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Purdue Basketball Player Reviews: Grant Weatherford

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The other incoming freshman has reminded many of Chris Kramer.

The final review (unless things change on Saturday with a certain Mr. Basketball) is a player that could play a lot as a backup point guard next season, or he could be buried on the bench. He is an interesting, but solid addition to the roster.

Grant Weatherford - HS Senior, Hamilton Heights, HS, Arcadia, IN

12.6 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 4.6 apg, 3.1spg

While Ryan Cline played against many of the best teams in the state of Indiana, Weatherford's Hamilton Heights team played in a conference that is traditionally strong, but was way down this year. The Huskies did play up a few times, however. They were 19-8 with a 6-1 record and conference championship in the Mid-Indiana Conference. They won the Muncie sectional in double overtime for the school's fourth sectional title ever. It was, however, their second sectional crown in three years, so Weatherford has played during one of their most successful periods.

Some other interesting results were a 76-64 loss to eventual Class 3A State Champion Guerin Catholic. They had three wins in the 16-team Bob Wettig Tournament in Richmond over the New Year, including wins over Valparaiso and Zionsville. After a 53-52 loss to Eastern (Greentown) on January 23 they won 10 straight before losing to Ft. Wayne Dwenger in the regional semifinals. Losses to 4A teams Noblesville and North Central were also impressive. This is a team that didn't have the best record, but was talented and at least challenged itself against some very good opponents.

Through it all Weatherford had a solid season where he filled multiple categories on the stat sheet. I saw him just once this season, in a 77-61 conference win over Western, but he did something I have never seen in the hundreds of high school games I have been to: he had 10 steals in one game. He finished with 14 points, 10 steals, 6 rebounds, and two assists as a dominant defensive player. I have been going to dozens of Indiana HS basketball games since before I can remember and I am 35. I have clear memories of the 1986 Anderson regional, which is probably the last time I did NOT attend at least 20 games in a season. I have seen a lot of players and a ton of games, but I have never seen 10 steals in a game. It just does not happen often.

The closest player I can compare him to is a smaller Chris Kramer. He has a football background too (indeed, many schools were recruiting him as a wide receiver), but he has decided to go with basketball and he has already played quite a bit with Ryan Cline. As a point guard he was never asked do a ton of scoring, but he was an excellent defender that has quick hands and can finish with a dunk (he dunked twice, at 6'2", in the game I saw). He also did not have to shoot many threes, but he can hit them if needed.

Future Expectations

I think Weatherford can have a Kramer-like career mostly because he is not going to be a dominant scorer, but he will be a defense-first player that tries to be a catalyst on that side of the ball. His game will be quickness and toughness. His scoring can come off of turnovers, but he is also an unselfish player that looks to get everyone else involved. He is definitely a Purdue-player from the old school of not being more talented than everyone else, but he is going to try his damndest to out-hustle everyone else. That's not necessarily a bad thing.