Off the court, Kelvin Grady has a problem.

Brian Merlos
Freshman Kelvin Grady looks to keep up his improved play and leadership against Penn State tomorrow. (CLIF REEDER/Daily)

He won’t shut up.

On the court, he has another problem.

He won’t speak up.

After Grady started the first 13 games of the season, redshirt junior C.J. Lee replaced him in the starting lineup for seven games.

Michigan coach John Beilein brought in Lee hoping to gain a floor general who communicated with his teammates.

If Grady had wanted to stay in the starting lineup, all he had to do was speak up.

“I didn’t really do much of that in high school,” said Grady, who initially felt uncomfortable directing veteran teammates on the court.

For nearly a month, Grady came off the bench and struggled to find an offensive rhythm. After recognizing why Beilein put him on the bench, Grady worked on developing his leadership skills.

“You can’t control your speed or your strength, but you can control how much you talk,”

Beilein said. “And I know it’s something we’ve gotten better and better at through the year.”

Off the court, it’s another story. Grady’s problem is keeping quiet. His roommate, freshman Manny Harris, described him as someone who talks all the time.

“They can’t get me to stop talking,” Grady said.

He’s been working on bringing that outspokenness to the court.

Last week, a much-louder Grady returned to the starting lineup.

Tuesday night at Ohio State, he reached double digits for the first time in more than a month. More importantly, he grasped a lesson Beilein has been imparting on his young team – forget the past and live in the present.

Grady opened Tuesday’s game with a missed 3-pointer. But Grady hit his next shot from the floor and four field goals in the game – his most in six weeks.

He will have his resiliency tested again tomorrow when Michigan (1-9 Big Ten, 5-17 overall) plays Penn State (3-7, 11-11) at Crisler Arena. The Wolverines have lost six in a row and 11 of their last 12.

Coming off a close loss to Ohio State, Michigan will be challenged to bounce back from a missed opportunity.

Depending on how the Wolverines respond, another opportunity might present itself tomorrow.

-Check The Game at www.michigandaily.com/thegame for news from Beilein’s Friday press conference.

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