One day after Notre Dame squandered an eight-point lead in the final minute against No. 3 Ohio State, the Irish announced they'll be without their leading scorer for the remainder of the season.
Jerian Grant is no longer enrolled at the university as a result of an academic issue, the redshirt junior guard said in a letter to the Notre Dame community released by the school. In 12 games this season, Grant is averaging 19.0 points and 6.2 assists and shooting 51.8 percent from the floor and 40.8 percent from behind the arc.
"I take full responsibility for my lack of good judgment and the poor decision that I made. I have no one to blame but myself for the situation," Grant said. "I know and understand the expectations that go with being a student at Notre Dame and I did not live up to those standards.
"It is my full intention to return to Notre Dame as soon as possible following the 2014 spring semester. I intend to do whatever it takes to earn my degree and finish out my college basketball career here. I understand that there is a process that I must go through in order to come back to school and I will be patient with that process."
The loss of Grant means Notre Dame is now without two key players it expected to have coming into the season. Sophomore Cam Biedscheid, a highly touted recruit expected to a be a major contributor for the program, chose to sit out this season to develop his game.
Without Grant, Notre Dame will still have to rely on a perimeter corps that is now not nearly as deep as it once appeared it would be.
Eric Atkins and Pat Connaughton are the standouts, but the Irish will need more scoring from heralded freshman Demetrius Jackson to finish in the upper half of the ACC and contend for an NCAA tournament bid. It's possible the Irish may also have to play bigger at times as well, which could mean more minutes for Zach Auguste.
Even with Grant in the lineup, Notre Dame suffered disappointing early home losses to Indiana State and North Dakota State before rebounding a bit to defeat Indiana and take the Buckeyes to the wire.
Now the Irish (8-4) will have to continue to dig out of that hole without their best player.
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