Is Gavin Grant the Next MJ?

With the first two test of playing on the road in a hostile environment done, Sidney Lowe brings his team back to the more comfy confines of Reynolds. Saturday night will be the one and done opportunity for the Wolfpack to play in the storied building. The tip off is at seven and the opponent is Savannah State (5-6).

That’s all I can say about that. Playing in the house legends like Case, Thompson, V and Coach Lowe called home just speaks for its self. Add to that a welcoming party for new football coach Tom O’Brien, and there are more then enough reason’s to bundle up and head on down to Raleigh.

I would like to instead take a look at the current nature of the team, specifically the potential of Gavin Grant. Much was noted earlier concerning Grants ability to take over the duties of running the offense when Engin Atsur got hurt in this earlier thread. With Atsur and or Trevor Ferguson expected to be in the line up in the up coming weeks, I thought it would be a good opportunity for some long range perspective. At the beginning of the season many made encouraging comments about the potential of Grant playing a “point forward” position in Coach Lowe’s offense. Now that Grant has had to play the actual role of point guard, what changes if any in his overall game could come about when the players noted above, specifically Atsur, take back to the hardwood.

Some historical background on this topic I found is both revealing and familiar. Take the case of Marques Johnson, a UCLA product who started his NBA career playing for the Milwaukee Bucks under Don Nelson. Here’s what he had to say about how he was utilized early on in his professional career.

“It was the early 80s and we had all our point guards hurt with the Bucks. Nellie came up with a way to have me initiate the offense in all our sets. My response was, ‘so instead of being the point guard, I’ll be the point forward.’ Nellie liked the label and has used it ever since.”

Over his eleven year NBA career Johnson averaged 20.1 points, 7.0 rebounds and 3.6 assists. He was voted a NBA All star as a guard and as a forward in separate years. This and other information I gathered came from this surprising author. The idea of what it meant being a forward in the game of basketball had already been established in Johnson’s mind, thanks in part to his upbringing and playing under the legend himself, John Wooden.

“My game was all about efficiency. Scoring the easiest way possible. That’s how my dad taught me. I always thought if you were a forward and didn’t shoot 50 percent from the field, you weren’t doing your job,”

Others looked to as point forward prototype’s include the likes of Oscar Robinson and Rick Barry. Everything changed after Scotty Pippen made the point forward a “must have”, and now the professional landscape is flooded with players who fit this versatile role.

Flashback NCS Basketball

25 Responses to Is Gavin Grant the Next MJ?

  1. StateFans 12/08/2006 at 10:56 PM #


  2. Mr O 12/08/2006 at 11:08 PM #

    After nine turnovers the other night, it would be nice to see Gavin just bring the ball up the court and make the easy pass instead of forcing things that aren’t there.

    We aren’t going to win games unless we are near perfect on offense.

  3. wolfpackbball 12/08/2006 at 11:15 PM #

    It would be nice to be eight deep. It would be nice to have a superstar at every position. It would be nice to have Ced and Brack playing this year. Relax on GG. He’ll do the best he can, out of position, until Atsur’s back.

    Sorry if the tone is a little biting. I think GG is doing an awesome job. Period. I’m tired of hearing people throw even more on his shoulders than he already carries. Right now, he is being asked to carry EVERYTHING.

  4. RabidWolf 12/08/2006 at 11:17 PM #

    I thought the game was at 3?? Did this change?

  5. RabidWolf 12/08/2006 at 11:18 PM #

    Never mind….I read the paper.

  6. vtpackfan 12/08/2006 at 11:19 PM #

    Could circumstances the way they are benfit GG in the future. Thats kinda what I forsee here. Think of the knowledge Grant has gained on how crappy it is to handle bringing the ball up. Will this greater appreciation help him play off of Atsur, Degand, ect.? more effieciently? Can Sid use some set plays from Detroit with Prince in mind when Grant moves off the ball and back to the wing?

  7. wufpack 12/08/2006 at 11:23 PM #

    Gavin needs to have the ball in his hands a lot, but not as much as he has had to recently. In the 3-game stretch of Michigan, UVA, and WVU he shot 28.2% from the field and averaged nearly 7 turnovers per game. No way we can win much with our best player shooting under 30% on a regular basis. No doubt he is the creator in our offense, but we desperately need Atsur, and possibly Ferguson, to relieve SOME of the ball-handling duties and take some of the pressure off of him. Heck, it’s amazing that we beat a middle-tier Big 10 team, were tied with a middle-tier ACC team with 2 minutes to play, and at least had a chance going into the final minutes against a middle- to top-tier Big East team all without Engin and with Gavin putting up stats like he did. I don’t think we’re all that far from being a darn decent team. If Engin can get semi-healthy, if Ferguson’s not a stiff, and if Gavin can play like he’s capable, we are going to be a tough out IMO.

  8. vtpackfan 12/08/2006 at 11:26 PM #

    “I’m tired of hearing people throw even more on his shoulders than he already carries.”

    I do to, I’m trying to applaude the situation here, and predict that the hard work and great attitude shown by the Pack in the face of adversity will ultimately work in their favor. GG has an opportunity here and he is not afraid to rise to meet the challenge, win or lose. The bottom line is I love watching this team play and compete.

  9. tractor57 12/09/2006 at 12:00 AM #

    The situation of the BB team being so short handed wll work in GG’s favor. I like the fact that he has the ability and the willingness to run point – perfectly no, but he has done an excellent job under the circumstances.
    Next MJ – probably not but I’m sure his stock with the various NBA teams will rise under Lowe.
    I’m really excited about this team – they are short handed but they don’t back down – bodes well for the future.

  10. Woof Wolf 12/09/2006 at 12:08 AM #

    “The bottom line is I love watching this team play and compete.”

    Absolutely. Let’s not get overexcited about what these guys may or may not be in the future. Let’s just enjoy what’s happening now.

    McCauley and Costner are so much improved over what they were in the first game. They are getting better each game. Grant looked very, very good in the first few games. I appreciate the adjustments that he is having to make, but as a point guard he looks absolutely adequate.

    I think the experience will make him better and he could be a great player down the road. But I don’t think we should raise our expectations so high that we can’t enjoy what’s happening this year.

    Also, I think we should assume that the players are not as Internet ignorant as some of their bosses. Do we really need Gavin to see or hear about the heading of this article? I think he has enough pressure already.

  11. bTHEredterror 12/09/2006 at 12:21 AM #

    I think author meant MJ= Marques Johnson. Anybody who compares him to THE MJ is bananas. The comparison in the article is fair, I think Grant can play next level in a similar fashion.

    And I think Grant is making about the same ratio of turnovers/# od times he touches the ball. He’s always n=been something of a turnover machine, he’s just touching the ball a whole lot more. I don’t have a great problem with turnovers he makes, because he is going to balance those TO’s with hustle plays and points.

  12. Frank 12/09/2006 at 12:37 AM #

    Let’s just enjoy this. This team is a joy to watch. Please stop being critical. The team is playing great and recruiting is going great. Be thankful. Please.

  13. Wolfpack4ever 12/09/2006 at 1:35 AM #

    When I read the header for this thread, I felt like Alex Karas (sp) of the Lions when Tom Dempsey lined up to kick a 63 yard FG for the Saints about a 100 years ago, “I gotta see this!”

    Well MJ didn’t turn out to be Michael and as I read it, I had the thought, “Damn, who better than Sid to know how to use this kind of stuff the pros use?” And it is just the kind of stuff V would pull on you.

    GO PACK!!

  14. Woof Wolf 12/09/2006 at 1:46 AM #

    I understood the reference was to Marques Johnson after I read the article, but even that comparison is a little bit imposing at this point. And then to name drop Oscar Robinson, Rick Barry and Scottie Pippen was way over the top.

    I just don’t want to build up expectations so high that we are disappointed when we are 10-9 or 9-10 or maybe even 8-11 on Januart 25th. Our coaches and our players are busting their butts and in my opinion overchieving. The truth is that unless Costner continues to get better and better there are no NBA superstars on this team. But then with developement from our coaches who knows?

    If anything that I have written has been interpeted as critical of the coaches or the team, then I apoiligize because that was not my intent. I love these guys: coaches and players. I’m having more fun watching them than I have since 1990 something.

  15. Mr O 12/09/2006 at 8:57 AM #

    I understand Gavin is being asked to do WAY more than what should be asked of him.

    Still, he makes some bad decisions out there that hurt us the other night. No matter how much is being asked of him, it doesn’t mean he can excercise good judgement when passing the ball.

    I was one of the guys defending the hell out of Gavin last year about his turnovers when almost all of our fans called him a “turnover waiting to happen”. I expect some turnovers from Gavin, but he still needs to make better decisions on the court.

  16. StateFans 12/09/2006 at 10:01 AM #

    Great points from Mr. O

  17. Lee Fowler 12/09/2006 at 10:24 AM #

    Unless he goes about town philandering, stealing other men’s wives for a night of gratuituos sex and destroying marriages, I wouldn’t compare Gavin to Michael Jordan.

  18. Pack92 12/09/2006 at 10:36 AM #

    I think the difference Atsur and Ferguson will make will be incredible. Look at what these guys have done with really 4, maybe 5 capable players. GG will get better. I think everyone on the team is sort of in a flux right now as to what exactly their role is. Let’s face it, when you only have 5 to play the roles change depending on who you play!

  19. Rochester 12/09/2006 at 11:26 AM #

    Grant will benefit from the return of Atsur and addition of Ferguson, but Dennis Horner might benefit even more. He’s a little big to be defending guards, but that’s what he was asked to do Wednesday, because there was no one else to do it. I like his potential, but he’s simply not ready for 30 minutes a game, and it will help a lot to be able to spot him and ease him into the rotation a little more.

    Add me to the list of people who were “fooled” by the MJ in the headline. It’s not until you read through that you discover MJ is not Jordan. On first glance everyone will think that’s a Jordan comparison, which sounds ridiculous.

  20. Lee Fowler 12/09/2006 at 12:34 PM #

    Ahh..I get it. Boy do I feel like a dumbass befitting my posting name. MJ, of course, could also mean Magic.

  21. Texpack 12/09/2006 at 4:32 PM #

    William Neal Reynolds Coliseum. Many of my favorite moments at State were spent there. This game will give Sidney and Monte goose bumps. V and Sloan will be smiling. You know Sidney has talked to GG about how injuries to key players can set things in motion that turn out better than people would have ever thought. We are going to be tough come Tournamenttime.

  22. PackGirl 12/09/2006 at 4:32 PM #

    Does anyone know if the game at Reynolds tonight is sold out yet? Box office opens at 5:30 but I don’t want to drive down there if it’s already sold out.

  23. jwrenn29 12/09/2006 at 4:47 PM #

    This article was an article of tangents! Not sure of the point, but go PACK!

  24. vtpackfan 12/09/2006 at 10:35 PM #

    It’s about Gavin Grant, Marques Johnson and the “Point Forward” position in Basketball. I looked at writing something about Savannah State but they still have a long way to go with that program. I thought they really played their butts of tonight, especially in the first half.

    Thanks for the honesty that the post is unclear. I have to think you read through it all to become so cofused (something it seems others didn’t have to worry about).

    Pack played huge coming down the home stretch tonight. McCauley, Costner, and Grant were consitent all night. Fells and Nieman really picked up their contributions late, and that really sealed the deal and turned this into a rout. It was pretty close through halftime, and apart from the competitive excitment there were some nasty dunks. Fells with a tomahawk in the half court set. McCauley had two fast break steal dunks, and one perfect alley-oop from Grant. Grant also had nice 180 degree dunk. See you next year Reynolds, and Go Pack!


  1. StateFans Nation » Blog Archive » Confirmed: Marques Johnson to NC State - 01/07/2007

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