Men's Basketball

Grant will not miss time after suffering left ankle injury

Chase Gaewski | Managing Editor

Jerami Grant left the game in the second half with a left ankle sprain. He said he'll be ready to go against Villanova on Dec. 28.

An ankle injury left Jerami Grant as the centerpiece of a bizarre scene during the second half of Syracuse’s 75-54 win against High Point on Friday.

The forward rolled his left ankle when he stepped on a Panther’s foot and collapsed to the ground. He tried to get up and run back on defense, but couldn’t. He went back to the ground and slid himself to the sideline — all while HPU was running its offense against a shorthanded Orange unit.

“I tried to run back, but it wasn’t working,” Grant said, “so I had to slide to the side.”

The whistle eventually blew and the training staff was able to attend to Syracuse’s injured sixth man. He finally walked off the court and into the locker room with a little bit of help from head athletic trainer Brad Pike before he and his staff determined Grant had a left ankle sprain.

Head coach Jim Boeheim was simple when a reporter asked about the injury after the game. He said he wasn’t sure what Grant injured, just that “he’s alright.”

Still, the No. 2 Orange held the forward out for the rest of the blowout of High Point (3-7) in front of the 19,473 in the Carrier Dome, but team spokesman Pete Moore said that Grant could return if needed and Grant said he would “definitely be back” when SU (11-0) faces No. 8 Villanova on Dec. 28.

“I’m playing against Villanova,” Grant said, “and I’m going to be practicing as soon as we get back.”

The injury came on the fluky play, similar to many that lead to so many minor injuries in the sport. Grant tried to get to the rim off the dribble and stepped on the foot of Panther forward Jorge Perez-Laham.

He wanted to stay on the floor and get back on defense, but the pain was too much at the time.

“It hurt, but at the same time you’ve got to play through some pain,” Grant said. “You’re never 100 percent when you’re on the court.”

Before the injury, though, Grant was well on his way to his averages of 13.2 points and six rebounds per game. He scored 10 points and grabbed three rebounds in 17 minutes of action. The 60.8-percent free-throw shooter even knocked down all six of his attempts at the line.

One of his few gaffes was a 3-pointer that he rushed during the first half. As a team, forward C.J. Fair said, Syracuse rushed too many shots.

Grant tried the long jumper with a man in his face and plenty of time left on the shot clock. He said he’s getting more comfortable with his shot — it showed at the free-throw line — but this one wasn’t smart, and he heard it from Boeheim.

“It was a rushed shot, a bad shot on my part,” Grant said. “If I’m going to shoot the 3 it should be an open 3. I just said, ‘my bad’, and we got over it.

“I understand my game, I understand how to play the game. So definitely taking a shot like that wasn’t a good shot.”

The only thing missing from Grant’s day, other than 10 or so extra minutes of action, was the highlight-reel play viewers have gotten so used to.

So it was Fair’s turn with an emphatic baseline jam that posterized HPU forward John Brown.

“That was for Jerami,” Fair said with a laugh. “I was fortunate enough to get the chance to make ‘SportsCenter’ over Jerami.”

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