Blue and Gold Illustrated

Sept. 29. 2014 Issue

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

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BY ANDREW OWENS I t consumed his every waking mo- ment not spent on the basketball court. For three weeks, Notre Dame senior guard Jerian Grant waited to hear the results of his honor code viola- tion, but knew it would likely result in him missing the spring semester and the team's inaugural ACC season. After the Irish surrendered an eight- point lead in the last minute of a 64-61 loss to No. 3 Ohio State at Madison Square Garden on Dec. 21, they faced the reality they would be without their best player the remainder of the season. Before Grant stepped away, he was off to the best start of his career, averaging a team-best 19.0 points and 6.2 assists per game. "It's something you always think about," Grant said Sept. 4, his first public comments since the suspension. "You're about to not be in school and not be with the guys you love. It was on my mind the whole time." Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey said he saw Grant's mother, Beverly Grant, outside the Madison Square Gar- den locker room and that she was sob- bing. While the rest of the team flew back to campus, Grant headed home to Bowie, Md., with his parents. "[The Ohio State loss] was tough," he said. "We had the game in hand and of course towards the end we made a lot of mistakes. After the game, that was it for me. All the guys knew, the coaches knew, so they really embraced me and had a nice conversation to end my season." Grant's backcourt partner and good friend Eric Atkins has graduated, and so have forwards Tom Knight and Gar- rick Sherman. Suddenly, Grant is being called upon to take charge as a team leader with senior guard/forward Pat Connaughton. "We had a great leader in Eric, a three-year captain," Grant said. "It's going to take a lot from me and Pat and the other guys to step up, and I think I'm going to be one of those leaders to speak up a lot more." SEEKING REDEMPTION After serving a semester-long suspen- sion during ACC play while his team- mates struggled, Jerian Grant is back

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