping him there.