AU Commit Looks for Back-to-Back State Titles

Auburn basketball commit Jordon Granger leads McCluer North into class 5A Missouri playoffs.

Florissant, Mo.-- Before 2012 Auburn commitment Jordon Granger makes the move to the Plains to play for Tony Barbee's Tigers, the senior forward will try to lead his McCluer North High basketball team through the playoffs to a second straight class 5A state championship in Missouri.

Granger has been a dominant force for the Stars this season, averaging team highs per game in points (13.8), rebounds (7.1) and blocks (3), but it is his unselfishness that has impressed head coach Randy Reed.

"He's surrounded with some good players," Reed said. "He's been very, very unselfish this year. We're a very balanced team, but he could easily average 20 points a game if he was a selfish player."

Currently ranked as the top team in class 5A, McCluer North boasts a 22-1 overall record in the regular season.

If the North Stars are going to make it through the playoffs, Granger will likely have to bring his game to a higher level, said Reed.

"He's got to be a little selfish in the playoffs and look to shoot, look to score and carry his team in the same manner that B.J. Young did last year," said Reed. "Sometimes, a superstar has to be a little selfish on the court in order to take his team deep into the playoffs."

Reed said Young, who is averages 15.1 points a game as a true freshman for the Arkansas Razorbacks, is a good example for Granger to follow.

"In the playoffs, he was just a monster, man," said Reed of Young. "I've always spoken with Jordon, saying ‘you got to take your game to that level that Young (did). He refused to lose last year. There was no way we were going to lose with him on that floor."

The senior forward is shooting 54.6 percent from the field for the Stars this season, knocking down 130 of his 238 shots.

"He's got a good free-throw-line jump shot," said Granger's head coach. "He has a nice turnaround jumper. And he gets a lot of dunks so he's shooting a pretty high percentage for us as well."

Reed said Granger has worked on becoming an all-around player this season, not just a post player.

"He's just trying to get his game ready for college, being a passer, being able to dribble a little bit and being able to shoot a little bit instead of just being a post player on the interior," Reed said. "He's trying to be a complete ball player, where he can step out and face up and work on those skills."

Reed said one reason Granger is shooting at such a high clip is his 15-foot jump shot has dramatically improved since last season. He added that Granger still needs to get stronger before he steps on the court against SEC competition.

"He's got to get a strong lower base so he can take that SEC bump because of athletes like (Florida's) Patrick Young and (Auburn's Kenny) Gabriel," said Reed. "He's going to have to deal with athletes like that.

"The SEC's just loaded with talent so he's going to have to really, really hit the weights really, really hard because he weighs about 200 now," added the head coach. "He needs to come in there like 215, 6-8, 215."

Granger and his Stars team will take their first step toward repeating as state champions on Wednesday at 5 p.m. against Hazelwood East in the first round of the class 5A state playoffs.


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