Jordan Granger is a 6'-8" power forward. The junior played well this season as "Robin" to B.J. Young's "Batman." Granger has a high major game in his own right.
When Illinois head coach Bruce Weber takes a three hour commute to St. Louis, you know he is serious about recruiting a player. He did this recently by attending one of Granger's games. This was a big step in the Illini's pursuit of the big man. Although they have not offered yet, it is a sign they have high interest in him. The big man was excited to see the Big 10 coach in the crowd.
"I love seeing Bruce Weber. He is great guy. He seems like a cool coach."
Granger played well as usual and has continued to help his team advance in the Missouri state tournament. Weber talked to him briefly and must be a psychic because he saw McCluer North advancing to Columbia.
"He said good luck to me and see you at state."
The Illini have made more overtures in recent months in the pursuit of the St. Louis Eagles big man. Weber and Jay Price have been in contact. Price recruits the St. Louis area for Illinois. Has Granger felt the intensity of Illinois pick up recently in his recruitment?
"Oh yeah they have been. Coach Price has called a couple times. I love the attention from them."
Granger understands the team struggled at times this season, but he looks at the bigger picture for the program.
"They are a very solid team. They have had some rough times, but they will get back like they always do every year."
Granger has followed the Illini and likes their offense. He feels it would fit his abilities.
"I would love to play in his system if I got a chance."
In what many labeled as the "Game of the Year Part 2" in St. Louis, McCluer North took on Chaminade led by Bradley Beal in the state quarter finals. The two matched up in February in a nationally televised game in which Beal scored 40 points and Chaminade won easily.
The rematch would not go the same way. McCluer North and Granger defeated nationally top-10 ranked Chaminade to advance to Columbia, Missouri, for the semi finals. Granger was emotional after the victory.
"The game was crazy! I have never had this much emotions in one game, coming off a hard loss to them on ESPN by getting blown out like that. We won when it counted. We won the rematch!"
What does it mean to beat undefeated Chaminade, who McCluer North has had to play second fiddle to for the last year?
"This feels like winning state! I love Brad like a brother from the Eagles, but we had to knock them off to get where we need to be."
The talented youngster has a winning pedigree as he played a major role for the Stars in their journey from early tournament championships to Columbia. He also plays for the St. Louis Eagles, which is a big winner on the AAU circuit.
Granger has a game that would fit well in Illinois's system. He is a big man who can do multiple things on the offensive end of the floor. His post footwork is excellent; he is quick and fluid in his scoring moves. He passes well out of the post by opening up and skipping the ball to the open man many times on the opposite side of the court for an open three point shot.
Defenders have to respect his ability to hit a 15 foot jump shot, bringing them out of the paint and allowing everything else to move smoothly. In several games this year, his perimeter game was lethal. Overall, he is very skilled offensively and runs the floor hard in transition. Defensively, he blocks shots on the interior and plays hard in the paint.