WEST LAFAYETTE — Michigan football player and former Michigan basketball player Kelvin Grady has met with coach John Beilein about the possibility of returning to basketball, Beilein said in a press conference after the team’s 69-59 loss to Purdue on Saturday.

“Kelvin contacted us, asked if he could help us out,” Beilein said. “We’re having trouble on scout teams, guarding quickness. Kelvin’s volunteered to help us as a scout team guy. That’s probably all it will be.”

Beilein said Grady would remain on the football team, and that they would have to work around scheduling conflicts with spring football practices.

“He’s not giving up football,” Beilein said. “He knows our system. He’s asked us to do it. We talked with him. We love Kelvin, and we said, ‘You know what, we can use that.’ ”

A short bench and inexperience at the point guard position mean Grady seeing playing time in basketball games this season isn’t entirely out of the question.

Three departures have left the Wolverines’ roster a little thin.

Walk-on Eric Puls, who received the least amount of the garbage time, left the team in December to focus on his engineering degree. Over winter break, redshirt sophomore Ben Cronin, the 7-footer who has been rehabbing his hip since surgery last season, left the team due to complications from the surgery. His playing career is likely over. Most recently, freshman guard Eso Akunne was ruled academically ineligible to play this semester.

Sure, those three players weren’t exactly hogging the team’s minutes, but their absences leaves the Michigan bench very thin. In a handful of games this season, the five Wolverine starters logged over 35 minutes of play. Beilein has said he wants to go to his bench more, but he wants more production from his bench players.

Grady, who started 33 of 64 career games and averaged 4.9 points per game, could fit right in.

Two young and inexperienced guards, freshman Darius Morris and sophomore sharpshooter Stu Douglass, have been struggling in the role of Michigan’s point guard.

That’s another area where Grady can help. His knowledge of the position, Beilein’s offense and other Big Ten teams could be valuable. When he last played the position for the Wolverines, he was a good ball distributor and controller of the offense.

Beilein said on Saturday that Grady’s role as a scout team point guard would be appreciated. Grady would be quicker and tougher to guard than the current scout team guards, he said, and more likely to prepare the Wolverines for the talented Big Ten point guards they will face.

If Grady does end up playing in games — due to a teammate’s injury or another unexpected reason the team would need him, said Beilein — he would have one year left of basketball eligibility. His two years of eligibility left for football remain.

Grady could return to Crisler as soon as Monday.

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