"My rule was I wouldn't recruit a kid if he had grass in front of his house.
That's not my world. My world was a cracked sidewalk." —Al McGuire

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Cracked Sidewalks Salute to the Seniors: Chris Grimm

As we approach Senior Day, Cracked Sidewalks will honor this year’s senior class with our thoughts and memories of their finest MU moments. As we lead up to their last Bradley Center appearance on Saturday against the Providence Friars, let's take time to reflect on Chris Grimm, Joe Chapman and Steve Novak. Here's the schedule:

Thursday: Chris Grimm
Friday: Joe Chapman
Saturday: Steve Novak

Today's Honoree: Chris Grimm

Some guys become bona fide stars—larger than life players who attract attention with flashy play and flashy living. Others work just as hard--toiling in relative anonyimity to help bring success to themselves and their teammates without any of the flash or hype of the superstar.

Chris Grimm is the latter.

Signed with great fanfare, the pride of Brighton, MI, Chris Grimm joined the MU family on June 30th , 2001 as reported online in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Chris picked MU over the likes of Michigan, Notre Dame, Xavier, Boston College and Stanford. He averaged a double-double as a high school junior and senior. Chris was the first player from his conference to sign with a Division 1 program, and was the conference player of the year and honorable mention all-state as a senior.

His coach was quoted as saying “He's what we used to call a center before basketball got all sophisticated. He's a back-to-the-basket, drop step and driving type of player. I think the people in Milwaukee will really like him.” The reports of his signing had MU fans dreaming leading the team to back to the NCAA tournament.

Well, as it played out, it was another guy by the name of Wade who got the glory for those NCAA tournament teams. Chris was rock inside—a load that wore down opposing team’s big men, provided a commanding physical presence inside, and got his fair share of blocks and boards. Never a prodigious scorer, Chris instead made his mark defending the paint for MU. When an opposing player ran into Grimm, he knew it.

Later, in a disappointing end to his junior season, an elbow injury that cost him six games was lost in the bigger news over Travis Diener’s foot and hand ailments.

Chris earned the affectionate nickname “The Reaper” after a 2004 game against the archrival UW-Madison Badgers—ranked 24th at the time. Expecting an easy time shredding the MU interior, UW-Madison's star forward Alando Tucker ran into the Grimm Reaper and was limited to just one basket inside. It was only some late desperation three-point shooting that made Tucker’s day (and the final score) look respectable. Those of us who saw the game know the futility Tucker endured against Grimm that night.

Cracked Sidewalks' 3 favorite Chris Grimm Moments:

 His lock-down defense on Wisconsin’s Alando Tucker, truly earning the “Reaper” nickname.
 His tremendous effort shutting down Roy Hibbert in a must win game against Georgetown, giving new life to MU’s NCAA tournament hopes helping his team in a key victory over a ranked opponent.
 His exclamation point dunk that provided the knockout punch to Notre Dame’s comeback hopes, ensuring MU’s first two-game season sweep of ND since 1938-38, and first ever sweep of both ND and DePaul in the same season.

Thanks for the memories, Chris.


Anonymous said...

Grimm epitomizes the hard work and dedication of a student athlete. Congratulations to Chris Grimm and best of luck in his future.

What a great MU student athlete.

Nice job CrackedSidewalks.

Anonymous said...

I was happy to hear the media, both radio and TV, giving Grimm the accolades he deserved in the last few games. The two-handed dunk was a treat to watch! But where's the print media in all this? Nary a mention. Rather dissappointing. Get on board, Journal Sentinal! gertie lu