Beware Red Herrings…

Grant, whose icy stare could reverse global warming, brings his Crimson
Tide into the Siegel Center on Saturday afternoon for a very important nonconference matchup. Chris Kowalczyk
wrote an outstanding piece today about Grant and his accomplishments

during his tenure at VCU. Grant's elevation of the VCU basketball
program and its standards is inarguable. Shaka Smart rightfully
understands and appreciates Grant's leadership.

“I think what Anthony did here was phenomenal,” Smart said Wednesday. “I
think he really set the bar higher than it had ever been. I think Jeff
Capel, before Anthony, set the bar very high and I think Anthony raised
the bar.”

while that's all fine and nice, the moment the clock strikes 8:00am on
Saturday morning, this game is not about Anthony
Grant. It's about VCU basketball and the opportunity for a top 50 win.

Yes, I recognize what Grant accomplished and appreciate him for that,
but it all stops at the door to the Siegel Center. After I finish my
coffee Saturday morning, it's
about Alabama trying to take something from us. It isn't about love or
hate, cheer or boo. It's a feeling of zero. It's about us, and

is top 40 in both RPI and KenPom rankings. A
win over the Tide is surely a top 100 win, and quite possibly a top 50 win.
Come March, when we start looking back at the regular season for good victories, this is one
of them. It's VCUs biggest nonconference game played on American soil.

Tide has Trevor Releford, who will remind you more of Missouri's Flip Pressey than
FGCUs Brett Comer. Releford is Alabama's leading scorer (16.9ppg) but has not
led Alabama in scoring in three games. That mantle belongs to point
guard Trevor Lacey, who has led them in scoring in four of eight games.
The duo have combined for 54 assists and 24 turnovers on the year. And
29 steals, too–this bunch plays defense. The gang rebounding you hear so
much about?
Six Tiders have led or tied for the rebounding lead in games.

just saying this is about perspective. Don't let the whole Grant thing
distract you from what matters–a VCU victory. I will tip my cap to Grant on Friday, and I
will tip my cap to him on Monday. But Saturday, he is no more and no less to
me than the coach of a team standing in our way.

I'll probably
be Christmas shopping on Sunday, so that doesn't count.