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Tuesday, December 21, 2004
 
Vincent Grier - Who Are You?
When I posted a list of the Big Ten's returning scorers back in November, I was expecting one of those players to step forward and lead the conference in scoring this season. Instead, Vincent Grier of Minnesota is currently the leader of the pack at 18.2 ppg (with Iowa's Jeff Horner and Pierre Pierce at #5 and #6). So of course the question popped into my head - who is Vincent Grier? In case any of you were as clueless as myself, here's a little of what I discovered after some brief research.

Grier went to Bonner Academy in Raleigh, NC, and was a top 100 national recruit. He averaged 23 points and 6 rebounds as a senior, and 23 points, 8 rebounds, and 5 assists as a junior. He originally signed with UNC-Charlotte of Conference USA, but would only play the 2002-03 season there. He spent last year at Dixie State Junior College in Utah, and established himself as an All-Scenic West Athletic Conference player. In the process of choosing Minnesota he also fielded recruiting offers from Oklahoma, Arizona, Penn State and Georgia.

For those who prefer numbers to letters -
TeamMpgPpgRpgApgSpgTOpgFG%3p%FT%
UNC-Cha18.25.23.41.41.11.0.520.333.489
Dixie State34.817.15.82.72.33.5.502.200.717
Minnesota36.718.25.02.01.43.0.519.400.806

I originally planned another table to show each stat per 40 minutes, but if you double the per game stats from Grier's freshman year, each season will have roughly the same mpg and will be loosely comparable.

A couple stats I do want to point out are Grier's 3PA/FGA and FTA/FGA.
Team3PA/FGAFTA/FGA
UNC-Cha
.024
.382
Dixie State
.138
.606
Minnesota
.144
.596


The Big 10 average for 3PA/FGA is .344, and for FTA/FGA it's .352. Grier is a guy who scores a lot without shooting many threes and while making "only" about half his shots. He's able to do this by shooting a ton of free throws. That .596 FTA/FGA currently ranks 7th in the Big 10 (most players in the top ten are post players), and his 7.52 FTA/40 min ranks 6th in the conference (again, among mostly big men).

I haven't seen Grier play yet, but based on numbers alone I would loosely compare him to Pierre Pierce. He's an athletic scorer who excels in transition and makes frequent trips to the free throw line (and can actually make more than half of them). He doesn't have Pierre's assist numbers, but some of that might be a lack of talented teammates. Another similarity is defensive play - UNC-Charlotte's coach stressed Grier's "potential to be a defensive stopper" when he was a freshman.



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