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Grant finds his stroke

It wasn't exactly a prediction.

But while interviewing senior Keaton Grant before practice Monday, he mentioned that after he regained his shooting touch, he was "really going to explode. When I hit a couple shots, trust me, I'm going to keep taking them and taking them."

That happened about 30 hours later.

Grant made three of six three-pointers in Purdue's 90-63 victory over SIU Edwardsville on Tuesday.

Grant missed his first three-pointer but then stroked two in a row on back-to-back possessions. No surprise, then, that the next time down the floor, he took another three-pointer as soon as he touched the ball. He missed that one off the front rim. After getting a breather, Grant re-entered at the 11:36 mark of the first half and promptly made another three-pointer.

Grant entered the game only four of 28 on three-pointers.

"It felt good to finally see the ball go in instead of rattling in and out," Grant said. "It was a good thing to get a rhythm. I put some extra shots up during finals week. They just went in (Tuesday)."

Coach Matt Painter was happy to see Grant hit some shots "for his own sanity."

"He's a guy that's really worked hard this summer and comes in early and shoots and stays late and shoots and has really worked on his perimeter shot the past two, three years," Painter said. "He is a capable shooter. (Tuesday) it was good to see him step up and make those threes and really get us going."

Grant and I spoke Monday for a story I wrote on the team's point guards -- if you missed it, click here -- and he had been pleased with his play except for his shooting.

His assist-to-turnover ratio is the highest it has been during his career. With one assist and no turnovers in the 90-63 victory over SIU Edwardsville Tuesday, he has 23 assists and nine turnovers this season.

He said he was playing better defense than he did last season.

But it has been hard to ignore how poor Grant has shot the ball from three-point range. His misses had been of pretty much every variety -- awful bricks to ones that rattled around the rim and out to others that seemed in, only to somehow pop out. After those near-makes, Grant often just smiled.

"Seriously, all you can do is really laugh because I look at the ball, and it'll rattle or another one will come half in, out," Grant said Monday. "It's nothing wrong with my technique. It's nothing I've changed. I blame it on the rims."

He smiled.

"The funniest thing is I'm hitting them in practice," he said Monday. "Unlike last year when I wasn't hitting them in practice and I wasn't hitting them in games. I'm hitting them in practice, but I'm not hitting them in games. Me and coach (Paul) Lusk watch film together, and he's like, 'It's going to come. Be patient.' That's what I'm going to do.

"Last year, I felt uncomfortable because I didn't get the reps up (while battling a sore knee). So I know this year, it's not so bad because I know I can hit the shots. I'm hitting them in practice."

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