Quentin Grimes is set to arrive at Lawrence, Kan., as a 5-star McDonald’s All-American, but that will mean next to nothing once the Houston-area combo guard officially joins the Kansas Jayhawks.
Grimes will be tasked with proving himself all over again as he joins a backcourt in which he’s expected to help fill the void left behind by seniors Devonté Graham and Svi Mykhailiuk. He’s currently getting some experience to that end, as Grimes has spent the past few days competing to prove his value at the Team USA U-18 trials, in which he, along with 32 other elite high school prospects, hope to make the final 12-man roster. Grimes was named one of 18 finalists on Sunday.
The coach and decision-maker overseeing it all? Bill Self, whom Grimes is getting some early exposure to long before his first game with the Jayhawks.
“That he [Self] is a tough-nosed coach,” Grimes told The Kansas City Star’s Gary Bedore of his first impression of Self.
“He lets you have a lot of freedom on the court as long as you are playing defense,” Grimes added. “You’ve got to buckle down on defense. On the offensive end, you have a lot of freedom out there. There’s a lot of movement, a lot of spacing. Get it inside so you get shots as well.”
The headliner of Kansas’ No. 5-ranked recruiting class, Grimes boasts most of the physical tools Self — or any coach for that matter — could want out of an incoming freshman guard. At 6-foot-5, 200 pounds, Grimes has a college-ready frame as one of the premier hyper-athletic wings in his class. Offensively, Grimes could be best described as a pure scorer. In 33 games as a senior last season at The Woodlands (Texas) College Park, Grimes averaged 29.5 points per game on a 57-percent clip from the field and a 39-percent success rate from 3-point range. He also added 8.6 rebounds and 4.9 assists per game.
Of course, Grimes, a potential one-and-done contributor, may not enjoy quite as much offensive success during his debut season at Kansas, but at this point, he’s simply finding comfort with what his next coach will expect from him.
“It’s good getting acclimated with the offense so when I get to Kansas I know what he [Self] is already expecting from me. It’s good to get a head start on Coach Self, the offense he’s putting in already,” Grimes said.
Team USA’s final 12-man U-18 roster will be announced later this week. There’s a good chance that when that time comes, Grimes will still be playing for Self as Team USA gears up for the FIBA Americas U-18 Championship.