SMITHFIELD, R.I. (WPRI) — Bryant men’s basketball opens its season Monday night against Manhattan, with a new man in charge.

Phil Martelli, Jr. was named acting head coach in September after Jared Grasso went on a leave of absence from the university. Limited information has been released on the reason for Grasso’s absence.

Despite the outside noise, Martelli – who has been on the Bulldogs staff since 2018 – said his team has remained focused on the court.

“Really for them, when they walk in here and they put that jersey on, there’s no outside noise,” he said. “It’s the noise of the gym. And credit to them, they’ve come to work every single day and I can’t ask for anything more.”