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Monday, October 25, 2021

Men's Basketball

Quentin Grimes’ ‘high-level’ defense shines vs. Texas Tech


Junior guard Quentin Grimes fires a 3-pointer in Houston's victory over Texas Tech at Dickies Arena in Fort Worth. | Vladimir Cherry/Houston athletics

Junior guard Quentin Grimes fires a 3-pointer in Houston’s victory over Texas Tech at Dickies Arena in Fort Worth. | Vladimir Cherry/Houston athletics

Despite Dickies Arena only allowing 25 percent capacity, the venue was filled with energy, and the crowd, which largely favored Texas Tech, stayed on their feet for a large part of Houston’s matchup against the No. 14 Red Raiders.

“It felt like a road game,” Houston head coach Kelvin Sampson said after the game. “I think 95 to 98 percent of (fans in attendance) were Texas Tech fans. … It felt like two NCAA Tournament teams playing at a really good level.”

But despite the hostile environment, the Cougars showed up to play and dominated for the majority of the game.

A key reason for this was the play of junior guard Quentin Grimes.

Grimes had a solid offensive performance, finishing 15 points in the Cougars 64-53 win over Texas Tech, but Sampson was more impressed with the way Grimes played defense and crashed the glass.

Grimes played lockdown defense against a Red Raiders team who Sampson considers one of the toughest teams in the country to guard and also pulled down seven rebounds, four of which came on the offensive glass and gave Houston a second opportunity to score.

“I thought Quentin’s defense was high-level today,” Sampson said. “Quentin’s becoming a Cougar. It took him a while to get here, but he has become a Houston Cougar. He defends. He rebounds. He plays tough. I can’t tell you how happy I am with him.”

A big reason for Grimes’ evolution from being just a scorer to becoming a guy who can do a little bit of everything is how much the coaching staff has been getting on him on doing the little things, something which Sampson prides his program on.

“(Sampson) knows my offense is going to take care of itself, so (Sampson’s) just been on me about being a rebounder and just being tough,” Grimes said after the win. “So those are really the big things I try to focus on every game. … Just focus on playing Cougar basketball.”

While Grimes’ hard work and effort he has put into being a better defender and rebounder was on full display against the Red Raiders, Grimes is even more happy about the way the team played as a whole to come out and get a major win against a highly ranked opponent early in the season.

“It’s big time for sure,” Grimes said. “Playing another team who’s ranked ahead of us and we just wanted to come out here and make a statement today.”

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