Sunday, February 24, 2008

The Malcolm Mystery

Interesting article about Malcolm Grant. In it Grant dispels the rumors floating around about his lack of playing time.
Notable Quotes:
Grant: "People were telling me that, and I was laughing, like, 'Are you serious?' People were saying, 'Your grades,' or 'You were talking back to Coach,' all this and that. I'm laughing like it's crazy, but that's college. You live through it and you block that stuff out."
"It's been tough, but I just stay positive. My teammates have spoken to me, telling me to stay positive and that they need me out there. I just try to give positive energy to the team. If I don't play, then it's the coach's decision. I know he knows what's best for the team."
"I want to improve my defense... I knew coming in I was the underdog and I had to prove myself. I used that as motivation."
"I haven't gotten into trouble. I haven't done anything wrong in school. I'm doing excellent in school. I haven't talked back to my teacher. I haven't done any of that. It's crazy."

Jay Wright: "It's just that we've struggled playing young, small guards together. That wasn't something we anticipated, but it's become a problem for us. I think when those guys are older, they're going to be able to do it better."

I understand Jay's reasoning, but the situation still seems skeptical to me. If there was no deliberate reason for benching Grant, why wouldn't Wright play him in the Georgetown game when Corey Fisher was struggling (1-16 fg). They were just one Malcolm Grant 3-pointer away from winning the game. Also why wouldn't he play Grant more than one minute in the St. Joseph's game when everybody was struggling. At least Malcolm is staying positive through all of it.

1 comment:

greyCat said...

Part of the paradox of Coach Wright is that when he gives an interview he is remarkably candid about answering questions, but he rarely volunteers information beyond the scope of the question. In early season interviews he said he was a little confused by all of the line-up options he had available, and that he would have to tinker with the rotation to see which combinations worked best. But when he tinkered with the starting line up and rotation fans wonder what is going on.
I like the blog Tim -- I have visited in the past and enjoyed your posts.

I am preparing a post over at my blog about the slump (the 5 consecutive losses which began with Rutgers) that will look at those games and compare them statistically to the four game sequence that began at Georgetown (I don't count the Seton Hall game as either a slump or post slump game, but I do consider Georgetown as "post slump" for reasons that I will explain in the post). The major points are these:
1. The defense was every bit as bad as the coaches have claimed. And worse than any other period this season (and the prior 3 seasons...).
2. The defense in the post slump games is better, and closer in profile to what the program has done defensively in past seasons.
3. A number of players have had their court time reduced. This is not limited to Malcolm, but includes others, such as Shane Clark and Scottie Reynolds. Other team members have seen their PT increase.

I respectfully suggest this is not just about Malcolm, but it is indeed pretty close to what the staff has been saying.