Syracuse received news on Monday that will impact their 2014-15 season. Multiple media sources reported that sophomore forward Jerami Grant will forego his junior season to enter the NBA Draft as CuseNation.com subscribers knew nearly two weeks ago when sources said he was leaving Syracuse. A source confirmed if again on Monday. Grant joins point guard Tyler Ennis as early defections from the Orange.
"After extensive discussions with my family and coaches, I have decided to pursue my dream of playing professional basketball and enter the 2014 NBA Draft," Grant said in a statement. "I am so thankful to coach Boeheim and the rest of the Orange coaching staff for guiding me throughout my college career, and am grateful to my teammates for two incredible seasons.
"I am excited to start my journey in the NBA, but I also look forward to finishing my college degree. I cannot thank my coaches, teammates and the entire Orange community enough for all of their support."
Grant averaged over 12 points and nearly seven rebounds per game last season, establishing himself as one of Syracuse's biggest offensive weapons. His mid-range jump shot, while still inconsistent, showed improvement as he added another element to his game. Grant's elite athleticism and highlight reel dunks caught the eye of NBA scouts, as he vaulted up mock draft boards early in the season.
"We'd like to thank Jerami for his tremendous contribution to Syracuse Basketball over the last two years," said Coach Jim Boeheim said in a statement released by Syracuse Athletics. "We wish him well in all of his future endeavors."
As the year progressed, Grant dropped a bit but is still considered a solid first round draft choice. He could have used another year to continue to bulk up and add weapons to his offensive game. Specifically working on his outside jumper while adding a few moves in the low-post. Grant may have also been the primary offensive weapon for Syracuse next season had he decided to stay, but the lure of the professional game was too much to pass up.
Grant's departure leaves Syracuse a little more thin up front, and makes DaJuan Coleman's health that much more important for their outlook next year.
Discuss Grant's delarture on our forums, including how it impacts next season, HERE.