Quentin Grimes: Jayhawks 'trending upwards' entering postseason


Kansas guard Quentin Grimes (5) swoops in for a bucket past Kansas State forward Xavier Sneed (20) during the second half, Monday, Feb. 25, 2019 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas guard Quentin Grimes (5) swoops in for a bucket past Kansas State forward Xavier Sneed (20) during the second half, Monday, Feb. 25, 2019 at Allen Fieldhouse. by Nick Krug

Kansas City, Mo. — The four freshmen members of the Kansas basketball team’s starting lineup have experienced plenty over the last four-plus months.

Flourishing and regressing. Achievements and failures. Getting tastes of what it’s like to battle national powerhouses such as Michigan State and Kentucky. Discovering pedigree alone doesn’t assure your team of a victory during conference play.

And now they get their first crack at the postseason, as the Jayhawks (23-8) take on Texas (16-15) in the Big 12 tournament quarterfinals.

Quentin Grimes, a starter in all 31 games for KU, can’t wait for the new encounter.

“Just watching it on TV as a kid growing up and finally just getting a chance to be a part of it is real special,” Grimes said of playing in the postseason, beginning with this week’s conference tournament. “Everybody in the locker room’s excited.”

Grimes, for one, thinks KU can be “one of the best teams in the country” when the players are locked in. And even though the Jayhawks finished third in the Big 12 standings when the program’s expectations are first place or bust, Grimes is optimistic about their current trajectory.

“I feel like we’re trending upwards. We had a good couple days of practice, we had a good little 40 minutes out there,” Grimes added of KU’s Wednesday session at Sprint Center.

The 6-foot-5 guard from The Woodlands, Texas, shared that KU’s relatively ho-hum regular-season finale versus Baylor reminded him and his teammates about the importance of entering a game with the proper mindset.

Now that they’re embarking on the postseason, Grimes said the Jayhawks have to be “locked in” on the defensive and offensive ends of the floor. Doing so and putting together a run at the Big 12 tournament this weekend, he said, can be accomplished in large part by paying attention to the game plan.

“Not going out there and doing everything on our own,” Grimes emphasized, pointing to the need for KU’s players to trust one another when encountering key potential turning points during a game.

If you ask Grimes, the Jayhawks can be “really good” this postseason. And he said KU coach Bill Self is encouraging them go “just go out there and play free” now that the regular season is behind them.

“He knows what we’re capable of and how we played early on in the season, what we can do as a unit,” Grimes said. “So I feel like he knows how good and special this team can be. Even though we lost a couple of guys, a lot of guys have stepped up.”


Bville Hawk 7 months ago

Trending upward??? He needs to go watch the tape of the last OU game. What an embarrassing way to have our title string end.

Layne Pierce 7 months ago

Yes. Totally agree, but the Baylor game and the Oklahoma game, both had a breakthrough for David McCormack.

This team will do fine if: we don't turn the ball over. We play tough defense. No easy shots. Make them earn it at the line. Also, two of three guards have to make 3s. Fact is Grimes has played well 2 out of last 3 games. Also, we seem to be having Grimes do more of the feeding of Lawson, something he is actually quite good at. Then when he's wide open, he needs to make a 3. At crunch time, he needs to take 2 point jumpers 8 feet in, rather than try to drive through 3 players. Dotson is more effective playing on the side, and driving to the hoop when it opens up. Same for Garrett. Lawson just do the normal, pass the ball when it is jammed on inside. Bench has to come up with 10 points a game. Ochai, take the open jumpers, including 3, continue to rebound like a mad man, and play good defense, also assists. Big Mac stay aggressive, take your time on the inside, they cannot stop you.


Brett McCabe 7 months ago

Next Article: Lagerald Vick says team is emotionally stable and consistent.

Ashwin Rao 7 months ago

Where can I get the Kool-Aid? :)

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