5-star SG Quentin Grimes on KU's message: 'They said they have to get me'
It’s been a wild week for the Kansas basketball coaching staff, with trips all over the country for in-home visits and check-ins with prospects in the Class of 2018 and beyond.
And while KU coach Bill Self and his staff clearly are used to the grind that is year-round recruiting, it’s also clear that they’re leaving little to chance with the current class, which Self, on numerous occasions, has said could be one of the most important classes in his 15 years at Kansas.
Take the case of Class of 2018 shooting guard Quentin Grimes, for example.
Grimes, the 6-foot-5, five-star prospect from The Woodlands, Texas, who has narrowed his list down to a final four of Kansas, Kentucky, Marquette and Texas, hosted all four schools for in-home visits this week and recently broke down those experiences with Eric Bossi of Rivals.com.
While it’s obvious that all four schools are very much still in the running — not to mention that they all can offer Grimes many of the same things in terms of playing time and on-court opportunities — it’s also clear that the constant connection between Grimes and the coaches and genuine relationships he has built with all four programs is what helped Grimes trim his list to these four.
It's hard to say exactly where each program stands after the in-home visits. Grimes had great things to say about all four programs and clearly has a great deal of respect for the coaches and the way each staff has recruited him thus far.
But a break down of the major selling point for each school in a couple of sentences looks something like this:
Kansas – The Jayhawks have been aggressive, flat-out telling Grimes they think he’s the best guard in the class and that they are not going to take no for an answer.
“They were real straight up and straightforward with me that I’m the best guard in the country,” Grimes told Bossi. “They basically told me that I have to sign with them.... They said they have to get me, they were very clear on that.”
Kentucky – Kentucky is really pushing their all-star roster and how that will help make him better. Grimes also noted that the Wildcats have “turned it up over the last month.”
“Their practices stand out because of all the other five-star players you go against and that you have to get better because of the competition,” Grimes told Bossi of the Wildcats. “They can help me reach my goals."
Marquette – For Marquette, it’s all about painting Grimes as the player who can put them over the top and get the program to the next level.
“During the previous visit in April they were consistent with the message that I’m the only guard they are recruiting and they showed that,” Grimes told Bossi. “They feel like I’m the missing piece to them making the next step and making a Final Four."
Texas – Shaka Smart is really emphasizing keeping Texas talent in Texas while also, like Kansas, pointing out that there’s a solid point-guard in waiting (KU’s Charlie Moore and UT’s Matt Coleman) with whom Grimes would fit perfectly.
“The uniqueness of knowing Matt Coleman and what he does and having a good relationship with him; he would be a sophomore and I would be a freshman and knowing him and that system could be an edge to set them apart,” Grimes told Bossi.
Self and assistant coach Jerrance Howard have handled the point on Grimes’ recruitment and, with official visits still to come, the Jayhawks have positioned themselves as well as possible with Grimes.
He has talked a lot about how someone from KU has contacted him pretty much every day of late and how the relationship aspect of his recruitment would play a huge role in his decision.
Grimes’ official visit dates are expected to be announced later this week and he is expected to make trips to all four of his finalists by the end of October.
As for when he might pick a program, the No. 11-ranked player in the 2018 class does not appear to interested in rushing a decision.
“Whenever the timing is right I will do it," Grimes told Bossi. “Waiting is an option. If I go take my visits and feel like I need to take unofficials and see them again I could do that. I’m not in a rush. Definitely the relationship with the coaches, I feel like that’s the most important thing. I'm going to have to be the coach on the court so I have to have a relationship with him because he’s expecting a lot and you have to be on the same page.”