Athletic frontliner who will be in his fourth playing season ... Came on strong during the second half of the '98-99 campaign and looks forward to a big senior season ... Leaping ability makes him a force to be reckoned with on at both ends of the floor ... Has a fine shooting touch and displayed the ability to knock down the three-point shot last year ... Owns a pair of dependable hands and possesses fine passing ability ... After coming off the bench last season, he will make a push for a starting position this year ... Enters '99-00 having played in 90 games and has eight career games of double-figure scoring to his credit ... MSU is 8-0 in games when he has scored in double digits.
1998-99: Played in all 38 games, scoring in 37 ... Ranked No. 6 on the club in scoring (6.6 ppg) and was No. 4 in field goal shooting (.532) ... Earned a spot on the NCAA All-Midwest Regional Team after averaging 12 points and shooting 69.5 percent (16-of-23) in four games ... Scored in double figures on eight occasions during '98-99 including a 14-point effort vs. Kentucky (3/21), going four-of-five from the floor (tied career best by sinking three-of-three from three-point range) ... Ended the year shoting a team-high 50 percent (23-of-46) from three-point range ... Shot 72.7 percent (8-of-11) from beyond the arc in the NCAA Tourney ... Five (tying career high)-of-seven from the floor and made all four free throw attempts en route to 15 points (second-highest total as a Spartan) vs. Mount St. Mary's (3/12) in NCAA Tourney opener ... Played 20 or more minutes in 13 of the team's last 15 contests and ended the year averaging 20.7 minutes per stint ... Career-best 16-point evening against Alabama (12/23) in the championship of the Pearl Harbor Classic, sinking a then career-high five field goals in seven tries against the Crimson Tide ... Drained all three field goal attempts and picked up seven points, while grabbing six rebounds, vs. Wisconsin (2/21) ... Hit a then career-high three three-point field goals against vs. Minnesota (2/13) and finished with 10 points ... Shot 50 percent or better from the floor in 12 of his last 15 games including 62.1 percent (second on the squad) in the NCAA Tournament, converting 18-of-29 attempts ... Drew starting assignments in five contests including the Illinois (2/11) game, where he picked up eight points and seven rebounds (second high on the club ) in 27 minutes ... 25-minute stint at Iowa (2/6) where he picked up nine points ... Four-of-seven (two treys) from the floor and finished with 10 points at Indiana (1/24) ... Career-high three steals vs. Iowa (1/21) in 19 minutes ... Against UNC Asheville (12/30), he recorded seven points and six rebounds (tying for team high) ... Five or more rebounds to his credit in 15 contests ... Recorded a then career-high 10 points and five boards against Illinois-at-Chicago (12/13) ... 17-minute stint against Western Michigan (11/28) where he hit all three of his field goal attempts en route to eight points while posting seven boards ... Started the Oakland (11/17) and Temple (11/20) contests and saw 26 minutes of action vs. Temple, grabbing five rebounds ... Career-long 32 minutes in a starting role at Oakland (11/17) and tossed in eight points while grabbing six boards ... In the season opener against Northeast Louisiana (11/13), he snatched a career-best 10 rebounds while tallying nine points ... Toured with the Big Ten All-Star Team during the summer of 1998.
1997-98: Brought home his second varsity letter after seeing action as a reserve in all 30 MSU games ... Averaged 12.0 minutes per outing ... Gave the Spartans a boost off the bench at Illinois (2/12), hitting three-of-six (two treys) from the floor in 19 minutes and finishing with a then career-best nine points ... Scored in 11 of the team's final 13 and in a total of 22 contests ... Established then career highs in field goals (4) and scored eight points vs. Wright State (12/17) ... Snared a season-best six boards in 16 minutes against Cleveland State (12/6) ... Saw 18 minutes of action off the bench against Illinois-Chicago (11/21) and grabbed five rebounds, tops among the reserves ... Played a season-long 21 minutes at Wisconsin (2/21) ... Finished with three rebounds and three assists against Princeton (3/14) in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
1996-97: Earned a varsity letter as a freshman after appearing 22 games, seven as a starter ... Started the last seven games of the season, averaging 17 minutes of action in that stretch ... First career start came vs. Penn State (2/22) where he played a season-long 22 minutes while chipping in four points and four rebounds ... Recorded a season-high five rebounds and chipped in four points in 18 minutes (second-longest stint of the year) against George Washington (3/12) in the opening round of the NIT ... Finished with four points and two steals against Weber State in the championship game of the Oldsmobile Spartan Classic ... Saw action in 11 Big Ten games, five as a starter.
HIGH SCHOOL: Fine career at Liberty-Benton High School where he garnered all-state acclaim as a junior and senior ... Averaged 22 points, nine rebounds and three assists per game in 1995-96 in helping his team to a 20-3 record ... Ranked as one of the top 80 players in the nation by All-Star Sports Service ... Named the Blanchard Valley Conference Player of the Year and the Toledo Blade Player of the Year ... Named MVP of Ohio's North-South All-Star Game in April of '96 ... Earned All-America status by Hoop Scoop, which ranked him among the top 90 players in the country ... Named Ohio Division Four Player of the Year ... As a junior, he averaged 15 points per game in helping Liberty-Benton post a 27-0 slate and a state title ... Fine all-around athlete who excelled in track as well ... Claimed the state title in the discus as a senior while finishing third as a junior ... Established a school record in the 100 meters with a time of 11.3 seconds.
PERSONAL: Born 4/24/78 ... Son of Joseph and Dawn Granger ... Member of the National Honor Society and Student Council in high school ... Majors in marketing.
A.J. Granger Career Highs
Minutes: 32, vs. Oakland (11/17/98) Points: 16, vs. Alabama (12/23/98) Rebounds: 10, vs. NE Louisiana (11/13/98) Assists: 3, on two occasions FG: 5, vs. Mt. St. Mary's (3/12/99) Alabama (12/23/98) FG Att: 7, on eight occasions 3-Pt. FG: 3, on two occasions 3-Pt. FGA: 4, on three occasions Free Throws: 4, on three occasions FT Att: 5, on two occasions Steals: 3, vs. Iowa (1/21/99) Blocks: 2, on five occasions
3 pt. Year GP/GS Min./Avg FG FGA FG% FG FGA FG% FT FTA FT% REB AVG PF/D A BL ST PTS AVG 96-97 22/7 182/8.3 11 32 .344 0 1 .000 5 11 .455 29 1.3 28/0 5 1 8 27 1.2 97-98 30/0 360/12.0 30 74 .405 5 19 .263 13 22 .591 55 1.8 57/1 14 10 13 78 2.6 98-99 38/5 786/20.7 91 171 .532 23 46 .500 45 63 .714 147 3.9 84/0 22 17 21 250 6.6 TOT. 90/12 1328/14.8 132 277 .477 28 66 .424 63 96 .656 231 2.6 169/1 41 28 42 355 3.9