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Jerami Grant’s Coach Tells Fizz Newest Orange Compares to SU Legends

Jerami Grant’s AAU coach tells The Fizz SU is getting a kid who matches up well with some of the Orange greats and Adrian Autry was a huge part of it. Last week Syracuse finally secured the athletic 6-6 wing from Dematha High School in Washington D.C. as its first commitment of the ’12 class.

The Fizz noted before his in-home visit how crucial the commitment was for Coach Boeheim and his staff. Grant had narrowed his final three to Syracuse, Rutgers and Notre Dame before eventually choosing the Orange. Back in July The Fizz included Grant in SU’s summer recruiting wish list. Coach Keith Stevens of Grant’s AAU Team Takeover tells The Fizz the SU coaching staff’s track record was a big reason why.

“I think it was multiple things. One, I think he just felt comfortable with the coaching staff. He had a great relationship with Coach Boeheim and Adrian Autry who did a great job of recruiting him and his family. Secondly, knowing that they’ve had a lot of success with guys that are similar to him in the past; guys like Donte Greene, Wes Johnson, and Kris Joseph guys of that nature, so it just made him feel comfortable like those guys can help him get to the level he’s trying to get to one day.”

Perhaps the most significant fact to take away from Stevens is that Autry was so critical in Grant’s recruitment. Also important is the DC pipeline is alive and well. Losing that connection was a major concern when Rob Murphy left, but Autry’s AAU roots proved to be a crucial factor in Grant’s recruitment. Autry coached Grant’s older brother for the Team Takeover program before moving on to Virginia Tech. Jerami has followed that pipeline to Syracuse, and Stevens doesn’t mind throwing out some star-worthy names in comparison.

“I think he’s his own unique player. I think he has a body structure like Donte, he’s athletic like Wes Johnson, and at the same time he’s a matchup problem like Carmelo. He’s a kid that once he puts it all together there’s no limit to how good he can be.”

Those are some big names to compare any recruit to, but the similarities are there. Grant’s body type and skill set seem to fit perfectly into the system that allowed Donte, Wes, and Melo to become stars.

“One of the main defenses we ran was that Syracuse 2-3 zone so he’ll come in a bit ahead of the game as far as knowing the right spots to be at the right time and making the proper reads in that zone. With his versatility he can get the ball off the backboard and push it to start the break and make plays for himself and his teammates.”

Grant will have a lot to live up to following names like Carmelo and Donte, but Stevens believes his potential is that high if he puts in the work. Usually players labeled with “upside” take a while to develop as college players, but with experience in a similar system and coming from one of the best high school programs in the country that may not be the case for Grant.

“No, it won’t take him any time.  They’ll be able to give him minutes as a freshman and he’ll be able to fit in right away and be productive.”

For more on Grant’s commitment and to hear the full interview with Coach Stevens, tune in to Orange Fizz Radio on The Score 1260 this Saturday at 9 am.

Posted: Steve Neikam

The Fizz is owned, edited and operated by Damon Amendolara. D.A. is an ’01 Syracuse graduate from the Newhouse School with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.

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