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MSU's Schaefer wants Grant to 'keep shooting' basketball

January 11, 2013

Mississippi State sophomore Kendra Grant (14) prepares to shoot the basketball. (Photo by Kim Murrell, SDN)

Mississippi State women's basketball coach Vic Schaefer wants sophomore guard Kendra Grant to keep shooting.

He doesn't want Grant to be held to just five attempts from the field like she was against Vanderbilt or just seven tries like she had against Florida Atlantic.

For the Bulldogs to be successful, Schaefer knows that Grant must be a factor on offense.

"I don't want her passing up any more shots," Schaefer said. "I could care less about her being an assist player. I need her hitting the shot. We run a lot of stuff to try and get her a look."

Grant played the No. 2 guard position because of a foot injury to senior Darriel Gaynor and it looks like that is something that will have to continue.

Schaefer believes Grant can succeed at the No. 2 spot.

"I liked her over there to be honest," Schaefer said. "She has a chance to be a really good 2 guard. She's got a big-time frame. She elevates and she shoots it like a big-time player. There are players that play a long time in their career that do what she does. She's just got to make more than she misses."

Grant had a career-high 23 points in Thursday night's 61-55 loss to Florida, but she only hit 9-of-21 shots from the field.

Despite the poor percentage, Grant said she was going to do what Schaefer asks.

"He was telling me and the bigs that if I have the ball, be ready to go rebound because he wants me to shoot," Grant said. "I have really taken that to heart, especially the last couple of games because normally I look for my drive and I kind of stepped away from shooting. If I'm open, I might as well take it and they were falling for me (Thursday)."

Grant went from being shut out against Vanderbilt to scoring 15 points against South Carolina and having her best night against Florida.

It was just a matter of improving her game as hopefully the team does.

"I just changed my whole mindset for (the Florida) game," Grant said. "It's just knowing that every game we get closer and closer to the team that we could be, so every opportunity I had that if I was open, I was taking it."

Grant and the Bulldogs look to take another step in a positive direction on Sunday when they make the trip to Baton Rouge, La., to play the LSU Tigers.

At 8-8 overall and 0-3 in Southeastern Conference play, MSU tries to get its first league victory and get back over the .500 mark overall.

"It seems like in each game we make strides," Grant said. "We are getting close to getting a W. We definitely played hard (against Florida). It wasn't our best, but it was one of our better games."

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