First week on the job a whirlwind for Anthony Grant

Anthony Grant hasn’t had time to decorate his office at the Cronin Center. There were a couple of nails on the walls, he said. They might have held his predecessor Archie Miller’s framed Dayton Daily News sections from the 2014 Elite Eight run. That was one of the ways Miller spruced up the place.

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Eventually, Grant’s new job as men’s basketball coach of the Dayton Flyers will slow down enough for him to have time to make himself at home, but his first week on the job was a whirlwind. UD announced his hiring March 30. He was introduced at a press conference April 1 at UD. On Thursday, he gave his first interview since that press conference.

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“There are a lot of things I’ve tried to touch this week,” Grant said. “My feet are sort of hovering somewhere near the floor. I don’t know if they’ve been on the floor a whole lot. It’s good to be here. I’m excited to be leading this program and back at my alma mater.”

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Here are five takeaways from Thursday’s conversation:

1. Recruiting update: Grant plans to meet face to face with the four 2017 recruits — Jordan Davis, Jordan Pierce, McKinley Wright and Nahziah Carter — who have signed national letters of intent to play at UD.

Grant didn’t say when the meetings would take place. He did confirm none of the players has asked for a release from his letter of intent.

“At the end of the day, when all the dust settles, I never want to stand in the way of a kid that knows his best option is to do something else,” Grant said. “They established a great relationship with Archie (Miller) and his staff. That’s how it works. But as of right now, they’re all going to give me an opportunity to talk to them and reconnect in terms of Dayton and this program and my vision. Hopefully, we can keep them all in the fold.”

Dayton has one other 2017 recruit, Matej Svoboda, of the Czech Republic. He verbally committed but hasn’t signed. Grant can’t comment on unsigned recruits. Svoboda didn’t respond to a question about his status Wednesday.

2. Roster intact: If all five recruits stick with Dayton, UD will have all 13 scholarships filled. Grant said none of the eight returning scholarship players has said anything to him about transferring.

3. Injury news: Sophomore forward Sam Miller fractured his ankle while playing Saturday, not long after Grant was introduced at a press conference at UD Arena.

“He had surgery that day,” Grant said. “He’s got a little bit of road to recovery over the course of the next several months.”

Next week, freshman guard Trey Landers will have surgery to repair a sports hernia.

“I think it’s something he’s dealt with over the course of the last year,” Grant said. “The timing was best to do it next week so he can get back as quick as possible.”

4. Building a staff: Grant said he has not hired any assistant coaches but feels good about the progress he has made toward doing so.

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“I know a lot of people in the profession,” he said. “I started to reach out. I’m getting a lot of text messages and emails, phone calls, from people who have expressed interest. It’s been a challenge to go through. You’ve got a lot of people who are good at what they do. I’ve got to put a staff together to complement myself and the University of Dayton. I want a great staff that’s going to serve these guys and continue to add great players to the program.”
5. Personal side: Grant has spent most of his first week at his office in the Cronin Center.
“By the time I leave my office at night, I’m pretty confident I can get back to my room,” he said. “That’s the extent of Dayton I’ve seen other than maybe a sandwich here or there.”
Grant’s wife Chris and their three children who live at home will stay in Oklahoma City, where he was an assistant coach with the NBA’s Thunder, until school ends.
“My wife will be coming back and forth, trying to find a house and a place for the kids to go to school and that whole thing,” Grant said. “Hopefully, we’ll transition in early summer.”

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