Freshman Focus: Kansas SG Quentin Grimes
By now, you've all read a dozen different places, and probably at least that many times, about how talented KU's incoming recruiting class really is.
From five-star guards Quentin Grimes and Devon Dotson to beast big man David McCormack and under-the-radar potential steal Ochai Agbaji, Bill Self and company put together a deep and complete group that will go a long way toward softening the blow of having to replace three starters and all kinds of production from the 2017-18 Final Four team in KU’s quest to push its Big 12 title streak to 15 and get back into the national title picture in 2018-19.
But just what does that all mean?
Well, that remains to be seen and won't truly show up until game nights next season, when Grimes, Dotson, McCormack and Agbaji, along with the returning Jayhawks, are out there doing their thing and showing what they can do.
And while we got a brief glimpse this summer into how these guys look in crimson and blue, there are a handful of people out there who have seen them play much more often than those of us who cover the team or follow the Jayhawks in Lawrence or elsewhere.
One such person is Paul Biancardi, a former college coach and current National Director of Recruiting for the ESPN 100 rankings.
This week, we’ve brought you Biancardi’s thoughts from years of scouting each of KU’s Top 40 freshmen at AAU events and all-star games — No. 8 Quentin Grimes, No. 20 Devon Dotson and No. 35 David McCormack.
Next up: SG Quentin Grimes.
Since the end of the all-star circuit and his successful stint as the second-leading scorer on a gold medal team at the FIBA Americas in Canada in June, Grimes has received more than his share of praise and hype.
“He solidified himself, in my mind, as a Top 10 talent and a Top 10 player in the class,” Biancardi recently told the Journal-World when asked about Grimes’ run through the McDonald’s All-American, Jordan Brand Classic and Nike Hoop Summit scene.
Grimes was aggressive, showed tremendous feel for the game and was as much of a quality teammate as he was a quality scorer throughout the all-star season.
Biancardi said more of that than those of us who watched on television.
“McDonald’s, Jordan Brand, the practices showed me as much if not more than the games,” Biancardi said. “That’s when you really see a lot of things.”
National college hoops analyst Jon Rothstein recently Tweeted that he heard from a few coaches this summer that Grimes could be the best all-around player in college basketball next season. Can he? The talent is there and the opportunity might be, as well. And it’s Grimes’ complete game that has Biancardi comfortably calling the KU freshman a prime time player.
“He can distribute when he has to make the assist and he can get a bucket for you,” Biancardi explained. “That’s a natural gift that he has, with great size and strength. That’s what makes him elite. … I call him a pure combination guard. I think he can play the 1 or the 2 and I think he excels in both.”