CLEMSON, S.C. -- Jerai Grant may be playing his way out of Clemson's starting lineup for a long time.
Coming off the bench for the fourth straight game, the 6-foot-8 senior scored 15 points with five assists as the Tigers cruised past Delaware State 76-41 Monday night for their fourth straight victory.The son of former NBA player Harvey Grant has averaged 16 points off the bench after averaging fewer than 10 in nine starts."It doesn't matter to me," Grant said. "I'm going to play about the same amount of time. Whatever helps the team. I'm down for whatever coach (Brad Brownell) tells me."Grant made 7 of 9 shots for the Tigers (9-4), who shredded the Hornets (4-7) with a combination of dunks, stick-ins and open 3-point shots. Grant, who played 22 minutes against Delaware State, was one of eight Tigers who played at least 20 minutes in the romp."I really don't think I'm doing anything different," said Grant, who initially was taken out of the starting lineup by Brownell for being late to practice.Demontez Stitt and Milton Jennings scored 11 apiece and Bryan Narcisse and Tanner Smith had 10 each in a balanced Clemson attack. Jay Threatt and Desi Washington led Delaware State with eight apiece.Clemson shot 56.6 percent from the field (30 of 53) while holding Delaware State to only 38.3 percent (18 of 47), including just 3 of 15 from 3-point range. The Tigers outscored the Hornets 26-2 during a decisive run midway through the first half.After hitting four early 3-pointers, the Tigers were able to find Grant and other Tiger forwards open down low."It was good to see the number of touches we got Jerai," Brownell said. "He got a lot of quality touches. As he's had some success, he's become more confident and aggressive."Leading by 21 points at halftime, the Tigers scored the first seven points of the second half and led by as many as 36 points late in the game.Powered by the 26-2 run, which was triggered by 3-pointers from Andre Young and Smith, the Tigers seized a 25-point lead before settling for a 40-19 edge at intermission.Brownell, in his first season at Clemson, said his team has shown improvement since losing consecutive games to Michigan, South Carolina and Florida State.Delaware State lost by only two points at North Carolina State five days earlier."I thought we played really efficient basketball," Brownell said. "I thought we played a full 40 minutes tonight."