Oklahoma's Harvey Grant was still charged up from the Sooners' 89-88 upset of top-ranked Nevada-Las Vegas a couple of weeks ago when his identical twin brother, Horace, called. The Grants had been lifelong teammates and had gone to Clemson together as freshmen. Things hadn't worked out there for Harvey, who left in 1985 while Horace stayed on. Now Harvey was crowing about his 23 points and 16 rebounds against the Runnin' Rebels.
"Who out there in the ACC can stop me?" Harvey asked Horace.
"We got lots of players who can stop you in this league," Horace shot back. "But who can stop me in the Big Eight?"
"Lots of people," said Harvey.
Of course, each twin knew that the other was kidding.
Harvey, a 6'9" junior forward, leads the Big Eight in rebounding (9.5) and is averaging 15.4 points per game. Horace, a 6'10" senior center, is the ACC's leading scorer (19.8 points per game) and field-goal shooter (.667), and second-best rebounder (9.3). If Horace ends up leading the ACC in all three categories, he will become the first player in conference history to do so in the same season.
"Me better than people like James Worthy? Nawww...." says Horace, who is the older—by nine minutes—and more mature of the twins.
It is because of its Grant—and an easy early-season schedule—that Clemson is off to its best start ever. The Tigers' 89-83 victory over Virginia (Horace had 24 points) on Saturday pushed their record to 19-2. Meanwhile, the fans in Norman are wild about Harvey, who is finally living up to what was expected of him before he left Clemson and enrolled at Independence (Kans.) J.C. "It seemed like I was playing in the shadow of Horace," says Harvey, who was redshirted in his first year at Clemson while Horace was playing and earning his stripes. "If I had stayed, everyone would have expected me to do the same things Horace did. I wanted my own identity, and I wasn't getting that much playing time. So I left."
Also, neither twin was paying much attention to classes, and Harvey was the worse offender. Says Tiger coach Cliff Ellis: "Either we had an academic policy or we didn't. Harvey Grant is a great basketball player, but he simply would not go to class. So I had to let him go."
Horace hated being separated from Harvey for the first time in their lives, but both agree that it was for the best. "I may be nine minutes older, but with me and Harvey, nine minutes is like nine years," says Horace. Back in Sparta, Ga., the twins dressed alike until they were 12—and going on 6'5". They made a pact to play for the same team in the ACC, preferably North Carolina. Instead they ended up at Clemson.
Horace should be an NBA first-round draft pick this year and Harvey should be one as well next year, assuming he can remain problem-free. While at Independence he received a suspended sentence for his involvement in the theft of stereo equipment. Horace hasn't exactly been an angel, either. Ellis has benched him twice this season, once for violating curfew and once for showing up late for practice.
"Harvey is a little impulsive," says Oklahoma coach Billy Tubbs. "But he's developed a lot personally, and he's an extremely hard worker on the court. He's a silent player, but the best ones always make it look easy."
That goes double for the Grants.