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04 April 2008


Grant released for transfer

posted by Pete @ LetsGoNova.com
4/04/2008 04:38:00 PM
Well, it's official. Villanova has given the freshman guard Malcolm Grant a release to pursue a transfer off the Main Line.

Grant is a talented scoring guard whose heroics in December's LSU game saved the Wildcats' season and allowed Villanova to gain one of the last at-large bids in the NCAA tournament. Villanova eventually reached the Sweet 16, but Grant only saw two minutes of floor time in Villanova's three games.

Grant also poured in 17 points in just over 2 minutes in Villanova's disastrous loss to Rutgers, leading several fans to wonder why he did not see the court earlier.

Grant's inexplicable lack of playing time has been a subject of consternation on this Web site the entire season.

While the future of Villanova's program looks bright, with megarecruit Tyreke Evans leaning towards the Main Line, I consider it nothing short of a failure on Jay Wright's part to have not utilized a player of Grant's tremendous talent and heart.

Wright's failure is further compounded by the fact that Grant chose to prep for a full year while waiting for a scholarship to become available at Villanova. Grant will have to sit out at least one more year before he can take the floor for a new team.

For his part, Jay Wright issued this statement on Grant's transfer release:

Malcolm is an integral part of our basketball family and a great young man. He has been exemplary as a student and a teammate at Villanova. However, he deserves starters' minutes. We are grateful for all that Malcolm has given to Villanova and support him in this decision.

If Grant deserves starters' minutes, why could he not see the floor at all during the Wildcats' hopeless loss to Kansas, when Villanova went long stretches without scoring?

Grant proved himself worthy of minutes all season, and yet Wright kept him glued to the bench. Something does not add up here, but we may never know the real story.

Grant's transfer will be a gigantic loss for Villanova and a black eye for Jay Wright's legacy here.

Expect Malcolm to do very well in his remaining three years of eligibility, no matter where he ends up.

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84 Comments:

At 5:35 PM, April 04, 2008, Anonymous Dan in Wayne said...

Adios Malkie!

A. you can't say that Malcolm alone got 'Nova into the Dance. Sure, he won the LSU game, but that is looking at only one angle. It is impossible to know how much he detracted from the team in our losses to DePaul, SJU, Rutgers, etc... Maybe we win some of those games b/c Jay isn't tinkering around w/ three 6' guards...

B. "Black eye on Jay Wright's legacy"? It's more of a sliver in his finger than anything else.

 
At 5:44 PM, April 04, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Agreed, Malcolm wasn't as good as the other two freshman guards. If there year has taught the Villanova fans anything it's trust Jay Wright, he knows what he is doing. Also, does this open up the possibility for Evans and King to come to Nova? Does anyone know the rule for scholarships and sitting out a year, will it count against the total for this year if King comes?

 
At 5:55 PM, April 04, 2008, Blogger Pete said...

Dan --

We were possibly the very last team in. You can bet a loss to LSU which was horrible this season would have gotten us out.

 
At 5:56 PM, April 04, 2008, Blogger Pete said...

Anon -- we already have two scholarships. This doesn't open the door for anything.

I believe that if King comes and sits out for the year, it will count against the total.

 
At 7:33 PM, April 04, 2008, Anonymous dan said...

Sorry Pete, you're only focusing on one side- the positives of what Grant did. I'm not going to disagree that Malkie "won" the LSU game for us. What you are neglecting to consider is the detriment of his pressence to the team.

W/o Malcolm, we lose to LSU. But maybe we beat 2 or 3 of Cincy, DePaul, Rutgers, SJU...

 
At 8:08 PM, April 04, 2008, Anonymous Gregg said...

I agree with Pete on this. It's not as if he just contributed, but he single handedly won the LSU game for us. Hopefully he will excel wherever he goes so Jay feels guilty about this decision.

Todd, just believe me on the Tyreke situation, he is almost positive about going to Memphis.

It would be wise for Jay to focus on King and Cheek, and maybe a big guy??????

 
At 8:40 PM, April 04, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A black eye to Jay Wright, are you serious, wow are u related to grant in any way. Evans or Grant who would you take?

 
At 9:00 PM, April 04, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Probably nothing that I can say will sway you from your Grant obsession, but here goes:

(1) Who, exactly, do you think should have been losing playing time to Grant? Surely not Reynolds. Redding or Stokes? Obviously there were some real height issues there; as for Stokes, he probably has at least as much upside as Grant, and played very well late in the season, which is when Grant was sitting. Redding wasn't playing much later in the season either.

Unless you are saying we should have gone with some really short 3 or 4 guard lineups, that leaves Fisher. If Fisher sat for Grant, you would have plenty of people making the same argument for him that you are making for Grant.

I'm not saying that you can't argue that Grant should have played more; I'm saying that there was a numbers crunch at guard, and that one can certainly justify the choices that Wright made.

(2) Moreover, I think that there were clearly other issues which we don't know about and maybe never will. I'm not sure that it's terribly fair to just assume that Wright didn't have legitimate reasons for Grant's lack of playing time. One thing that Wright has shown is that players who don't buy into his program 100% don't get playing time. A lot of the best coaches are that way. I think there is a good chance that that is what was going on here.

(3) Even assuming that I'm wrong about #2, going forward, who was Grant going to take playing time from? Obviously this would be particularly true if Evans plays for VU, but even without that, both Fisher and Stokes are likely to be playing more next year, not less. Sure, Redding may find himself out of the rotation, but even so, was Grant likely to be ahead of, say, Fisher or Reynolds in the rotation? How much playing time would that have left for Grant?

 
At 9:34 PM, April 04, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's not a black eye for anybody...

Malcolm is a a fine basketball player; we thank him for his contributions, and wish him the best.

Good luck Malcolm, and PLEASE don't go to St. Joes or GT.

Go 'Cats....

 
At 9:57 PM, April 04, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tyreke Evans will be a Wildcat...mark it down he really likes Jay Wright and I think he can see the devil in Calipari...hopefully. If this is true we will all forget about Grant who I could care less about but still thank him for the LSU win.

 
At 10:09 PM, April 04, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's not a choice between Evans and Grant -- that is a ridiculous question. No reason we couldnt have had both.

 
At 10:12 PM, April 04, 2008, Anonymous BAHMALCOMGRANT said...

I love giant cheezeburger

 
At 10:27 PM, April 04, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does the Malcolm transfer have anything to do with Evans, or is it just a coincidence that the inquirer story showed up the same day he says he is leaving?

Could Evans be leaning towards us because he believes the rumors that Calipari is following most of his players to the NBA?

 
At 10:53 PM, April 04, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's not a choice between Evans and Grant -- that is a ridiculous question. No reason we couldnt have had both.

Yeah, sure. But Grant AND Evan AND Reynolds AND Fisher AND Stokes ... not even to mention Redding ... no. Just no. Sure you could have a 6 guard rotation, but it wouldn't make a whole lot of sense. Teams don't win that way.

And yes, I'm sure that if you really pushed a lot of the Grant fans they would start talking about playing 3 or 4 guards at once. But even with a guard oriented coach like Wright, that's something you only do when you have to - it is very, very hard to win consistently with a 4 or even 3 guard lineup.

And again - as I said a few posts ago - people whining about Grant should, at least, tell us who they would have left out of the rotation instead of Grant.

 
At 11:04 PM, April 04, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As it is, even without Grant, if Evans comes to VU I can see Stokes and Fisher being unhappy with playing time. While I would say that both of them fell a little short of expectations as freshmen, they both played well enough, and have enough pure talent, that they are both going to expect more playing time as sophmores. But say Evans comes to VU and gets 25-30 minutes a game. Where does that playing time come from? Say he gets Grant's minutes, and maybe half of Redding's minutes. That still leaves 5-10 minutes per game of reduced playing time for Stokes and Fisher.

Now, Evens is good enough that that hopefully Fisher and Stokes will be understanding about the reduced playing time, and of course they will play plenty as juniors and seniors. It's a solvable problem. But surely there wouldn't have been many minutes for Grant.

 
At 11:15 PM, April 04, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The other thing to think about is Taylor King - I've heard conflicting things about the number of scholarships available, but at least one source said that they didn't have enough scholarships for both Evans and King before the Grant transfer. Obviously neither of those players is a sure thing, but given the fact that VU currently has only two front court players for '09-'10, getting King on board would be huge. Honestly better another quality forward for '09-'10 than an unhappy Grant sitting on the bench in '08-'09.

 
At 3:11 AM, April 05, 2008, Blogger John said...

"Black eye ??" please.

the LSU game was one thing, but anyone who's played hoops for any amount of time knows that you can get hot ... that's precisely what happened.

The Rutgers game was an aberration all around. They were never in it, and he finished with 23 points in 18 minutes, which doesn't sound quite the same as 17 points in 2 minutes.

So maybe he should have gotten more PT, but you gotta believe that Jay isn't just holding a grudge. He isn't getting paid (bank) to do that...he's here to win. He's coached longer than most of the kids at nova have been alive. And he's proven that he can balance 3 talented players already ...

Let's see if he can balance four with Fish, Stokes, Scottie and Evans next year...

 
At 4:53 AM, April 05, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

pete get off of grant's balls, i trust jay's judgement way more than yours

 
At 5:20 AM, April 05, 2008, Anonymous Mr. X said...

Pete, Black eye.. are you serious?
Jay Wright is the greatest coach Villanova has ever had.. He's humble, he's down to earth, he brings the game to the students, and best of all.. he doesn't seek glory. what else can you ask for..
I'll take an elite eight every ten years if it means we're churning out quality individuals.. Jay Wright recruits quality individuals. He's not John Calipari who will get any thug who can hoop and play them even with their conduct issues. Sometimes we don't have the best players on the floor, but I can say with metaphysical certitude that we always have the players on the court who are the hungriest and buy into the ideals that make a Villanova basketball player a Villanova basketball player.

 
At 8:28 AM, April 05, 2008, Anonymous todd said...

you are obsessed with malcolm.... the best part about him transferring is noone will have to hear you whine about him not playing anymore.

 
At 8:46 AM, April 05, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Before I begin, Im far from some anonymous or random blogger as some of you are. I know alot more than Im going to disclose, but anyway, first of all it's funny as hell when people make comments or have discussions on topics and have the SLIGHTEST idea of whats really going on..now, I've read comments in which people have said that Scottie and Fisher are better than Malcolm..first how can you assess that with Malcolm receiving limited minutes and not really giving the chance to play with knowing he can make a mistake and not be snatched right out. On the OTHER side of that, realize what he DID achieve in those opportunities. Reynolds and Fisher have the green light and can play wrecklessly causing several turnovers and Jay lets them continue to play. And who's this Dan dude? You need to do your research speaking of the games "we" wouldve won if Grant didnt play. The REAL reason why "nova didnt win is because of Jay Wright. Everyone's praising him and he caused all the turmoil. There was no stability with his many different rotations and he didnt realize who he had on the team OR how to utilize them. He had Dwayne Anderson in which he expressed he wasn't going to play and advised a transfer and then ended up having him be very essential.I mean. didnt you see this dude in practice?? Back to Grant.What REALLY happened was, Jay knew Malcolm would take away from Scottie's "shine" and he wanted him to have a good enough year in which he could be drafted.Knowing that if Scottie leaves, everything would return back to the ORIGINAL plans. Jay wanted Malcolm to sacrifice ANOTHER year in hopes for this. Since Reynolds didnt have that type of year and will be returning, Malcolm HAS to leave. Believe me, Jay KNOWS Malcolm is better than Reynolds, but it's ALL about the politics..before I get out of here. There's NO way 'nova would mesh together if Evans comes since there's too many guards as is so look for another unproductive year..

 
At 8:59 AM, April 05, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That guy is important, listen to him. He's kind of a big deal. He has many leather bound books. Is he Jay's tailor, no that guy loves Jay... Maybe it's a disgruntled Derek Snowden.

 
At 9:55 AM, April 05, 2008, Anonymous Mr. X said...

Did you know that Elvis is still alive.. and that when I fart it smells like tulips...

 
At 10:03 AM, April 05, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What the hell is Steve Lappas doing posting on our board under an anonymous name...

 
At 10:40 AM, April 05, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wonder if Tyreke is just using us to squeeze more money out of Memphis?

 
At 12:40 PM, April 05, 2008, Anonymous cman said...

Jumping Ship:

im outta here...whatever team Malcolm Grant goes to is my new team.

 
At 12:48 PM, April 05, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i can't believe you people critisizing pete for supporting malcolm grant. he's a phenomonal player and no one can deny that. we really may not have made the tourney without him, and how would him not playing have affected cincy, depaul, rutgers, or st joes?

It just doesn't make sense to me that he never got the time he deserved, i really think that he couldve been a star. And a 3 or even 4 guard lineup wouldve been great, it worked well in 05-06 didnt it?

this just sucks, i loved malcolm.

 
At 1:53 PM, April 05, 2008, Anonymous todd said...

that long anonymous post was the dumbest thing i've ever read... you are claiming you are not some anonymous random blogger and know more than all of us...

yet your post is anonymous... good one buddy, i'm sure everyone will listen to you now

 
At 2:49 PM, April 05, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not going to entertain TOO much of that clown "Todd",or going to reveal myself to prove to a no lifer, but everything I mentioned made total sense. Seems YOU have trouble comprehending also. What I was saying WAS Im just not someone TALKING just to be talking..there's no assumptions in my statements. It's funny no one else is making any statements (well intelligent ones)about this but you Toddy.. It's obvious you and Danny Boy have some sort of dislike for the kid..anyway, kick rocks.. We outta here Malc..The Saga Continues..

 
At 3:07 PM, April 05, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I saw this coming after Grant saw less and less playing time. Someone of his level deserves more time. That said, we were weak on defense and we needed players that could play defense. Malcolm's defense hadn't developed fully so he was kept out. Transferring won't solve that problem per se. The issue is the "Guard U" atmosphere. The supply of guards at Villanova exceeds the demand dictated by the game and by Big East play. We need to convince some good forwards & centers to try us out.

 
At 4:57 PM, April 05, 2008, Anonymous todd said...

i actually like malcolm... your post just made no sense.

it might sound like i don't like malcolm because i rip on pete for whining about him not playing every 5 seconds. i support jay's decisions and believe the COACH of the team knows what's best, not a blogger claiming to know more than everyone else when he is posting under an anonymous name. i can't beleive you actually think people are going to take you seriously.

 
At 5:37 PM, April 05, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The problem with 8:46 AM anon's comment is that it doesn't even make logical sense on its own terms - it just sounds like some loony conspiracy theory.

But what I want to ask Pete and 8:46 AM anon is simply this - on what evidence are you basing the conclusion that Grant isn't just a good player who maybe deserved more playing time, but is so good that his lack of playing time and departure is a "black eye on Wright's legacy" and that Grant is "better than Reynolds."

Okay, he had a couple of really good games. But a couple hot shooting streaks does not a superstar make. His overall numbers were good but not by any means spectacular.

Really, this isn't a rhetorical question - do you guys have any REAL evidence that Grant is anything more than a decent freshman guard with some promise? Other than one or two hot shooting streaks? Because if you do, we would love to hear it.

 
At 5:58 PM, April 05, 2008, OpenID bosshoghazzard said...

We need to retire the #3 and hang it in the rafters. It is the only way to respectfully honor Grant. God speed, young man.

 
At 7:37 PM, April 05, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can you imagine a players like the Lopez brothers, Michael Beasely, heck even DJ White suiting up alongside our lethal guards!?! holy crap i just came..

 
At 7:40 PM, April 05, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have read the above and come to the conclusion that one important dimension of the situation has been missed:

There are two guard positions, Redding and Stoles are clearly "2" guards. Fish and Grant are "1" guards. Scotty is a "tweener".

Early in the season Jay was giving Fish the opportunity to learn to be a "1" guard through OJT, clearly a tall order for a Frosh, with Scotty at "2". That didn't work, so at the end of the season Scotty went to "1" with Fish his backup, and Stokes and Redding playing the "2". That necessarily moved Grant to third on the depth chart.

Stokes and Redding were the "2" guards. Stokes the POTENTIAL offensive threat, and Reggie the defensive specialist, and the solid upperclassman who made few mistakes.

I think, and rightly so, that Grant thought he could do better than three on most other depth charts, with with little opportunity to learn his trade as a "1" guard.

I suspect Jay is straight up with his players, and told Grant the straight truth as he saw it.

The one missing piece is that one twisted knee changes the whole situation. I guess Malcolm does not have Anderson like patience.

Additionally, if Evans comes our way, I see him as a "2" guard having to get minutes from Stokes on the Offense and Redding as a defensive role player, probably doable on the offense, TBD on the defense.

In any event, good luck Malcolm, and thanks for your contributions....

 
At 8:17 PM, April 05, 2008, Anonymous gill said...

anonymous above, i see where you're coming from.

But why cant we have 3 guards out at a time? All we need is dwayne and dante, none of the other forwards are exactly essential as anything more than backup. So we can have dante, dwayne, scottie, and depending on the opponent and situation: stokes, fisher, redding, and GRANT. With three guards that wouldve given one starter and one backup of each of those, and thatd have been perfect. POOR GRANT.

 
At 8:48 PM, April 05, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gill,

I thought Pena came on strong towards the end of last year, and should be better next year; hopefully Cas will also be back and healthy next year.

I think the three guard situation leaves us rather diminutive in stature with our present team, unless of course Evans comes our way, which is not as yet a "done deal", and really does not provide much help for Grant's minutes.

PS - Just noted Jay Wright nominated for Chevy coach of the year....

 
At 9:09 PM, April 05, 2008, Anonymous todd said...

gill there is nothing wrong with playing 3 or sometimes 4 guards at once... however there is a problem when you play multiple 6'0" guards at the same time... we can't match up defensively.

foye and ray were big and athletic enough to guard forwards inside... grant, scottie, and fisher are not. jay realized that early this year, which is why malcolm saw the bench in favor of more time for our bigger guards/forwards like dwayne and stokes.

see where i'm coming from? there is a difference between 3 guards and 3 point guards. scottie tyreke and stokes is perfectly fine to play together... but scottie fisher and malcolm isn't because none of them can guard anyone other than the other team's pg.

 
At 10:03 PM, April 05, 2008, Anonymous Gregg said...

Wow, now I'm not ashamed of losing to Kansas by 15. They are dominating NC in the first half. They are the best in the country.

 
At 1:08 AM, April 06, 2008, Anonymous cman said...

we would'ov beat kansas with grant

 
At 1:40 AM, April 06, 2008, Blogger Pete said...

To respond...

It wasn't me who said Grant was better than Reynolds. In my opinion, it's a black eye because as far as we know and as far as Jay Wright has said:

- MG is good and deserves starters' minutes
- MG is a good teammate
- MG is good academically
- MG wanted to play for Nova and prepped for a year
- MG clearly has talent

It's Wright's responsibility to make things work with good, talented players. For whatever reason, he wasn't able to do that. There were a lot of times this year that Grant sat the ENTIRE game and we could have used his scoring. Something got messed up along the way, and a good player and a good kid has to leave the school he wanted to play for. And that school loses a great player. That's what it's a black eye.

 
At 8:49 AM, April 06, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Earth to Cman, please come in for landing, you are flying out of control...

Pete, I will stipulate as fact all that you submit above, but it still does not make your case.

Basketball is all about match-ups. If you assume Scotty in the lineup along with a 6' guard, many times you end up with Scotty on a 6'4'+ #2 guard, and Malcolm of Fish on an experienced point guard.... two bad match-ups for us. That's why Jay went to Stokes / Reynolds, at the end of the season.

If there is a shortcoming of the staff, it is not in not playing Malcolm, but in not finding a way to keep his satisfied with his role while sitting in the bench... and that's probably an impossible task considering the facts we agree on.

We are probably one, and certainly two, twisted knees from badly needing Malcolm's services. Hopefully things will workout for us and for Malcolm.

This whole situation just makes me appreciate Anderson's decision to stick with the program all the more.

 
At 12:20 PM, April 06, 2008, Anonymous Big D said...

i love him, but it opens up a scholarship hole now. good luck big man.

 
At 8:45 PM, April 06, 2008, Anonymous Big D said...

click the link on my name.

 
At 9:16 PM, April 06, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

But Pete, seriously, it's all well and good to say that Wright should have found a way to play him, but who should have sat for him? You still haven't really answered that question. Every possible answer just brings up possible other problems (match up issues, other unhappy players, or both). It would be one thing if there was some obviously superior alternative, but there isn't. Absent such an obviously superior alternative, I think you have to give Wright at least some credit; after all, he knows more about the game in general, and the team in particular, than any of us do.

That's true even assuming that there wasn't anything else going on that we don't know about. For example, Wright is enough of a class act that, if Grant wasn't getting with the program, he wouldn't exactly announce it to the press.

Ultimately there are only so many minutes to go around. You recruit three highly regarded guards to a program with two quality returning guards, and someone is going to sit. It's as simple as that.

 
At 9:18 PM, April 06, 2008, Anonymous Gregg said...

Hahaha, Jay is one of the nation's premier coaches?

I don't know where these random articles are coming from on bid d's name, but Jay Wright is not even trying to recruit Evans at this point.

Can somebody tell me why they think he is still a target for Villanova?

 
At 9:22 PM, April 06, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Really it comes down to this: given that Reynolds certainly wasn't going to sit (and rightfully so) and that going small two six footers playing at the same time) wasn't a realistic option, saying that Wright should have played Grant more pretty much means saying that Fisher should have played less. If that happened, maybe he would be the person transferring now.

Obviously some people here like Grant better than Fisher. Just as obviously Wright didn't agree. It really is as simple as that.

 
At 11:33 PM, April 06, 2008, Anonymous todd said...

the last two anonymous posts are dead on... it was basically a fisher vs. grant scenario and jay went with fisher.

besides the fact that i think fisher is a better natural pg and decision maker, if fisher were to be the one transferring right now- jay's relationship with st. patrick (one of the elite hs programs in the country) would go down the tubes. no way he was going to let that happen.

unfortunately, this all came about at grant's expense and probably undeservedly so. he is a very talented player who will do well wherever he ends up.

 
At 12:13 AM, April 07, 2008, Blogger Pete said...

Even assuming it was just a matter of fisher vs grant, why on earth would you give pretty much 100% of the time to fisher? There should have been more of a split. This also ignores the fact that there were plenty of long stretches that neither fisher nor grant saw the floor.

I don't want to hear about "defensive match-ups" because a lot of the games where Grant didn't see any time at all, the Wildcats' defense was horrendous, to the point where it could barely get worse. Look at the Kansas game. Why not give Grant a shot there when we went minutes and minutes without scoring? There are a dozen other examples from the season, as well.

The truth is that Grant was way too good a player to get no playing time at all down the stretch. Grant played TWO minutes in THREE NCAA games. That is unacceptable. Even if he was Fisher's backup, you still get him more than 0.67 minutes per game in the NCAAs. That's atrocious.

Grant was just as good a defender as Fisher or Reynolds. Grant was also the best three-point shooter on the team, and he was an excellent passer as well. Losing Grant hurts big time, but what hurt even more was Jay Wright's boneheaded (in my opinion) handling of the rotation.

There was speculation about team chemistry being the reason Grant didn't play, but Wright's statement eliminated that possibility, at least officially. The blame now rests squarely on Wright for not getting the most out of one of his players.

Does anyone seriously believe that if Grant had the good fortune to play for an excellent coach, say Tom Crean at Marquette this year, he would have had the same trouble seeing the court? Grant might have been the third or fourth guard at Marquette, whose backcourt was far more talented than Nova's, but Grant still would have seen the court.

So, yes, I blame Jay Wright for this one. Doesn't mean I want to see him fired, but I do blame him.

 
At 12:33 AM, April 07, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

gregg you are an idiot, tyreke is still a big time recruit and there have been indications that he may be leaning in Villanova's direction

 
At 12:46 AM, April 07, 2008, Anonymous todd said...

pete you are failing to listen to several of the main points people are making.

1. he was fisher's backup down the stretch... and fisher was scottie's backup. that makes him third string, not a backup.

2. you are saying there were plenty of times where neither fisher or malcom were on the floor together... OBVIOUSLY, because scottie was the starter, fisher the backup, and grant thrid string. stokes and anderson were seeing time at the 2/3 with scottie at point- leaving the other 2 pgs on the bench for long periods. i don't see how you can argue this- our turnaround this year clearly happened when stokes and anderson began starting/seeing significant minutes.

3. grant's defense might not have been that bad, or worse than scottie/fisher's for that matter... but you are failing to listen to the main point here... malcolm and scottie in at the same time forces scottie to guard a bigger guard- something he cannot do. so, although it might not seem like grant is a bad defender, simply having him on the floor makes our defense worse because we can't match up at other positions.

jay didn't fail to handle malcolm... we had 3 guys at one position, something had to give.

 
At 1:28 AM, April 07, 2008, Anonymous tom said...

hey gregg, this is the article about him leaning toward villanova. it is true.

http://www.philly.com/inquirer/sports/17288769.html

 
At 1:31 AM, April 07, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pete,

I'm not going to repeat points made previously, which I still think you're missing. But one other point probably should be made. Whatever the rights or wrongs of Wright's decision in mid season to mostly stop playing Grant, by the tournament I think it pretty reasonable to assume that Wright (and the team) knew that Grant was leaving. Which would be yet another reason not to play him much in the NCAAs - I'm sure he wanted to give as much tournament experience to the people who were coming back as he could. And as for the Kansas game, remember that they were making a bit of a run in the mid to late first half. Sure things went south later in the first half, and they traded baskets in the second half, but the team (without Grant) had come from way back against Clemson, so the team wasn't exactly helpless without Grant. Hindsight, as they say, is 20/20.

 
At 1:50 AM, April 07, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

One last thing. Yes, this is speculation, but the point of speculating is that we don't have all of the relevant information, and there are plenty of possible reasons why Wright acted as he did.

Note what Wright says: Grant deserves starter's minutes. Presumably Grant felt this way as well. Not "more minutes as a reserve", but starter's minutes. You're still not really clear on whose minutes he should have gotten, but even you aren't claiming he should start over Reynolds. It's entirely possible that he would have left anyway once it became clear he wasn't starting next year.

Now, I don't think that the above statement is wildly speculative at all. But now let me speculate further. Assume a mid season meeting between Grant and Wright going something like this:

Grant: Coach, give it to me straight. Scottie tells us he plans to come back next year. He's playing PG now - my position. Given those facts, what's my future here?
Wright: Well, next year you are going to be in the mix, for sure, but not starting, Your junior year, if you earn it, you could be starting.
Grant: Coach, I understand that, but I think I need to be someplace where I am guaranteed starter's minutes, rather than maybe getting them down the road. I'm going to be looking to transfer.
Wright: I appreciate your honesty, and we will miss you, but if that's how you feel, it will probably effect your minutes this year going forward.

 
At 8:47 AM, April 07, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon. 1:50,

I would hope that would be the way Jay would handle the situation, and I suspect it is pretty close.

It's not dissimilar to an employee asking for an increase you can't afford, or is not deserved. You have to be real, and if you can't come to a meeting of the minds you wish the employee well, and encourage them to find another job where their expectations can be met...

 
At 10:11 AM, April 07, 2008, Blogger Pete said...

Todd and others,

Where we disagree is that there are only 40 minutes for ALL THREE of Reynolds, Grant, and Fisher. That is absurd. Those three should have been splitting at least 80 minutes, in my opinion. I know the whole song and dance about being undersized and defensive match-ups, but in college basketball there is still room to play two guards. Was Davidson undersized with its two 6-foot guards, all the way through the elite 8? Sometimes you have to put your best players on the floor, regardless of size. Fisher and/or Grant were so much better offensively than the alternatives.

 
At 10:14 AM, April 07, 2008, Blogger Pete said...

How about last year when we had Nardi and Scottie, both 6-foot guards. It wasn't the end of the world. Scottie played the 2, where I believe he is most comfortable anyway. It worked fine.

It pained me to watch the Clemson game where Scottie had to handle the press all by himself, and then also had to score. We were getting absolutely demolished until Jay put Fisher in with Scottie to handle the ball. Of course, he could have put in Grant for Scottie when Scottie needed rest. We won the game, but we got lucky that Clemson collapsed.

 
At 10:37 AM, April 07, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Grant getting more minutes is a subjective judgment, and bottom line, only Jay Wright's judgment counts, that's why we pay him the "Big Bucks".

Jay and Grant must face the situation and move on. The important thing for the team is to resolve the issue as amicably as possible, don't let it fester; both Grant and the team move forward..... That's exactly what was done. Well done to both parties.

 
At 11:40 AM, April 07, 2008, Anonymous todd said...

Pete you're wrong about last year... scottie might have played the 2 occasionally on offense but nardi always guarded the other team's 2 guard and he was a MUCH better defender than any of our 3 pgs this year.

I don't see how you can argue 80 minutes between the 3 of them... where are these minutes coming from? Stokes and Anderson? You might think Grant was one of our best players this year but you can't argue the fact that we were MUCH better (especially defensively) once Stokes and Anderson became starters.

The reality is there was maybe 50-55 minutes for the 3 of them, not 80... Scottie consistnetly got about 35, leaving 15-20 for the other two and Jay decided to give them all to Fisher. Splitting 15 minutes of backup duty between fisher and grant is not going to solve your problem at all... it would have only made for TWO unhappy players instead of one. Jay had to make a decision between the two and he chose Fisher- plain and simple.

 
At 11:46 AM, April 07, 2008, Blogger Pete said...

80 minutes for Scottie, Grant, Fisher

120 minutes for Pena, Dante, Stokes, Anderson

Everyone still fits nicely.

The problem is that Wright would bring in players like Clark and Redding who are basically useless on offense. Redding can defend, but Clark can't.

Nardi was just as short and much slower than Grant or Fisher. I don't know why you think he was a better defender.

 
At 11:46 AM, April 07, 2008, Blogger Pete said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 11:56 AM, April 07, 2008, OpenID bosshoghazzard said...

Letting Grant transfer is a big time fumble by a big time coach. Everyone needs to get off of Fisher's sac. He is not anywhere near as good as Grant. Redding? Clark? Are you kidding me? All I hear is that those two guys are smoking weed all season, while we're on 5 games skids no less. Grant was a National Championship piece to a National Championship puzzle. Fisher should be the one transferring. Clark should be the one transferring. Redding should be the one transferring. Finally, recruit some big men...

 
At 12:03 PM, April 07, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pete,

You have an opinion about Grant's playing time. Wright, who knows a lot more about the game and the team than you do, had another. It's more than a little annoying that you feel so strongly about your position on this that, in your opinion, Wright was not only wrong, but that he is so wrong that the incident left a black eye on Wright's legacy. That's just absurd.

That being said, what are we really arguing about at this point? No one is saying that there were only 40 minutes to divide between the three players. In actual fact, over the course of the season, the three of them played 64 minutes a game. Now, you think it should have been 80 rather than 64. But:

(1) Would an extra 16 minutes a game have been enough to keep Grant here? Maybe not. He wanted starter's minutes, not more reserve minutes.
(2) You STILL haven't said who you think should have lost minutes. Stokes? So maybe he would be the guy transferring now.
(3) Most crucially - Wright's decision to give less playing time to Grant (and more to Stokes) worked. The team made the late season run that got them in the tournament, and to the sweet 16, with Grant riding the bench.

And it's interesting that the biggest reason for the team's late season improvement was defense. It's one thing to speculate, as you do, that the team would have been fine defensively if they went small more often, but in fact the team got better defensively when Wright started going big more often. Significantly, Stokes (who essentially got Grant's minutes) was also very good offensively during the late season run. Over the last 14 games he averaged 11.1 points per game, with a FG% of .432 (better than Grant's). He also came up huge in most of their most important wins during that stretch.

 
At 12:10 PM, April 07, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Okay, didn't see your last post. So he should have gotten Redding's minutes and Clark's minutes? Set aside match up issues. Both of those players got less time during the later part of the season as it was. Grant didn't lose minutes to those guys, he lost minutes to Stokes.

Moreover, your hindsight evaluation of Clark may be correct, but he was a fine player offensively and defensively last year. In hindsight maybe Wright stuck with him too long, but given the information that he had at the time, you really can't blame Wright.

 
At 1:04 PM, April 07, 2008, Blogger Pete said...

The entire premise of "Wright knows more than we do, so why question it" is invalid.

This is comment thread. This is meant for opinions. My opinion is different than Wright's. I am free to express it.

Jay Wright is not infallible. I believe he made a mistake this year in how he handled Malcolm Grant. You may feel differently, and that's OK too.

 
At 1:06 PM, April 07, 2008, Blogger Pete said...

MAYBE Wright stuck with Clark too long?

I don't know about you, but from where I watched, it seemed like Jay Wright was the last person on earth who realized that Clark was terrible from both ends of the floor.

Grant, Reynolds, and Fisher played 64 mpg -- but look at the mix the last 10 games. Grant barely saw the floor at all.

I still think there is some underlying issue that we will never find out about, because I really don't want to believe that Jay Wright is that bad an evaluator of talent.

 
At 1:54 PM, April 07, 2008, OpenID bosshoghazzard said...

My opinion is that we retire the #3. And retire the name, Malcolm Grant. And promote him to Associate Head Coach.

 
At 1:58 PM, April 07, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pete, You don't seem to address the fact that grant's extra minutes would come at the cost of Stokes who played very well down the stretch and was a key in our making the tiurnament and our run to the sweet 16

 
At 2:01 PM, April 07, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bosshog please tell me that your posts are menat to be srcastic. If not, you are insane

 
At 3:02 PM, April 07, 2008, Blogger Pete said...

I don't think Grant's minutes would have to have come at Stokes's expense. As I said, there could have been 80 minutes for the three small guards and 120 minutes for the four forwards.

 
At 3:12 PM, April 07, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Stokes isn't a forward. Anderson barely is. Basically you are taking about a 7 man rotation consisting of 3 small guards, one big guard, one guard/forward, and two true front court players. They might well have scored 5 more points a game ... and given up 10 more.

Good luck with that.

As a final note (and this time I promise final; this thread has long passed the point of diminishing returns), if any coach in the country has proven his willingness to play a guard heavy line up, it's Wright. The fact that he "only" devoted 121 minutes a game to his guards (if one counts Anderson as a guard; still 103 minutes per game even if you count him as a forward) clearly was in the best interests of the team, at least based upon results (improved play when he started playing "big").

 
At 3:16 PM, April 07, 2008, Blogger Pete said...

Anderson and Stokes are not guards in college. They are wing-forwards.

If it makes you feel more comfortable, break it down like this:

80 mins: 3 guards, Reynolds, Grant, Fisher
60 mins: 2 forwards, Pena and Cunningham
60 mins; 2 wings, Stokes and Anderson

 
At 3:29 PM, April 07, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Talk about "beating a dead horse".... Forget about it Malcolm is gone.... it's over....

 
At 4:38 PM, April 07, 2008, Blogger kevin said...

I would have loved for Jay to figure out some way to keep Malcolm in the rotation - and keep him happy. It might have even improved the performance of this year's team.

But there's only one conclusion to be drawn from this year's (and the past several years') team. We need some bigger and better front court players. It's that simple.

Between Reynolds, Fisher, and Stokes, we have a Final Four-caliber set of guards for the next 2/3 years. However, with a front-line of 6-6 and 6-7 players, we have no shot-blocking, post, and rebounding presence that strikes fear into any high-caliber team.

I like Pena and Cunningham. They are above-average college talents. (Drummond is a role player at best.) But, until we start bringing in guys 6-9 and bigger, who can block shots, be lob threats for easy dunks, and command respect in the post, our ceiling will be stuck at Sweet 16, or Elite 8 at the max.

 
At 5:00 PM, April 07, 2008, Blogger Shel said...

Pete,

We can only speculate how Malcolm may have helped us in games where we lost... but the fact is there were a considerable amount of games that Nova won without Malcolm playing a lot of minutes either. Personally, I like Malcolm's game. I wish he got more minutes. I wish he stayed. I can certainly understand why some folks (including you and I) are upset about how Malcolm was handled while he was on the team. But his playing time did get cut and that's just the truth of the matter. The kid wants a better situation for himself, and I can't blame him.

However, while we may never know what really happened, I am reasonably confident that Jay Wright wouldn't have made a decision on Malcolm's playing time based on who we might have enrolled in school next year (and I don't see how any coach could). Jay may have mismanaged the situation, but I remain hopeful that his reasoning was based on basketball and not business (though at many major D1 institutions, I'm sure basketball and business are the exact same thing). Taylor King sought a transfer from Duke well after Malcolm's minutes were cut - and it sounds like we've been on Tyreke Evans' radar screen since Day 1 (which can probably be loosely defined as "at some point in his freshman or sophomore year of HS").

That said, we've lost three kids to other schools in two years: Bilal Benn, Andrew Ott and Malcolm Grant wanted out. There is no smoke without fire for sure.

 
At 7:02 PM, April 07, 2008, Anonymous todd said...

Pete,

I'm starting to question whether you even watch us play. I'm going to ignore your Nardi comment, because anyone that saw him play knows he was a much better defender than any of our small guards this year. what does them being faster have to do with their ability to play defense? if that was the case, we would just sign up our whole track team.

Second, clark played OUTSTANDING defense in the clemson game and was a large reason we came back and won. if you saw the game and knew anything about basketball, you would have realized that. he was in the forward rotation this year- not the guard rotation. he was not competing with grant at all for playing time.

 
At 8:19 PM, April 07, 2008, Anonymous todd said...

this is the last thing i'm going to say on this issue...

The two small guard experiment CLEARLY did not work as well as planned... look at our team's turnaround this year right after the 5 game skid and you will notice a few obvious things...

1. Anderson was inserted into the starting lineup.

2. Stokes began seeing more significant minutes and eventually started.

3. Grant started riding the pine.

4. Our defense improved significantly.

5. We started winning more games and reached the sweet 16.

Conclusion: I think Jay made the right decision.

 
At 8:35 PM, April 07, 2008, Blogger Pete said...

Grant started riding the pine before the 5-game skid.

 
At 9:11 PM, April 07, 2008, Anonymous todd said...

no he started riding the pine in the st. joe's game... right at the end of the skid.

anyway, i want to take the rutgers game and the syracuse big east tourney game as two examples of why jay went away from grant.

1. RUTGERS- Grant started and scored 23 points and our 3 small guards played a combined 70 minutes.

outcome: We let up 80 points and lost by 12 to one of the worst teams in the country and allowed their 3 guards to score a combined 60 points.

2. Syracuse- Grant only played 1 minute of mop-up duty and our small guards combined for only 43 minutes of playing time with 34 going to Scottie.

outcome: we hold syracuse to 63 points (16 below their season average) and blow them out by 19 in a game they desperately needed to win to get an ncaa bid. we hold their 3 guards (including paul harris) to 37 combined points.

this isn't a personal attack on grant- it is simply evidence as to why jay went away from the 2 small-guard lineup and it is obvious that it worked.

malcolm is a good scorer but that is only one very very small part of basketball.

i also want to reiterate how well shane clark played against clemson because he is getting unfairly ripped on by a lot of people on this thread. he played tremendous post defense denying their bigs the ball and rebounded very well. he was one of the main reasons we won the game and is very valuable to our team whether you think he can play offense or not.

 
At 10:03 PM, April 07, 2008, Blogger Pete said...

Todd, you are incorrect... just look back at the recaps for the 5-game skid.

In fact, my headline for the Pitt loss was "Grant rides pine as 'Nova drops 3rd straight."

 
At 10:05 PM, April 07, 2008, Blogger Pete said...

And in the Rutgers game, Grant only played 18 minutes... during which he scored 23 pts. He only played 7 minutes in the second half, all "garbage time," when he almost brought the team all the way back!

 
At 10:10 PM, April 07, 2008, Anonymous Gregg said...

Tom, that did seem like a reliable article on Evans. We'll just have to wait until April 16th when he makes the final decision.

Pete, did you forget Drummond in your analysis by minutes? Also, it would have been very helpful to give Grant at least 10 minutes per game. Look at all of the successful teams this year. They all had at least an 8 man rotation. Having a larger rotation opens so many options. It helps with press, stamina, etc. While other teams were exhausted, Malcolm could have been inserted to give us a spark in CLOSE GAMES, not blowouts.

However, at this point it is not necessary to carry on about the Grant topic.

 
At 10:15 PM, April 07, 2008, Blogger Pete said...

My minutes allocations were for the last 10 games of the season or so, when Drummond was mostly injured.

I agree, Grant is already gone, but I still think it's a valid topic of conversation for those who wish to discuss it.

 
At 11:50 PM, April 07, 2008, Anonymous mr. x said...

I'll take fisher and scottie over malcolm 7 days a week, 365 days a year

 

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