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Sunday, July 21, 2019

Men's Basketball

Homecoming ‘great so far’ for new Houston transfer


Sophomore Qguard Quentin Grimes joins the Cougars as one of the program's biggest recruits ever. | Trevor Nolley / The Cougar.

Sophomore guard Quentin Grimes joined the Cougars as one of the program’s biggest recruits ever. | Trevor Nolley/The Cougar.

Sophomore guard Quentin Grimes, a former five-star recruit and 2018’s No. 1 recruit in Texas, is home.

The Woodlands-native, who played his freshman season at Kansas and entered the NBA Draft pool before ultimately transferring to Houston, was welcomed with open arms by familiar faces in the area that raised him.

“When I came here, it kind of felt like that family atmosphere,” Grimes said. “Teammates embraced me right away when I came. I knew a couple of guys coming in already, and it felt like a perfect place close to home.”

Redshirt junior guard DeJon Jarreau, redshirt sophomore forward Cedrick Alley Jr. and junior guard Fabian White Jr. were already well acquainted with Grimes by the time he made his decision to come to UH, and their relationship as teammates has already started to blossom.

“It’s been great so far,” Grimes said. “I’ve gotten in a couple workouts with the guys, and it’s been a great group. Everybody is working hard now and trying to get better.”

The addition of Grimes has also sat well with head coach Kelvin Sampson, whose success in Houston since taking over in 2014 was a major pull for Grimes, the 2018’s Texas Mr. Basketball, from Texas A&M, his other choice.

“One of the things I have always liked about Quentin is his basketball IQ and his ability to make plays,” Sampson said. “Everyone knows he can score, but one of his biggest strengths is being a playmaker.”

The former McDonald’s All-American averaged 29.5 points and nearly 4.9 assists a game in high school and 8.4 points with 2.0 assists with the Jayhawks, where he started all 36 games in 2018-2019.

Grimes knows that Sampson’s praise translates to trust on the court.

“It shows that he has that confidence,” Grimes said. “He trusts you to make the right play, whether that be to knock down the shot or make a play for another teammate. He has that confidence in you to go out there and play your game.”

One of his more memorable playmaking performances with Kansas came in November 2018 during the State Farm Champions Classic against then-No. 10 Michigan State.

Grimes went 7-14 from the field with 21 points en route to a 92-87 victory for the then-No.1 Jayhawks over the Spartans in KU’s first game of the season.

Although Grimes is expected to be a vital asset for the Cougars once he suits up for UH, it is not known when he will actually get to step on the court.

Just like every transfer, Grimes is subject to the NCAA transfer rules, meaning he will have to sit out for 2019-2020 unless a waiver for immediate illegibility is approved.

If it is not approved, Grimes must wait to play and will have three years of eligibility once he returns.

“I’m probably going to stay away from that topic right now,” Grimes said of the uncertainty heading into 2019-2020. “We’ve got a lot of things we have to handle from the outside that we really can’t control.”

The team’s newest member, however, has clear goals for the team whenever he does get to see the court.

“We definitely want to get a few more up there before I leave,” Grimes said of the NCAA Tournament banners hanging up in the Guy V. Lewis Development Facility, the Cougars’ practice facility. “It’s going to be a tough challenge, but I think we can handle it.”

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