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Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Good news: Kelvin Grady has officially announced that he's staying with Michigan($). Desultory cheer from the beleaguered plebeians.

Also good news: there's a site that just popped up named that has a selection of Michigan high school games from the recent state playoffs, including the Kelvin Grady-Anthony Crater matchup in the class B semifinal. I've pulled everything Grady did that was interesting (and a couple things that, in retrospect, aren't very interesting) for your edification:

(Right-click and 'save as': Downloadable original.)

If Manny Harris sticks with his commitment I have two games of his to execute something similar with, including one in which he goes for 41.

Grady appears to be an actual point guard who can get penetration whenever he wants to. His handling is superb, though he faintly reminds me of Jack Johnson at times when he trusts it too much and nearly gets himself pinned to the sideline or the timeline. Grady didn't get caught against Flint but dribbled himself into trouble a few times. This is forgivable because he then dribbled himself right back out of trouble. He also broke Flint's frequent trapping easily and looked to push the ball up the floor when he had broken a press or had an advantage after a missed shot. This only met middling success but Grady's speed and decision-making on the break was excellent; only an inability to finish by both his teammates and himself held down their totals. Unfortunately, his jumper was meh and, as noted, his ability to finish when he gets to the hoop was lacking. He did knock down a couple threes, but if Michigan's relying on Grady to score they're going to be disappointed. In all other ways he appears superior to Jerret Smith. (This may be less of an endorsement than you think. Somewhat shockingly, Smith led the team with a 43% three-point shooting percentage.)

Since EGR spent most of the game in a 2-3 zone, Grady didn't do much of interest on defense aside from the pair of steals on the tape. Mostly he'd come out to man up on Crater (who's clearly talented but has a tendency to take really bad shots and force things that aren't there) briefly, then retreat when the ball moved to the wing or inside. He has a rep for tough ball defense, but it wasn't apparent in this game.

Grady should be a useful player when surrounded by guys who can knock down kickout jumpers or finish inside. His ability on the break should be helpful if Legion and Harris show up; Michigan will be fielding a team of athletic guys between 6'4" and 6'9" that can all get up and down the floor, and his intelligence and handle should help Beilein cut down on the turnovers that have plagued Michigan's program since time immemorial. A role player but the kind of guy you can win with if he's got a couple of guys to set up with good looks. Cough. Cough. Legion, Harris, cough, subtlety.