Brewster opened with a full-court press and forced four straight turnovers that led to easy layups and three pointers. By halftime, Brewster led 42-20, and midway through the second half, head coach Jason Smith emptied his bench. Brewster has played both of New Hampton's varsity teams this season and talent-wise, it is somewhere in between. They lost their first matchup with Rashad McCants "A" squad 81-69, but tonight's game was little more than a scrimmage.
From a UNC perspective, the game was disappointing. Though the town and school seem pumped about Damion's future, the big center was lethargic. It could have been the caliber of the game, of course. The matchup had all of the suspense of an all-star game. There was little urgency and the Brewster offense was guard-heavy. One Brewster fan even apologized, "they gave the SAT this morning."
But Grant seemed bored. He didn't always run to the opposite end of the floor and he rarely touched the ball in the flow of the offense. His final stats were 2-for-4 from the field, three rebounds (one offensive), and four blocks.
A few Brewster Academy regulars even admitted that Grant needs to toughen up. One of the referees—while the ball was still in play!—told me that Grant is still a little tentative, but he's come an incredibly long way since November. Grant had to leave the floor twice during the first half because of injury. He was hit once on the nose and another time in a more "sensitive area."
It was quite apparent that Grant is not yet an aggressive rebounder. He is a legit 7-1, I was assured by a Brewster employee who measured him—and he outsized everyone on the New Hampton squad by at least five inches—but he didn't impose his will on the glass. He usually kept his arms at his side and didn't gravitate toward the ball.
That said, if there is anything that Doherty excels in teaching, it's intensity. And Grant is going to need all of Doherty's fire if he is going to want to contribute as a defender and rebounder in his first year in the ACC.