Frank Haith and the University of Miami men's basketball program scored a significant backcourt addition on Sunday when Villanova freshman Malcolm Grant chose to transfer into the ACC program according to Todd Myles, Grant's former coach at Paul Robeson High School in Brooklyn. A 6-foot combo guard, Grant also considered Vanderbilt, Michigan, and Virginia Commonwealth.
"He loves the school." said Myles, who advised Grant on his decision. "It's the ACC- a big-time, competitve league. And also, Coach Haith had recruited him out of high school, so there was a relationship. It felt like the perfect fit to him because of that."
Grant averaged 5.6 points and 1.4 assists in 29 games for the Wildcats and shot a team-leading 46 percent from the 3-point line. He played a prominent role in some early-season victories- including 18 points in a miraculous comeback win over LSU on Dec. 6- but fell out of the rotation during Big East play, and saw his minutes dwindle thereafter.
"They had a lot of guards," said Myles. "He felt like he wanted to go some place where he could be the number one guy. It was just a numbers game. It was a situation where you had four guards, and any one of them could be playing 25 minutes a game, but you wouldn't know who. He just wanted some consistency with that."
The opportunity to step in and make a quick impact helped sway Grant towards Miami.
"He liked Vanderbilt, VCU- loved the way they get up and down- and Michigan- Coach Beilein had recruited him out of high school," said Myles. "But Coach Haith came in and told him he'd have an opportunity to play and that he'd put the ball in his hands; they're going to give him the ball."
Myles suspects that Grant will see time at both guard spots for the Hurricanes.
"They love the fact that he's not one-dimensional; he's versatile," said Grant. "He can be a combo guard. He can shoot the ball, but he can also handle it.
"He's a natural point guard, but he can score the crap out of it. So you've got to use him (as his talents dictate)."