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New role seems to suit Griffith

Posted: January 12, 2014 - 1:05am  |  Updated: January 12, 2014 - 2:44am

During the 2009-10 basketball season, the most improved player in Columbia County was a 6-2 guard from Evans named Troy Griffith. Griffith had work on his game and transformed himself from a solid role player to a go-to guy for the Knights.

That season he earned first team All-County honors after averaging 15.7 points and 3.1 assists per game. Griffith was a wing player, and although solidly built, he did most of his damage from the outside. He led the entire CSRA in three-point shooting with an impressive 52 percent mark from beyond the arc.

He also was nearly automatic from the free throw line, connecting on 92 percent of his shots. It came as no surprise that a few college teams took notice, and Griffith eventually landed a scholarship at Erskine College.

Griffith had a tremendous freshman campaign, playing in 26 games, earning a starting position, and posting a season high 22 points in a January win over North Greenville.

However, his playing time diminished during his sophomore season. He played in 22 games, starting two that season. He was a stellar student at Erskine making Conference Carolinas Presidential Honor Roll for two straight seasons, but with his decreased role and with roots in Texas, he chose to transfer to Texas Lutheran. Now standing 6-4 and weighing 195 pounds, Griffith, normally an outside shooter and guard, began to transform himself into a hardnosed, blue collar forward.

That is what Texas Lutheran needed, toughness, and Griffith gave them plenty. Last season as a junior, Griffith played in 25 games, starting the final 18 of the season.

He finished fourth on the team in scoring (7.4 ppg.) and led the team in free throw shooting, making more than78 percent of his attempts from the charity stripe. He also finished fourth on the team in rebounding, hauling in 3.5 boards per game.

While at guard, he was usually a step slower than his opponent, and the quicker guards gave him trouble, but now at forward, Griffith had the quickness advantage.

He once again put in the work in the off-season to get stronger, and make playing near the basket a little easier.

The work he put in is paying dividends. Through 11 games this season, Griffith is averaging 7.6 points per contest, he is leading the team with an 81.8 percent average from the free throw line, and most importantly, he leads the team with an average of 6.7 boards per contest.

This is on a team that features a pair of 6-8 big men. In the team’s most recent game, a loss to Schreiner, Griffith posted 14 points and six boards on four of five from the field and five of six from the free throw line. Also, a player who once lived and died by the three point shot, Griffith has attempted only seven shots from three point land this year.

Just as he did at Evans, and Erskine, Griffith saw a role that needed to be filled at Texas Lutheran and he filled it.

Through his hard work, he has carved out a solid collegiate career for himself.

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