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Robin Scholz/The News-Gazette Illinois Jacob Grandison (3) during Illini basketball practice at Ubben on Friday, Oct. 11, 2019.Robin Scholz/The News-Gazette ° Illinois Jacob Grandison (3) during Illini basketball practice at Ubben on Friday, Oct. 11, 2019.

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Fans will remember him because ...

Grandison’s commitment was part of a late roster building surge by Brad Underwood as the second of three in August. That Grandison would sit out the 2019-20 season after transferring from Holy Cross put him in a unique situation. All fans had to lean on was the promise of what he might bring when he becomes eligible for the 2020-21 season.

Best moment ...

Grandison put in his work this season away from the public eye. What he did on the practice court at Ubben Basketball Complex — or at State Farm Center the day before home games — didn’t lack for importance, though. That he was able to give the Illinois regulars fits with his effort on the scout team bodes well for his future.

Brad Underwood says ...

“He’s a consummate forward. When you watch him, he’s an elite passer. His passing is incredible. His IQ, he’s got a knack for as soon as a guy turns his head he cuts. He gets a lot of easy baskets. Being able to run — use his ball handling skills, use his passing skills in the open court — I think all that will pay off.”

By the numbers ...

Grandison did a little bit of everything in his time at Holy Cross. His sophomore season saw him check in as the Crusaders’ leading scorer, while ranking second in rebounding and third in assists as he averaged 13.9 points, five rebounds and 2.9 assists. Grandison’s sophomore season also saw him improve his three-point and free-throw shooting.

What’s next ...

This category takes on all new meaning following Alan Griffin’s decision to transfer. Grandison was likely in line for a significant role in the Illinois rotation after Kipper Nichols’ graduation, but more minutes just opened up on the wing. If Underwood wants to go with a bigger, more physical lineup he can potentially insert Grandison at the 3.

From beat writer Scott Richey ...

My conversations with Grandison were limited since he arrived in Champaign mostly because he was sitting out the 2019-20 season. But it’s not difficult to remember the first, where Grandison embraced the challenge of a year without basketball, so to speak, as an opportunity to continue to work on and refine his game.

Scott Richey covers college basketball for The News-Gazette. His email is srichey@news-gazette.com, and you can follow him on Twitter (@srrichey).

College/Prep Sports Reporter

Scott Richey is a reporter covering college basketball at The News-Gazette. His email is srichey@news-gazette.com, and you can follow him on Twitter (@srrichey).