Donte Grantham: Evaluation

It's not always easy for a player from West Virginia to gain national acclaim, but Grantham steadily has risen in national esteem.

Introduction

Versatile wings never have been a rarity in the Class of 2014, but Grantham actually first belonged to the 2013 haul. As a senior at Martinsburg (W.Va.) High he certainly attracted heavy attention from local fans and the West Virginia coaching staff, but he opted for prep school and thus will be a college freshman in 2014-15.

But prior to making that move, he led his squad into the state championship game, where he erupted for 20 points and 17 rebounds to spearhead the victory. That performance and an impressive overall senior year netted offers from West Virginia, Clemson, Miami and others.

Still, Grantham believed he was capable of more. He suited up with D.C. Assault in the spring and earned an invitation to July's Reebok Breakout Classic. That event enabled him to showcase his abilities versus a national field, and he's now set for a fifth year at Chatham (Va.) Hargrave Military that will place him in front of numerous high-major college coaches.

Grantham ultimately committed to Clemson over Michigan. He visited the Tigers officially in the early summer and then unofficially the weekend of September 28th.

Assets

At 6-7, Grantham projects as a long-term wing and an immediate combo forward. He's a lithe, fluid athlete who's very coordinated and possesses outstanding ball skills. He handles very well for a 6-7 player and is a talented, slick passer who keeps his head up and sees the entire floor.

Those ball skills stand as his most productive qualities. He's far too nimble for most players in his size range and he also possesses above-average speed and quickness.

But his height and solid frame also enable him play inside. Grantham is a very capable rebounder — as his numbers in the state final indicate — and should become an outstanding defender versus the ever-popular stretch four-men. He moves his feet well on the perimeter yet also has the physical qualities to stand his ground inside.

Deficits

Can he shoot? During our observations Grantham appeared to be very streaky from deep, and thus that's a big question mark he'll need to address this season. He also missed some easier finishes in traffic than one might have expected, another area we'll evaluate closely.

Outlook

Grantham possesses the physical qualities of a utility combo forward but brings an extra dimension of wing ball skills. That gives him greater versatility than most players fitting that description, and if he can become a more consistent scorer he should enjoy a very strong college career.

It's also worth noting that Grantham is less unique (and thus less touted) than he would be in other classes. The number of jumbo wings in the Class of 2014 simply is extraordinary, and the guys at the top of the rankings tend to be far better scorers. But it's entirely possible he's getting overlooked somewhat due to the fact that his skills are more redundant at present than typically would be the case.


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