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.”
- Recruiting Roundup: Syracuse makes cuts for Lonnie Walker, Jordan Tucker - August 26, 2016
- Adelson: Syracuse football improved, but still ‘four to five’ win team - August 24, 2016
- 2016 Syracuse Football Burning Questions: Can Eric Dungey stay healthy? - August 22, 2016
- Recruiting Roundup: Nebraska transfer Andrew White down to Syracuse, VCU - August 22, 2016
- Pittsburgh Panthers — 2016 Syracuse Football preview - August 18, 2016
- Steve Ishmael — Meet the 2016 Syracuse Football team - August 16, 2016
- Recruiting Roundup: Cameron Reddish hearing most from Villanova, Duke, Syracuse - August 16, 2016
- 2016 Syracuse Football Burning Questions: How will the defense adjust to Tampa 2? - August 15, 2016
- Recruiting Roundup: Quade Green includes Syracuse in final nine - August 15, 2016
- Recruiting Roundup: Ethan Thompson talking to Syracuse about visit - August 12, 2016