Legends: Grimes set many hoops scoring records
HOUGHTON — He played during a down period in Michigan Tech men’s basketball program.
But Larry Grimes managed to rewrite the record book of the Huskies between 1968 and 1972, setting a large percentage of the marks at the time.
In fact, it wasn’t until this past March that the all-time career scoring record held by Grimes was broken by Kyle Monroe.
“From what I’ve been told, he (Monroe) was a tremendous basketball player,” said Grimes from his home in Orlando, Fla. “If the record was to be broken, I’m happy that he did it.”
Grimes totaled 2,320 points in his time in Houghton. Monroe scored 2,542 points.
Grimes was recruited by longtime Tech coach Verdie Cox after a steady, if unspectacular, prep career at Crawfordsville, Ind.
“You could see he was going to be a good player,” the late Cox said in a 1986 interview. “He had natural scoring abilities.”
Grimes amassed 997 points in his high school career while playing in basketball-mad Indiana.
“Basketball is the game every kid learns from a young age down there,” Grimes said. “I was no different.”
With Dave Cade taking over the reins from Cox, Grimes continued to lead the Huskies the next three seasons.
His best overall season came as a sophomore when he averaged 27.2 points per game.
“On some nights, Larry was pretty much the whole show for us offensively,” Cade said. “And our opponents were very aware of that.”
The three-point basket was not in effect during his career.
Gary Lange, a teammate of Grimes, said that factor “would have made a big difference” in his career totals.
“Larry (Grimes) was a natural scorer,” Lange said. “He would have been successful in any era.”
Grimes was the first Tech hoopster to score 50 points in a game — that coming in a 1972 game versus St. Cloud State.
Monroe broke that mark by scoring 53 points in a single game as a senior.
Named to the Northern Intercollegiate Conference first team four times, leading the NIC in scoring all four seasons. He was voted league MVP as a senior.
Larry was inducted into the MTU Sports Hall of Fame in 1985 — the only basketball player chosen for that honor.