Earl Grant was hired as the new head coach at College of Charleston this week. The move seemed to gain positive marks from many college basketball analysts, but one of the important factors in the Grant hire is how the players at the school would respond to him?
After all, these same players were found to be verbally abused by former head coach Doug Wojcik, so it was a delicate situation finding a new coach to smooth things over.
But according to a story from Andrew Miller of The Post and Courier, the players seem to like the Grant hire and he’s made an immediate positive impression on them.
“The first thing he wanted to do when he got on campus was meet with us,” sophomore guard Canyon Barry said to Miller. “I think that shows you where his head is. He let us know that he wants to build relationships with each of us, and trust is the most important thing when you’ve got a new coach and dynamic like we’ve got. I think he’s a great fit for us.”
While the players appear happy with the hire, the team was also made stronger by overcoming the issues they faced with the intense media spotlight and the removal of their former head coach.
“The bond that I have with my teammates, it’s something that I can’t express in words,” sophomore guard Joe Chealey said to Miller. “I knew regardless of what happened or who the new coach was going to be, I had to be here for the guys on this team. This is the closest team I’ve ever been on. We decided early on that we needed to come together and have each others’ backs. This has brought us closer together.”
Now that the drama appears to be finished at College of Charleston, between Wojcik’s firing and the long time it took Grant to be hired, the team can focus on basketball and the upcoming season. Watching how the team plays under Grant will be one of the intriguing early-season storylines in college basketball in 2014-15.