If Malcolm Grant ends up being as good as the first two guys coach Frank Haith has been able to bring in as transfers, then the University of Miami men's basketball team made another huge move Monday morning when it used its last available scholarship on the 6-foot combo guard from Villanova.
Grant, who was recruited by Haith when he was coming out of Paul Robeson High in Brookyln, was rumored to be headed Miami's way late Sunday night according to internet reports. I finally confirmed it this morning when I spoke with his high school coach Todd Myles. Grant, who will have to sit out the 2008-09 season per NCAA transfer rules, could essentially turn out to be Jack McClinton's replacement in 2009. Here's Grant basic description: Combo guard with a dangerous three-point shot who scores in bunches. Sound like Jack?
Grant, who asked for his release earlier this month because he was reportedly disappointed with riding the pine too much down the stretch of Villanova's Sweet 16 season, was pretty special when he was in the game for the Wildcats. Remember that 21-point comeback Villanova pulled off on LSU back in December that was all over ESPN? Grant was the architect. He scored 18 points in six and a half minutes in the win. He then scored 22 points in a big win against Pittsburgh. Grant, nicknamed the Microwave, finished the season having played in 29 games and leading Villanova in three-point accuracy at 47 percent.
As you guys know, I took the rest of last week off after returning from San Antonio and the Final Four. But I got a chance to speak with Haith for about an hour and half last week and have lots to share in the coming days. But this is once again very good news for UM's basketball program, which seems to have a dose of it nearly every week. Haith and I talked at length about his vision for the future, the type of players he wants to recruit and what he wants to get out of the guys he has now and what he wants to improve on in the coming seasons.
Grant could fit in nicely. After this coming year, Miami will lose McClinton and point guard Lance Hurdle and will have Eddie Rios, James Dews and swingman DeQuan Jones as its primary backcourt players. Getting Grant now will give him a full season in Haith's system the way McClinton did. He turned out to be pretty good wasn't he? By the way, Haith is turning out to be pretty good at finding gems in other people's heaps of junk. Hurdle went from nobody out in California to starting point guard on this team. Cyrus McGowan, who was on the bench for two seasons at Arkansas, was reportedly dominating practices this season the way McClinton was during his time off. Now, the Canes get the Microwave.