As the draft draws closure and closer, PSN will be taking a long hard look at the many prospects that may interest the Sixers. One of those prospects is Grant Riller, with whom I had the pleasure of sitting down with (virtually) the other day.
Riller was a senior this past season at the College of Charleston and is now set to be drafted in a little over a month. The Sixers would be wise to consider a player like Grant Riller who is a bit of a jack-of-all-trades.
I’ll let Riller speak for himself though when it comes to his game and also a look into his draft process:
One-On-One With Sixer’s Prospect Grant Riller
Zach: Okay, so getting down to it, Grant, coming out of high school, you were a two-star recruit by 24/7 sports, you were not rated by ESPN or Rivals.
Now, by all accounts, it looks like you’re about to get drafted. And so is it safe to say that you’ve had a chip on your shoulder for the past few years? And will you still have one going forward?
Grant: Yeah, definitely, I think I have had it a little more early on just because, you know, everybody wants to really prove the doubters wrong and everything. So I think early on I really had that chip on my shoulder. as I got older and a little bit more comfortable with myself, I change it up from really trying to prove the doubters wrong? And a really just prove my believers right. I got tons of people that support me and believe in me, so proving them right, to me, is way more important than trying to prove somebody else wrong.
Zach: That’s a good one man, I like that, that’s a real mature answer.
Well, you spent four years at the College of Charleston five, including the Red Shirt. You know, what kind of edge do you think that experience gives you over some of the other guards that are going to be there on draft night?
Grant: I think I’ve just been through all different kinds of situations. Being a fifth-year senior, you play so many different teams throughout non-conference. And go through so many different players in conference as well.
So I think I just faced all different kinds of opponents been in all different types of buildings and atmospheres and I think just going through that having played in so many close games and stuff like that is something that’ll help me moving forward.
Zach: What do you think was the most important thing that that you learned in your five years at Charleson?
Grant: I think just being patient, I came in, I was expected to play right away and help the team and then, unfortunately, tore my ACL, so I kind of had to learn early that this is going to be a long race and I had to kind of be patient.
But during that year, I just learned so much about myself and the game,
so I had no problem kind of mapping out my future and coming to terms with redshirting and accepting the fact that I’ll probably be here another year, it’s something I want to do and really want to give my four years.
I don’t really want to shortchange myself, so I knew I’d be here for a while. I know had some time to really just work on my game and get better. And I think that’s what I did.
Zach: So it sounds like kind of from the beginning, your plan was to spend a good amount of time in Charleston to kind of master your craft. Is that fair to say?
Grant: Yeah, I came in, I had planned on doing my four years there, but didn’t really see myself having an injury or having to redshirt like that.
Zach: Of course. For some of my readers who may be unfamiliar with you, how, Grant, would you describe your game, your approach?
Grant: I think I’m a combo guard, that person (who) can score on all three levels, a guard that is quick and can put a lot of pressure on the defense, whether in transition or the pick and roll. Also, a guard that can play basketball the right way, that makes all the right reads. Plays unselfish, and then I think defensively I’m a guard that has all the tools to be a good defender, quick feet, quick hands and so like I’m good in the passing lane.
So I know going to the next level, I kind of just have to learn all the different coverages and stuff like that and still continue to get better on that end of the floor. That’s pretty much it.
Zach: Grant, anyone who watches you, they know that you’re a smooth scorer. Who are some of the players that you try to model your style after?
Grant: A lot of C.J. McCollum, you know, just as far as his repertoire and his bag and stuff like that…a lot of the moves he puts together and what situation he does them in. Definitely study that
And then a guy like Dennis Schroeder, where I kind of see myself in a similar role, like he’s a guard that’s a combo and undersize when he plays at the two was still a combo-guard plays basketball the right way, is good in the pick and roll, can create for others and just a dynamic guard. Those are definitely two guys that we’re getting the explosive of that.
Zach: Yeah, I think those are two great comparisons and C.J., especially somebody that the more players from out of the game after. So I think you picked a good guy right there.
Obviously, you’re cool with the ball in your hands. While Philly needs another ball-handler, the team could use some off-ball play. Well, so you talked about kind of model unit procedure McCollum like him. Do you feel comfortable being able to play in an off-ball role if it’s asked to you?
Grant: Yeah, definitely, I’ve been a true combo guard my entire life, my entire career, so I’m growing up on my high school team I played point guard and on my AAU team, I played the two. I got to college my first two and a half years there, I played off-ball the majority of the time with another NBA point guard (Joe Chealey) at the time, and then just transitioned to more of a point guard role. So I think I’m super comfortable in both and can truly say that. And whatever I’m asked to play after super comfortable and ready to go there.
Continued on page 2 below.
Photo by Greg Thompson/Icon Sportswire