RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Shaka Smart has taken the VCU men's basketball program to new heights, but Anthony Grant provided his original spring board in Richmond. Grant was the Rams' head coach from 2006-2009, before leaving to take the head coaching job at Alabama. Saturday, he'll return to the Siegel Center for the first time since his departure, and will bring his Crimson Tide team with him.
Grant and Alabama visit VCU on Saturday, which will mark Grant's second time facing his former team. Last season, the Crimson Tide downed the Rams in Tuscaloosa, 72-64. There will not be many familiar faces on the VCU bench for the former leader of the program, as redshirt senior forward David Hinton is the only player remaining from Grant's tenure at VCU.
Many of the current players, however, know Grant well, either through recruiting visits or from VCU history. Both Hinton and senior guard Troy Daniels say that Saturday will be business as usual, regardless of who is sitting on the opposing bench.
During his time in Richmond, Grant compiled a 76-25 record, led the Rams to two CAA Championships and guided the team to the NCAA Tournament in each of his three seasons.
VCU enters this weekend's contest with a 6-3 record and has won three games in a row. Alabama is 6-2 and has lost two straight games.
Saturday's tip-off is set for 4:00pm at the Siegel Center.