Jerami Grant's intrigue at the next level starts with his promising physical tools. He has excellent size for small forward, standing 6'8 in shoes with a huge 7'2.5 wingspan, and sports an increasingly strong frame that has improved by leaps and bounds since his high school days, but still has a ways to go. The former consensus top-50 recruit is also an outstanding athlete--quick, fluid, and exceptionally explosive around the rim, Grant nearly aces the eye test.
Grant's size and athleticism paid dividends for him on both ends last season, but were especially key for him offensively, where his skill level is still very much a work in progress. The DeMatha Catholic product did most of his damage inside, where his leaping ability and touch helped him finish consistently and resulted in plenty of material for his highlight reel. Running the floor well, moving without the ball, playing off his teammates, crashing the glass aggressively, and showing the ability to attack the rim with his quick first step from the midrange attacking close outs or as the roll man in the two man game, Grant shot 57% at the rim in the half court and 68% in transition according to Synergy Sports Technology.
Ranking third among small forward prospects in our top-100 attempting 7.7 free throws per-40 minutes pace-adjusted, Grant attacks the rim with reckless abandon, which is as much a positive aspect of his game as it is symptomatic of his lack of perimeter shooting ability and advanced offensive skills. Attempting just five 3-pointers last season and connecting on only 29% of his total jump shots, Grant has questionable mechanics and is not an intimidating threat away from the basket at this point in his career. He's also yet to develop a reliable post arsenal or the advance ball-handling ability to help him create his own shot regularly one-on-one against quality defenders.
Looking ahead, it will be Grant's ability to find a way to keep defenders honest away from the rim and carve out and identity beyond his hustle and athleticism that will determine just how much of a weapon he can be offensively. Grant's motor, assertiveness, and physical tools helped him score consistently as a slasher and catch and finish option at the NCAA level, but he tends to force the issue at times, lacks a degree of strength, and remains very raw on this end of the floor. Generally speaking, the same things the can be said Grant offensively can be said about his defensively, where he has terrific potential thanks to his size and lateral quickness, but looked green at times playing in the back line of Syracuse's 2-3 zone. Playing with the same effort that afforded him some success offensively, Grant had some terrific sequences tracking the ball on the perimeter and contesting would-be finishers at the rim, but still has a lot of room to improve his awareness and fundamentals as he acclimates to playing man-to-man defense on a regular basis.
His length and speed could give him valuable versatility on this end of the floor down the road. In many ways, it is what Grant could become that makes him so interesting. His length, athleticism and competitive streak could help him fill a role early in his career, but the fact that he just turned 20 and only has one year of significant college experience under his belt leaves plenty of room for optimism that he'll expand his offensive game and become the type of defensive player he has the tools to be in the coming years. Grant's upside will get him plenty of looks from teams picking in the mid to later part of the first round.
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