Freshman Jerami Grant has been trust into a much larger role with the absence of senior forward James Southerland.
In the four games since Southerland was ruled ineligible, Grant has picked up the majority of the minutes and made the most of it. In the Orange’s 75-71 overtime loss to Villanova on Saturday, Grant turned in another solid performance, with 12 points and 5 rebounds off the bench in 27 minutes.
“I’ve just been pleased with my confidence and being able to come out and play more minutes on the court and help my team out,” Grant said to The Juice Online. “I feel like everything’s falling into place.”
SU needed a spark, trailing 32-26 at half, and turned to Grant, who started the second half over fellow freshman DaJuan Coleman. He started the half with a pair of free throws and then put-back a CJ Fair miss. On the next possession, Grant drained a 3-pointer.
Grant’s personal 7-0 run gave Syracuse its first lead of the game at 33-32.
“Jerami had a really good game,” Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said. “He was huge to start the second half.”
Grant has had to mature quickly without Southerland available. In the past four games, he’s averaged 29 minutes, 10 points and 5.5 rebounds. In the three previous Big East games before that, he had only played a combined 24 minutes.
He would’ve played even more on Saturday, but Grant fouled with just over five minutes left, after he got caught in the air on a pump fake from Darrun Hilliard.
“I wish I would’ve had that back,” Grant said. “He got me up in the air and leaned into me.”
It was Syracuse’s first loss without Southerland.
“Everybody loses. It’s a tough game to lose, but we’ve only lost two games so far,” Grant said. “Most people lost a lot more than this.”
- Instant Juice: Syracuse 54, Duke 73 - February 28, 2015
- If Syracuse basketball was eligible, it would be squarely on the bubble - February 27, 2015
- Tyus Battle injures foot with Michigan, Notre Dame watching — Cuse Clicks - February 26, 2015
- Instant Juice: Syracuse 65, Notre Dame 60 - February 24, 2015
- 2016 forward Kassoum Yakwe to visit Iowa State — Cuse Clicks - February 24, 2015
- Combo guard Kobi Simmons has racked up 39 offers — Cuse Clicks - February 23, 2015
- Former Syracuse star CJ Fair to Orange fans: ‘Keep hope alive’ - February 23, 2015
- Instant Juice: Syracuse 61, Pittsburgh 65 - February 21, 2015
- Louisville, Florida and Ohio State to watch 5-star Tyus Battle — Cuse Clicks - February 20, 2015
- Instant Juice: Syracuse 69, Louisville 59 - February 18, 2015