New Hawks import a hit on debut

New Hawk Malcolm Grant had a successful opener.  Pictures:  ADAM MCLEAN
New Hawk Malcolm Grant had a successful opener. Pictures: ADAM MCLEAN

Wollongong's fourth-quarter meltdown against New Zealand on Saturday night overshadowed the eye-catching debut of new Hawks import Malcolm Grant.

The former University of Miami standout received his immigration clearance only hours before tipoff and was effectively thrown in at the deep end against the two-time defending champions.

Playing 26 minutes off the bench, Grant finished with 10 points on 4/8 shooting, four assists and two turnovers in Wollongong's 91-74 loss.

The home team was down 68-66 at three-quarter-time but were out-scored 23-8 in the final period and slumped to their seventh straight loss.

Hawks coach Gordie McLeod said Grant was a welcome addition to his injury-depleted team.

"He's been dealing with a lot of things thrown at him and he's doing the best he can, and we're confident he's going to be able to grow with the group and do a good job for us," McLeod said shortly after Saturday's loss.

"It ain't going to get any easier [against Adelaide and Perth] next week either. He'll get it served up twice to him exactly the same, so this might be a good introduction for him to get him ready for what it's going to be like next weekend."

Grant has been signed for the rest of the season as a replacement for injured Hawks import Lance Hurdle.

"In regards to bringing Malcolm in, we had to jump on this and get someone in as quickly as we could, because we really felt we needed another ball-carrier," McLeod said.

"The other thing is we've always been a team that's usually played two point guards together with a lot of the stuff we run."

McLeod also shed light on guard Tyson Demos's 24-hour recovery from a knee injury which was initially expected to sideline him for the clash with Breakers.

"With Tyson's situation, he's had so many issues in the past with two reconstructions on his knee and he had another issue early in the season, so our medical staff is understandably going to be pretty concerned and a little conservative," he said.

"Until we got the MRI report, he wasn't going to play. The report came back and it wasn't as bad as we first thought, and after some treatment we left it to the last minute before making a decision."

The fourth-placed Hawks (8-10) meet the 36ers in Adelaide on Friday night and the Wildcats in Perth on Sunday.


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