Michigan point guards Jerret Smith and Kelvin Grady have faced plenty of questions about their respective learning curves as Michigan coach John Beilein implements his system.
They’re on different paths now.
Jerret Smith’s didn’t run through enough classrooms. Grady’s has accelerated.
Since Smith will be out tonight against Radford with an ankle injury – or if he’s healthy enough to play, he will serve a one-game suspension for missing class – Grady will probably start.
Tonight’s 7 p.m. game, for which students can print out a voucher for a free ticket at www.mgoblue.com/studentvoucher, could be the debut of the much-anticipated all-freshman backcourt of Grady and Manny Harris.
Beilein said the team already knows who will be starting today but didn’t reveal the lineup to media members. Grady and Harris played with Ron Coleman, DeShawn Sims and Zach Gibson – the frontcourt starters against Ferris State – in the team’s final five-on-five drill at yesterday’s practice.
Grady, who admitted a couple of weeks ago to being behind the pack in learning Beilein’s offense, said he’s definitely caught up.
He usually spends a couple of hours each night writing down and going over plays with Harris, his roommate.
The pair, along with Sims, called Beilein asking for DVDs of the offense to help accelerate their learning.
Beilein said Grady and Sims have really clicked since being together during the summer.
Grady and Harris, who is back to 100 percent after being injured in a 15-point, nine-rebound effort in the exhibition game against Ferris State, are two of the team’s fastest players. Their get-up-and-down-the-court style is sure to keep fans at the edge of their seats.
But, as Beilein pointed out, they’re still freshmen.
“There are some things we’re not prepared to do,” Beilein said. “We’ll have to make adjustments on the fly.”
If Grady and Harris are starting, on the fly is right.