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Loss of Jerian Grant offers other Irish players chance to step up

Updated: January 25, 2014 6:22AM



Notre Dame will need more.

More out of starters such as Eric Atkins and Demetrius Jackson. More out of role players such as Steve Vasturia and V.J. Beachem.

The Irish will need more out of every player as they carry on without leading scorer Jerian Grant, who announced in a statement Sunday that he no longer was
enrolled at the university because of ‘‘an academic matter I did not handle properly.’’ Grant said he plans to return to the team next season.

‘‘They love him and they’ll stay in touch with him, but they also know we’re moving forward,’’ coach Mike Brey said during a teleconference Monday. ‘‘We don’t have any excuses. We have 20 more games to play and have to figure out a new league. I think they are excited about the element of a new season and some new
opportunities for guys who haven’t been playing.’’

Brey said he couldn’t address the timeline of events in the Grant matter because of university policy.

‘‘I love Jerian Grant, and I am
really confident that I’ll get to coach him again,’’ Brey said. ‘‘If that’s the case, I think this is going to end in a great Notre Dame story.’’

Grant, a member of the preseason All-Atlantic Coast Conference team, was averaging 19 points this season.

‘‘We’ve recovered from devastating blows, losing guys to inju-
ries, suspensions,’’ Brey said. ‘‘The interesting thing about most of this nucleus, they kind of witnessed two of them. They lived through two of them and lived to earn a postseason bid, Tim Abromaitis and Scott Martin [because of injury].

‘‘Being very upfront, this one is going to be the hardest for two reasons: Jerian is so involved in everything we do on the offensive end of the floor, and we’re trying to negotiate a new league.’’

Email: lpope@suntimes.com

Twitter: @lamondpope



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