Horace Grant and Elden Campbell, the present and future of Clemson hoops, recently "helped" one another through a weight workout. Grant, the 6'10" senior, says that he was spotting Campbell, the 6'10" freshman, through a set of bench presses when "all of a sudden he stops and says, 'I can't go on.' So I dropped the bar on his chest." Campbell grunted out two more reps. "I knew he could," says Grant. "It was my duty to make him." His duty, that is, with a smidgeon of self-interest thrown in. Should Campbell become a force in the middle, teams will be forced to stop playing what coach Cliff Ellis calls "an accordion defense" on Grant.
Taming the Tigers last season was as simple as collapsing on Grant and daring his teammates to shoot. They couldn't. Junior Grayson Marshall may be a passing wiz (7.7 assists per game), but he's nobody's marksman. That made the arrival of Syracuse transfer Michael Brown, a proven bomber, so fortuitous. He'll be eligible in mid-December, and the Tigers don't pick on anybody their own size till January.
Clemson will catapult out of the ACC's lower reaches this season, and Grant, the fourth-leading rebounder in school history, will be the primary reason. "Grant is laid-back," says Ellis. "But he goes to war when you put him on the court." Or in the weight room. Ask Elden Campbell.