There are a lot of things we don’t know about Jacob Grandison, who transferred from Illinois to Duke this season, but here are two significant ones: first, he started at Holy Cross as an insignificant recruit before heading to Illinois where became a player of consequence. And second, he’s 24 and says he doesn’t want to talk about his age.
It’s understandable. Pro teams prefer younger players but it’s quite the opposite in college. Having Grandison at 24 is likely going to be a big deal for Duke. He has a level of maturity that most of Duke’s players won't have for years.
Here’s what Jon Scheyer says about him: “We love the experience and high-level basketball that Jacob brings to our roster. He is battle tested with a high IQ for the game and a very good shooter. What makes him special is his ability to play seamlessly on the court with his teammates.”
Here’s what appears to be a minor detail but really isn’t: he was also a swimmer. People who swim a lot develop a kind of strength that other people can’t really match. It’s a subtle but important edge.
He’s had a long and interesting journey and he’s going to be a major asset for Duke this season. And even though he doesn’t want to talk about being 24, that’s a really, really big deal for the Blue Devils.