The Student News Site of Clemson University

The Tiger

The Tiger

The Tiger

Clemson basketball has to find a way to replace Donte Grantham

At all costs, an injury is the one thing that every sports team tries to avoid. However, on Jan. 20, the worst happened to the Clemson men’s basketball team. 

With 11 minutes left to play against Notre Dame, senior forward Donte Grantham buckled his knee by being fouled from behind, resulting in a career-ending injury. 

The news of Grantham’s ACL tear gave a new reality to what this nationally-ranked Clemson team might look like for the rest of the

2018 season. 

Grantham was the second leading scorer for the Tigers, averaging 14.2 points per game. The forward was also an integral aspect of the defense for head coach, Brad Brownell, who challenges his players to push themselves, averaging 6.9 rebounds per game. The numbers on the stats sheet only go so far, however; Grantham is known for his stand-out leadership on the team, with Brownell describing him as a “valuable member of this team whose leadership will continue to power this team moving forward.” 

Clemson may have lost Grantham’s skill on the court and with that comes the question if his ability to fire up his teammates will stand strong. 

Director of Basketball Operations, Lucas McKay, said, “[Grantham] has been an outstanding player during his four years at Clemson. He’s always been a tremendous team guy and has really turned into a great leader this season. [Grantham] will have an excellent career in basketball upon his graduation from Clemson.”

Despite Grantham’s loss, Clemson basketball has to embrace the “next man up” mentality. Filling the hole left by Grantham is no easy task, but players like David Skara, Mark Donnal and Aamir Simms will have to continue to produce in all categories of the game. Grantham has served as arguably the Tigers’ most complete player this season, and with the absence of his offensive and defensive intensity, a sizable hole is left to be filled for Clemson. Clemson’s offensive juggernaut, Marquise Reed may have to increase his shot volume to make up for Grantham’s consistent scoring performance. 

In the first game without Grantham, we saw the Tigers struggle in the second half against No. 3 Virginia last week, losing 61-36. Grantham’s absence in the Virginia game may not have changed the outcome, but having him definitely would have helped. Freshman Aamir Simms started in place of Grantham, and although he had a nine-point, six-rebound game, there were times when he looked very much like a freshman against the Cavaliers. Remarkably athletic and versatile, Simms is a diamond in the rough who is taking shape as an offensive threat for the Tigers. Simms will have to make fewer mistakes moving forward, especially in big games, such as the upcoming ones against North Carolina and Florida State.

As a 16-4 team, the Tigers still holds some potential. Losing star athletes in the middle of conference play is never easy, but the Tigers still have more opportunities to overcome this obstacle in order to make the NCAA Tournament.

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Tiger

Your donation will support the student journalists of Clemson University . Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Tiger

Comments (0)

All The Tiger Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *