Jerami Grant, an ESPNU 100 small forward, decided Friday that "it felt right" to commit to Syracuse over Notre Dame and Rutgers. He is the first commit for the Orange in the 2012 class.
"I chose Syracuse for a couple of reasons," Grant said. "One, I felt I really fit into their style of play. They do go up and down a lot. They also have had great success with players who have versatile games like me. Plus, I have a great relationship with assistant coach and former Syracuse standout Adrian "Red" Autry, and coach Jim Boeheim came to a lot of my games."
However, it was difficult for Grant, from Hyattsville, Md., to turn down playing for Notre Dame, where his brother Jerian plays. "Playing with my brother would have been great, but at the end, I had to do what I felt was best for me," he said.
The son of former Oklahoma standout and NBA player Harvey Grant has made terrific progress over this spring and summer. He has improved his scoring ability, especially driving to the hoop, getting to the foul line and knocking down 15-foot jumpers.
"At this time last year, you could see his potential," AAU Team Takeover coach Keith Stevens said. "Now it's starting to all come together for him."
"Jerami has taken a prominent leadership role on our team with James Robinson," DeMatha coach Mike Jones said. "We will need him to score the ball more, and I believe he is ready to do that."
Blessed with a long frame and excellent athletic ability, Grant brings a multidimensional game to the Orange. Put a smaller or like-size defender on him, and he will go to the paint and score. Put a big on him, and he will work the high-post area and score with a drive or jumper. When it comes to the transition game, which Syracuse does well and often off its staple 2-3 zone defense, Grant will thrive and finish well above the rim.
With only a few scholarships available for next season, the other priority for Syracuse now turns to big man DaJuan Coleman (Dewitt, N.Y./Jamesville-Dewitt).
Paul Biancardi, who has been a head coach and assistant on NCAA tournament teams, is the national director of basketball recruiting. He is also one of the voters for the McDonald's All-American Game and Gatorade Player of the Year. Don't forget to follow him on Twitter.