Danny Granger

Danny Granger, Jr. (born April 20, 1983) is an American professional basketball player for the Indiana Pacers of the NBA. He is mainly a small forward, though he does log time at the power forward position.[1] He is also able to initiate the team's offense and so is regarded as one who can play the point forward position. Before his professional career, he went to Grace King High School in Metairie, Louisiana where he was a McDonald's All-American nominee before his senior year. He was a good student who scored a 30 on the ACT and was offered admission to Yale University. He played for Bradley University and then transferred to University of New Mexico in the middle of his sophomore year.

College career

Granger started his collegiate career at Bradley University where he played the 2001–02 and 2002–03 seasons.[ After a lackluster 12–18 season in 2002–03, he transferred to the University of New Mexico, where he began playing during the second semester of his junior season in 2003–04, although he wasn't eligible to start playing for the Lobos until January, 2004. He said the reason for the transfer was because of Braves head coach Jim Les's intimidating tactics, including being 'verbally abusive'. In 2004–05, he became the first player in school history to get 60 assists, 60 blocks and 60 steals in a season. He won the Mountain West Conference tournament MVP and led the Lobos to the NCAA tournament.

Granger graduated with a degree in civil engineering.

In 2008 Granger made a $500,000 pledge to his alma mater in support of the Lobo Leap to Excellence capital campaign to name the new men's locker room in The Pit.

NBA career

Indiana Pacers (2005–present)

Granger was selected 17th overall in the 2005 NBA Draft by the Indiana Pacers as the organization included former Lobo Mel Daniels and Hall of Famer Larry Bird, who was coached in college by the father of New Mexico men's coach Bob King.

In his first NBA season, Granger played in 78 regular season games, averaging 7.5 points and 4.9 rebounds per game, while making the All-NBA Rookie Second Team. He added 8.2 points and 5.2 rebounds in 6 playoff games.

With the departure of Peja Stojaković and arrival of Al Harrington during the 2006 offseason, Granger became the Pacers' starting small forward for 2006–07. After the first 15 games, he became the first man off the bench.

Since a January 17, 2007 eight-player trade with the Golden State Warriors, Granger started at the small forward and shooting guard spots, mainly due to the departure of Harrington. With the second and third scoring options (Harrington and Stephen Jackson, respectively) on the team gone, he was given more chances for scoring and averaged 13.9 points per game in 2006–07.

In 2007–08, Granger led the Pacers in scoring for the first time, averaging 19 points per game, while starting all 80 games he appeared in.

On October 31, 2008, Granger and the Pacers agreed on a 5-year contract extension. The contract paid him $9,930,500 in 2009–10 and escalates ten percent each year, ending after the 2013–14 season. The finalization of the deal was announced that night, mere hours before the midnight deadline which, if passed without any agreement, would have made Granger a restricted free agent the following summer.

In the 2008–09 NBA season, he scored a career high 42 points against the Detroit Pistons on December 12, 2008 and again against the Golden State Warriors on January 11, 2009. On January 29, 2009 Granger was announced as an All-Star reserve for the Eastern Conference. On May 12, 2009 Danny Granger was named the Most Improved Player for 2008–09. At the end of the 2008–09 season, Granger had raised his scoring average by at least five points per game each year (7.5, 13.9, 19.6, 25.8) for three consecutive years, becoming the only player in league history to do so.

Following his breakout season in 2008–09, the next season was a bit of a disappointment, marred by injuries and losses. On March 26, 2010, however, Granger scored a new career-high 44 points against the Utah Jazz.

In the summer of 2010, Granger participated in the FIBA World Championships, playing for the US Senior National team. On September 12, the US team won the gold medal at the 2010 FIBA World Championship, beating host country Turkey 81–64.

College career statistics

  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game
 FG%  Field goal percentage  3P%  3-point field goal percentage  FT%  Free throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game  APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game Bold Career high
2001–2002 Bradley 21 17 24.6 .446 .176 .790 7.1 .7 1.3 2.4 11.1
2002–2003 Bradley 14 13 27.1 .518 .300 .684 7.9 1.1 1.4 1.4 19.2
2003–2004 New Mexico 22 22 32.0 .491 .333 .760 9.0 2.1 1.3 1.4 19.5
2004–2005 New Mexico 30 30 30.0 .524 .433 .755 8.9 2.4 2.1 2.0 18.8
Career 95 82 28.4 .496 .366 .752 8.2 1.6 1.6 1.9 16.7