October 29, 2009
Healthy Grant ready for big season
There was only so much Keaton Grant's body would let him do last season.
After undergoing knee surgery following his sophomore season, the remnants of that injury marred the Boilermaker guard's junior year.
"You know how you want to play in your mind, but sometimes your body can only do so much," he said. "You look back on film and almost get disgusted and think, 'Man, who was that person?' You just want to redeem yourself and show people you can play."
Grant believes he's now in position to do so. His legs, he says, are healthy and the affect has been apparent.
Now a senior, Grant said he's quicker, more athletic and his conditioning is better.
His legs wore down during games and practices last season, impacting him finishing around the basket, defending and shooting from the perimeter, as his percentages plummeted from his breakout sophomore year.
"A knee is different (than other injuries)," Grant said. "It messes with you mentally. I don't want to make excuses, but there was a lack of confidence.
"My knee's not on my mind anymore. I can worry about breaking down a defense and getting to the hole with no (physical) problems."
Grant says he feels like he's back in high school, for as good as his legs feel.
"I can make a layup," Grant said, joking about his inability to do so several times in games last year. "That's the biggest thing. I don't have to worry about jumping off one leg so many times and coming down worrying about it hurting for the rest of a practice or the rest of a game. And moving laterally, that's the biggest thing."
Grant's not the only Boilermaker guard with some extra spring in his step these days, either.
Junior E'Twaun Moore prioritized leg strength this off-season and it's paid immediate dividends, improving his conditioning and giving him a little more spring off the floor.
"I have more explosion in my legs," Moore said. "... I've felt at times the past two years that my legs were tired on in practices sometimes where I didn't think I could run anymore. This year, I don't want to hit any wall. I just want to stay as strong as possible.
"It'll definitely help me driving to the hole, being more athletic, getting rebounds and things like that."
Moore's had two very good seasons at Purdue, but now strives for greatness.
"I'm definitely more physically ready than I've been the last two years," he said.
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