Jordan Granger is a 6'-8" junior power forward from McCluer North High School in the St. Louis metro area. Granger plays with the talented St. Louis Eagles team in the summer but is starting to gain notoriety for his play on his high school team. His school list is growing with interest from high majors, and Illinois is very much in the mix for his services.
Granger really likes what he sees out of the Illini program. They have shown interest in him, and he also has high interest in the program bordering his state. He shares his thoughts about the Illini.
"I like Illinois a lot. Bruce Weber is a cool guy. He came to a couple of my games in the summer time."
The junior feels he would fit in well with the style of play Illinois brings to the table. He likes how they use their big men and feels he could fit into a Mike Davis role in the future for the Illini.
"They run. They let their big guys do a lot of things that other programs do not let their bigs do."
McCluer North's big man is garnering interest from across the nation. What are some of the schools he has heard from?
"Mizzou, Illinois, Illinois State, Tulsa, Arkansas, Detroit, St. Louis, Oklahoma State, Penn State, Syracuse, Ohio State, Kansas, California, and Missouri State."
He currently holds 12 offers including Missouri, Arkansas, Tulsa, St. Louis, Illinois State, and Detroit. Illinois has not offered yet, but Granger says they are near the top of his list.
"I like Mizzou, Illinois, Kansas, and Ohio State a lot."
The big man is starting to set up visits around the nation to some of the schools that are pursuing him. When does he think he will make a decision on his ultimate college destination?
"At the end of the AAU season."
When it comes to making his choice, the junior says there will be a couple of key determining factors in his selection that are important to him.
"Coaching staff and team chemistry."
So how good of a player is Granger? B.J. Young had plenty of hype coming into the Centralia Holiday Tournament, but there was not as much on Granger. He is blowing up. He is a legit 6'-8" with wide shoulders, nice length and a good frame to add weight as he is still relatively thin, but has the tools to do it. He is working with a top strength coach in the St. Louis area to improve his body.
Offensively, Granger showed excellent skill in the post by using quick spin moves and solid footwork to score. He posts up strong and calls for the ball from the wing and finishes strong at the rim. The power forward uses the glass well, banking in several shots throughout the tournament.
He can also step out and hit a 15 foot jump shot consistently by using nice form and a soft touch. Granger says he feels that the mid range jump has become a lost art. He ran the floor excellent throughout the whole week, which will allow him to fit into many of the systems of schools he is considering.
Around the hoop, he rebounds his area very well and puts his body on a man to box out. He has large hands that help him grab boards. His passing ability both in the half court and transition are impressive.
He made several nice passes to teammates out of the post and wing, showing good vision for a power forward. This was also the case when he outleted a few bombs down the court for assists to Young for easy points.
On defense, he uses his quickness to be a force blocking and altering shots. He has good timing and anticipation for the defensive art.
McCluer North went 4-0 and recorded a championship victory over the favored O'Fallon Panthers in the tournament. The Stars were the first ever out-of-state team to capture the title.
Throughout the event, Granger averaged 15.5 points on 61% shooting, 9 rebounds, and 3 blocks en route to 1st team all tournament honors. He said it was a pleasure to play in the historic tournament and is thrilled with the hardware.
"It was a great game. O'Fallon is a great team to play with. It feels good. It is a big honor being the first team to do that."
Granger tweaked his ankle in the fourth quarter of the championship game but had the All-American Young to pick up the slack. The junior is happy to have such a talented teammate.
"Thank God for B.J. Young. He is an offensive threat and makes it easier for me in the post to get buckets."
So what does the senior think of his junior teammate's ability to play at the next level?
"He is a great player at 6'8". He plays power forward on our team, but he is more like a small forward. He can put it on the floor and shoot the jump shot. He knocks his free throws down.
"We do not let him extend to the three-point line, but trust me he can shoot the three. Jordan is a great rebounder and shot blocker. He knows how to make the outlet pass after the defensive rebound, and he attacks the offensive glass. He makes the smart play every time. I love playing with Jordan Granger!"
McCluer North is 10-0 and has two tournament championships under their belt. Granger says their goal is a state championship. They are well on their way to this. Granger's stock is on the rise and is a player to look out for in the class of 2012 for Illinois and on the national level.