Hoop stars from both the Class of 2012 and the Class of 2013 took part in the All-American Championship on Sunday in New Orleans and two were future Syracuse players.
The two played against each other earlier this season, with Grant's Dematha (D.C.) Catholic squad edging Coleman's Jamesville-Dewitt (N.Y.) team. But this time around, the future teammates were on the same roster – and the chemistry between the two was evident as the East defeated the West 84, 72.
"It was definitely great, he has a lot of talent and he can play different positions – in the post and things like that," said Grant of Coleman. "He's a great rebounder and he has more athletic ability than people give him credit for. It was just great playing with him; I think we'll be good moving forward."
Grant finished the game with eight points and a pair of rebounds. He was able to control the pace of the game while in there with certain big-men.
"It was great playing with (Tilton, NH center) Nerlens Noel, DaJuan, and the other big man (Michigan signee) Mitch McGary and all them – I feel like it definitely helped me go out in transition more because I already knew they were going to get the rebounds," he said. "It was great playing with big men like that, because I'm used to playing with just one big man (BeeJay Anya).
"I like having the ball in my hands because it's always a plus to be a play-maker, especially with a lot of talent on the floor. You can get the ball to anybody, and they will know how to make a play."
Grant, who stands 6-foot-7 and fits in rather well as a wing within Syracuse's acclaimed 2-3 zone, is not widely known for his handle on the ball – but he proved he could do so if needed. Because of his role at Dematha, it is a part of his game often masked.
"I think it's overlooked probably because people don't usually see me do it," said Grant. "At my high school, I have good guards and really good wings…I'm definitely working on it.
"It's not as bad as people think."
Something people knew he could do, which he also displayed on Sunday, was get to the rim. The versatile forward slammed home two break-away dunks, including one on a full-court outlet from Coleman.
"It kind of just happened; we were talking before the game saying that we were going to look out for each other and things like that – so when he got the rebound he definitely looked up (at me) first," said Grant. "I guess it was chemistry."
Perhaps the play was a prelude of things to come for the two, who admitted that looking ahead to next season wasn't out of the question during the week's festivities.
"We had some talks on the bus and things like that," said Grant on the ‘Cuse chatter. "We just talked about making an impact right from the start, and getting as much playing time as we can and try to win a championship."
Another potential piece to the puzzle is the status of Noel, who has yet to declare. Scout's No. 1 prospect will make his decision on April 11, between SU, National Champion Kentucky and Georgetown. Both Grant and Coleman did their part over the weekend to ensure he would ink Orange.
"It's been a good experience trying to recruit him, trying to get him to come (to Syracuse)," said Grant. "I feel like he didn't really want to say anything about what school he's leaning towards but I feel like we have a good chance…"
"He would be a big part of our team next year if he decides to come to Syracuse because of his shot-blocking ability and defensive ability and everything," he continued. "I feel like me, DaJuan and him (Noel) could all play on the court at the same time, that wouldn't be a problem at all."
Grant plans to sit back and let Noel's recruitment play out considering the amount of people already in the star's ear, but he plans on selling him on SU when he sees him in person at the Jordan All-American game during the week leading up to the April 14 game in Charlotte (NC).