Boston College head basketball coach Earl Grant will be joining WBZ and CBSN throughout the NCAA Tournament as a guest analyst. Here he previews the Saturday's early games on WBZ.
LEVAN REID: I have to ask you. Just talking on BC. How has it been? How is the recruiting been? How's settling in been? How's coming to the city been? Especially during these times, it's a little bit different. How has it been just to get yourself in line and ready to go?
EARL GRANT: It's been unbelievable, you know. I really enjoy the people on campus, obviously getting to know our players that are here at BC now. There is some talented guys in the locker room. Some young guys that have a promising future. So it's been nice to be around them and work with them and sweat with them. I've enjoyed that.
And just all the other coaches, and all the administration. So many good people just willing to help with the transition. So that's been amazing.
As it pertains to leaving where I was, that was a challenge. I wasn't looking to leave. We were at a great place. We had developed a lot of great memories and the players there were really guys that I enjoyed coaching. But you know the way the AD and the president here, Pat Kraft and Father Leahy, the way their approach was in the process, it was something that I was very [INAUDIBLE] to based on the way they talked about their values and what was important to them.
LEVAN REID: I have to ask you one more question before we get to the [INAUDIBLE] games. Are you better in person or in Zoom? Because I think people have to learn skills about trying to make sure your point gets across through Zoom.
EARL GRANT: Man, I'm a better person. I'd rather [INAUDIBLE] people, talk to the people, point at to people, you know, be around the people. I'm much, much better-- even with the press conference, doing it on Zoom and not having a lot of people in the crowd and fans that you can point to and talk to, to kind of reiterate some of the points you were making-- it's a little different.
LEVAN REID: You mentioned the fans. Let's go. Loyola of Chicago taking on the Oregon Ducks. Sister Jean versus the Ducks. I have to ask you, how important is it to find a fan where you can say that person, whether it be Ashley Judd with Kentucky or sister Jean Williams Chicago, how important is it to have a fan or just a group of people that signify with your squad?
EARL GRANT: I mean, I think that's critical. Obviously Sister Jean, she's magical, she's been around the last five years. The last five years. She's known around the world now, she's famous. And so just being a person that's a chaplain for that team and praying for that team and giving those guys some comfort when they go out on the floor. Some peace when they go out on the floor, I think it's been a unique situation and a unique story.
But I think it's so important to have people backing you. Whether it be for an individual person or even just fans or students. Just a group of people to kind of make you feel like there's somebody watching and there's somebody that cares.
LEVAN REID: You've done it with the College of Charleston and now you get a chance to see a team like Loyola Chicago. Maybe a small school and they've been to the Final Four. And now you go to a program, which here in BC, where they haven't seen a lot of success. How much does a team like Loyola Chicago say, OK, we can be just like them or better?
EARL GRANT: Yeah, I mean, I think the most important thing is for BC, man, there's been-- there was 20 years of greatness. Years of greatness you know, if you look at the history. Coming from O'Brien and even Gary Williams had a success here. But looking at O'Brien and looking at Al Skinner, there was 20 years of greatness.
So that's inspiring. That's part of the reason I was excited about coming because the DNA of the program, the blood, the vessels that's inside this program, they're still alive. They just haven't thrived here recently.
I think the previous two coaches who preceded me both did some good things. They did some good things, they had some success at times. And now I'm hoping because of all of those coaches in the foundation they've left me with, that we can push off and try to continue to move this program in the right direction.
LEVAN REID: Would you like Loyola do you like Oregon?
EARL GRANT: You know, if you had asked me a week and a half ago I'd have said Oregon. Dana Altman with all the changing defenses, man-to-man, match-up zone, full court press-- he keeps you off balance. But right now I just think Loyola. They got some magic going on with their program now. So I got to give Loyola the nod.
LEVAN REID: The next game-- Vilanova is taking on Baylor. I feel like Baylor is like hey, we were the number two team in the country for literally the whole season and nobody's talking about us. Why is that?
EARL GRANT: Well, I mean, you don't ever want to count out Jay Wright but Baylor is playing good basketball. You got a bunch of guys in there believing in each other. And a lot of transfers from major schools are there playing. And they're making a lot of 3's, they're really defending people well. And so right now I've got to go with Baylor.
LEVAN REID: Sure.
EARL GRANT: As much as I don't want to bet against Jay Wright I've got to go to with Baylor in this one. They're playing really good basketball.
LEVAN REID: But Jay Wright always seems to recruit local and I think that's so important.
EARL GRANT: Yeah.
LEVAN REID: How important is it for you to watch that and say, make sure we keep the good players who are local here in Massachusetts or the area of the New England area and make sure they stay here, maybe even come to your program.
EARL GRANT: Yeah, I think more importantly, you talk about New England. Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, you know all these areas. You're three hours away from New York and New Jersey. But I really think it's important to keep some of these kids home.
Historically there hasn't been a lot of kids who stayed home. There's been some of the best teams that Boston College have been to and put on the floor, they maybe have one or two guys from New England.
And they went out in different places to recruit whether it be California or Texas or North Carolina. And they went in a little bit everywhere. And so, the DMV, you know DC. They went everywhere, but I really think we got to utilize these prep schools up here in the [INAUDIBLE].
We've got to try to make sure these kids at home understand that we would love to keep them there. I think that's what is important, and hopefully some of these guys would be fired about what we're trying to do.