Jerian Grant NBA Draft Scouting Report and Video Breakdown

Jerian Grant NBA Draft Scouting Report and Video Breakdown
Mar 31, 2015, 12:50 pm
Scouting Report by Jonathan Givony. Video Analysis by Mike Schmitz

Deemed ineligible “due to an academic matter” only 12 games into his redshirt junior season, Jerian Grant exceeded all expectations as a senior, leading Notre Dame to an ACC Conference Tournament Championship, an NCAA Tournament Elite Eight appearance, and First Team All-America honors--boosting his draft stock tremendously in the process.

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At 6-5, Grant has tremendous size for a point guard, which allows him to see over the top of defenses and get his shot off almost whenever he pleases. He's an underrated athlete, showing a very quick first step and the ability to change speeds fluidly, even if he possesses just an average frame and isn't terribly explosive from a vertical standpoint.

Grant's best attribute from an NBA standpoint clearly revolves around his playmaking ability. He is a decisive passer and an extremely unselfish player overall, making reads automatically and whipping the ball impressively all over the court. He has a tremendous natural feel for finding the open man regardless of where they are on the floor, being capable of making every pass in the book, be it high or low, and to cutters, rollers or shooters. Unlike many big guards, he's not a combo looking to make the transition to the point, he's already a tremendous distributor.

His 7.3 assists per-40 minutes pace adjusted ranks fourth among DX Top-100 prospects, despite the fact that he shared playmaking duties with another capable guard in sophomore Demetrius Jackson, a strong NBA prospect in his own right. Grant's 6.22 pure point ratio ranks second in our Top-100, an indication of not only his passing skill but also how infrequently he turns the ball over, coughing it up on just 14% of his possessions.

This manifests itself most prominently on the pick and roll, where Grant found himself dozens of times each game, which should ease his transition to the NBA significantly. He's also very effective in transition or creating out of isolation situations.

Grant was a capable scorer for the Irish, averaging over 18 points per-40 pace adjusted on a solid 60% TS%. He doesn't really excel in any one area here, but rather picks his spots nicely, pushing the ball up the floor in the early offense and finding places to score out of pick and rolls, spot-ups and in one on one situations. Far from being a non-shooter like many big guards, Grant made a decent amount of 3s throughout his career, hitting 1.5 per game on average, at a 34.5% clip. His mechanics in catch and shoot situations could stand to improve, as he possesses a somewhat rigid release, and he's actually slightly more effective pulling up off the dribble than he is with his feet set, which is important considering how much he handles the ball.

Against better competition, Grant has a tendency to struggle as a finisher inside the paint, hitting just 51% of his 2-point attempts against BCS teams with a .500 record or better as a senior (44% for his college career). He actually got to the free throw line quite a bit more often in these games, an indication of his savvy, which helped him salvage a solid 56% TS% in these games.

Still, there are question marks about how this part of his game will translate to the NBA, as he does not possess a very strong frame, is fairly limited vertically, and lacks a degree of toughness when forced to take contact and finish in the paint.

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These same issues manifest themselves on the defensive end as well, where he shows flashes, but is far too inconsistent at the moment. Grant has a difficult time fighting through screens and isn't physical enough overall using his body to wall off opponents, both on the perimeter in the post. He doesn't show great urgency on this end of the floor, not always getting in a defensive stance, relying too much on his terrific instincts and anticipation skills in the passing lanes. Grant averaged 1.7 steals per-40 minutes over the course of his career, a very nice rate, but was incredibly underwhelming on the glass for a player his size, posting just 3.3 rebounds per-40.

Grant's size, combined with his solid lateral quickness and smarts should give him a chance to develop into a capable defender in the NBA in time , particularly once he gets in the weight room and maximizes his frame. Mike Brey's teams at Notre Dame have never been known for their defensive prowess, and this year was no exception, with a sub-100 defensive efficiency ranking. It's possible that in a system that places greater emphasis on this part of the game, he could find a way to be more effective.

Despite spending five years in college, Grant won't be close to being the oldest player drafted this June, as he came into school very young, which is part of the reason he elected to redshirt his first year. While he certainly doesn't have the same type of upside as many of the underclassmen who will get picked, he also doesn't share much of the downside. Grant's ability to play both guard positions should help him get on the floor early on in his NBA career, and if he's able to address some of his deficiencies, he'll have no problem carving out a strong career for himself as a versatile role-player.

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