Kansas Basketball Record Watch 2018-19: Quentin Grimes
A couple of months ago, when KU junior Udoka Azubuike announced he would return for his junior season at Kansas instead of trying to make it in the NBA, the first thing that popped into my head was where Azubuike stood in KU’s record books in a few key areas.
Granted, because he missed all but 11 games of his freshman season and also missed time during his sophomore season, Azubuike has not exactly played the kind of games or logged the amount of minutes to make a real push for any of KU’s biggest records.
But surely there are some that, after a monster junior season, could be a factor for Azubuike, right?
And if that’s the case, couldn’t that be true for just about every scholarship player on KU’s roster?
I mean, we all can agree that Quentin Grimes isn’t going to finish his first year at Kansas — and possibly his only year here — as the school’s all-time leading scorer, but could he make a push for KU’s freshman scoring record?
Last year’s KU media guide featured 19 full pages of school records. So over the next several days, we’re going to take a look at (a) what records some of these guys might be closing in on, if any, and (b) which record(s) each KU player could realistically make a run at during the 2018-19 season.
Some of it might be a stretch. But, hey, it’s August, and even if some of what you’ll read in the next few days isn’t likely, it’s still kind of fun to think about the best case scenarios in a sort of what-if mentality.
Next up: Quentin Grimes
It’s pretty tough sledding for a KU freshman to make a name for himself in the Kansas record books.
Think about it. Names like Wilt Chamberlain, Danny Manning, Josh Jackson, Andrew Wiggins, Joel Embiid and others sit at the top of most freshman records, with marks that, in many instances, seem absolutely unbreakable.
Whether they are or not is always good fodder for debate, and if any of them are ever broken, those likely would come out of nowhere. It’s hard to predict a KU sophomore ripping down more than the 31 rebounds Chamberlain grabbed on Dec. 7, 1957 against Northwestern.
With that in mind, let’s turn our attention to Mr. Grimes, a highly touted, do-everything guard who has the size and skill to score inside and out and figures to be on the floor a lot for the Jayhawks this year.
It’s hard to imagine Grimes or anyone else on this deep and loaded KU roster averaging more than 20 points per game for the season, but is it that hard to envision Grimes coming out of the gate with a bang?
OK, the fact that the Jayhawks open the season against Michigan State makes it a little tougher to picture, but, hey, when you’re hot you’re hot and I don’t think it’s a huge stretch to picture Grimes ending KU’s season opener on Nov. 6 in Indianapolis with the KU record for most points in a freshman debut.
Xavier Henry, with 27 against Hofstra in 2009, currently owns the record, so Grimes would have to grab 28 in KU’s opener to replace him in the KU record book.
Here’s how that might look:
8 of 9 from the free throw line = 8 points
4 of 5 from 3-point range = 12 points
4 of 7 from 2-point range = 8 points
Is it really that crazy to think that Grimes could connect on 8 of 12 shots while also getting to the free throw line eight or nine times?
Not to me.
And I think the smart money is on Grimes doing something in the form of a single-game record than a season-long record just because of how stacked that career list of freshman at Kansas already is.
• Kansas Basketball Record Watch 2018-19 •