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November 20, 1987 - Image 25

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1987-11-20
Note:
This is a tabloid page

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

V V V '5 V V V V V V

w

w

IRP

,

v v W'

Slam,

bar, thankyou,

ma' am!

By GREG MOLZON
Basketball fans can't help but notice Michigan's No. 25
out on the court.
Whether he's throwing down a fast-break slam, making
a behind-the-back pass to a teammate for an easy score,
swishing in jumpers from three-point land, picking an op-
ponent clean in the open court, or wildly waving his arms in
the air to excite the fans into a frenzy, Gary Grant merits at-
tention on the basketball court.
The 6-3, 195-pound guard long ago received the adora-
tion of Michigan fans. Grant has been a crowd favorite his
entire career at Crisler Arena, becoming Michigan's most
exciting athlete since football great Anthony Carter, and one
of the Wolverines' all-time basketball greats.
"There's no question," said Michigan head coach Bill
Frieder, "that he has done as much for Michigan basketball
as any player in a long time."
BIG TEN opponents certainly realize the prowess of
the man they call The General. He has terrorized the confer-
ence for three years with his slick shooting and defensive
excellence.
"He's a great player. He's one of the best defensive
guards in the country," Purdue's All-Big Ten guard Troy
Lewis said. "I always have to gear myself a whole week to
prepare for Gary. That's exactly on my mind. I don't think
about nothing else but Gary."
Lewis should know. He scored 39 points, while being
guarded by Antoine Joubert and Garde Thompson, in an 89-
77 Purdue victory over Michigan early last season. The sec-
ond time the teams met, the Boilermakers could have
clinched an outright Big Ten title, but Grant guarded Lewis
and held him to five points in a 104-68 Wolverine blowout.
The Midwest media have also recognized Grant's su-
perlative play. At the Big Ten's preseason press conference,
Grant was not only voted on the preseason All-Big Ten first
team, but was also selected to be the league's player of the
year. Does Grant believe the media made the right pick? "Oh
yeah. I agree with it, but it's still an honor I have to go out
and work for," he said.
"Gary is an outstanding basketball player. He is very
deserving of all the accolades he has received," Frieder added.
However, until this season, Grant has not received the
national recognition that he has deserved as one of the coun-
try's premier all-around guards.
GRANT WAS LEFT OFF practically every first
and second team All-American list last season. Instead, the
honors went to such guards as Steve Alford, Kenny Smith,
Dennis Hopson, Mark Jackson, and David Rivers.
Grant was arguably the finest defensive guard in the
nation and also had comparable offensive statistics to every
one of these guards. For example, compare Grant with
everybody's All-American, Alford.
Grant is unquestionably a better defensive player, and
although Alford helped lead Indiana to a national champi-
onship, he had much more help from his teammates than
Grant did. Alford was supposedly a better offensive player,
but statistics show otherwise.
Scoring FG% Assists ErB~j Steals
Grant 22.4 ppg 53.7 172 159 86
Alford 22.0 ppg 47.4 123 87 39
Possibly it was Alford's 89 percent free throw shooting to
Grant's 78 percent that gave him the advantage.
Along with other notable players like J.R. Reid and
Rony Seikaly, Grant was further shunned nationally when
he failed to make the Pan American Games' team this past
summer. Guards Rex Chapman, Jeff Lebo, Jerome Richard-
son, and Keith Smart were picked ahead of him by coach
Denny Crum of Louisville.
REFUSING TO criticize Crum, Grant explains that
he did not play well and was out of shape (he was coming
off arthroscopic knee surgery) when the Pan Am tryouts
were held early in the summer.
"I feel that me not making the team made me a better

player and person, because that's the first thing I've ever
been cut from, and it made me think about things differ-
ently," Grant said.
One thing Grant may be thinking about is making the
1988 Summer Olympics' team. Georgetown's John
Thompson will be the coach and Grant would fit in quite
nicely with Thompson's defensive style of play. Grant said
he will be better prepared for those tryouts, and Thompson
would be smart to take note of what happened to the Pan
Am team that neglected to select the defensive wizard.
duty

General

Gary

Grant commands

respect

from

coast to coast

Grant's omission becar
favored U.S. team lost to B
cause the guards could not
ian, Oscar. "I wanted to g
but I couldn't do it," Grant
Jumping through a te
only things the 22-year-old
sive list of credentials sincf
ton, Ohio, where he was a h
his Canton McKinley team
Michigan assistant c
responsible for recruiting
surprised by Grant's all-arc
was very surprised that h
somed once he got here," F
accomplished have been b
fense has just blossomed."
HERE ARE SOME
*Big Ten Freshman of
Ten in 1985. Second tearr
Defensive Player of the Ye
1987.
*Has started every gam
for Leslie Rockymore's f
starts 31 games this season,
than anyone in Michigan hi
*Led the team in steak
years, and in scoring last ye
*Has a 15.8 career sc
leading Wolverine career sc
uip as the second leading sc
only Mike McGee.
*He is second on the]
toine Joubert and will mov
eHas two of the top th
sists in a season, with 185
*Has won the Wayma
fensive player all three seas
Grant has not only ac
proven to be a winner. He
20-win seasons and two
squads. "When he came in
sive glue that put that bur
those two Big Ten champi
Now, the Big Ten's le
for another conference title
round in the NCAA Tourm
GRANT WIL L H
shoulders because of the de
leaving the team without
experience. The senior wil
while Rumeal Robinson, K(
or whoever else is in the b
Grant already has take
and worked to prepare th
something I'm going to
Grant said. "It's going to
cause I'm going to have to
and cannot do."
Mike Grant, Gary's 1
coach for the Wolverines &
going to do whatever it tak
The Wolverines wou]
great team if Grant had de(
team with Michael Jordan
the Chicago Bulls would h
round.
The Wolverines are cei
for a final season. "I thin
plete guard in the country
things and do each of those
Unfortunately for thei
on a mission to prove ju
made a commitment to hir
everybody in the country 1
country.

Senior guard Gary Grant this season is looking to make his
fourth straight appearance in the NCAA Tournament.
Michigan has lost in the second round in each of the past
three seasons.

Illinois' Lowell Hamilton says "In your face" to three Wolverines.

PAGE 14 ,WEEKEND/NOVEMBER 20, 19872

WEEKEND/NOYNB RAi 1987 }+

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