Notre Dame will have one of the premier backcourts in the ACC this season and seniors Eric Atkins and Jerian Grant will be asked to do a lot if the Irish expect a deep postseason run.
The 6’5” Grant in particular has high expectations this season in which he’ll be entering his third season with Notre Dame. Since a stress fracture in his lower left leg forced him to redshirt his freshman year, Grant still has two years of eligibility left and so now the talk of the NBA Draft and potentially testing the waters after this season is a very real situation if Grant continues to improve.
According to a story Monday from Brian Hamilton of the Chicago Tribune, Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey has discussed this possibility with Grant and the two appear to be on the same page.
“I think Jerian would love to have a great year and be in position to get to the next level,” Brey said in the Tribune interview. “I said, ‘Jerian, let’s you and us have a great year so you can move on.’ He’s on board with that – like, hey, let’s have a great year, and if it all works out, I can go, if I’m a first-round pick.
“‘If that doesn’t work out, I’ve got the option to come back.’ He’s really kind of secure with that, because I said, ‘You can’t be putting pressure on yourself. You’re going to fold if you do that.’ We talked about that a couple times this summer, and I think his mind is really on that.”
Grant averaged 13.3 points and 5.5 assists last season, but will need to improve his shooting percentages in order to garner heavy NBA Draft interest. Guards in the NBA typically shoot better than the 40 percent from the field and 34 percent from the three-point line that Grant shot at Notre Dame last season, so that will be a key point of interest in helping determine his draft stock.