On Monday, Adam Zagoria published an interview with Rhossi Carron, the director of Basketball University, the adidas grassroots program that counts Class of 2018 top 25 prospects Quentin Grimes amongst its participants. Carron had a lot of things to say about the Houston area native and about his trip to Milwaukee to visit Marquette this past weekend.
Go check out the full article/interview for deeper context, but here’s the highlights.
First, on Grimes’ impression of the state of the Marquette program. I want to impress on you the number of times that Carron says “I think” in these quotes, so there’s certainly a lot of leeway in between what Carron is saying and what Grimes is actually thinking.
“He really liked it, I think he was surprised at the level of the program. I think he left there surprised. I think it far exceeded his expectations as far as where as they are as program and the talent on the team and the facilities and the whole nine. I think he left there with a good feeling about where they are and what there future looks like.”
The mention of the facilities is kind of funny, as the main entrance to the McGuire Center is currently a gigantic pile of plywood after a car smashed out all of the front doors. This is on top of the fact that the lobby is undergoing an overhaul at the moment, and the minor renovations in the men’s basketball office are at the decorating phase.
It’s possible that Grimes saw that MU is in the middle of upgrading a lot of stuff and took that as a good sign about the attention to detail in the program, of course, but it’s not like the McGuire Center is an icon of 21st century development and technology, either.
“For him, their selling point is he’s going to come in and be the guy. They do feel like he has a chance to be one-and-done. He could come in along with a really good supporting cast of guys that they have there, and kind of take the program to another level. They feel that he would be a game-changer for them. I think his visit really made him feel that he was a priority and that he’s really important to what they envision for their future.”
This fits with what I had guessed was head coach Steve Wojciechowski’s pitch to Grimes: We’re going to contend for the 2019 Big East title without you. We’ll be the favorite to win it with you. Grimes, who is currently ranked #16 in the country according to the 247 Sports Composite system, has all the markings of an elite lead guard, regardless of where he ends up playing his collegiate ball. Mix that leap ahead in talent at that position with the lethal long distance shooting from Markus Howard, a pack of rangy athletic sophomores in the front court alongside Sam Hauser, the fresh off a transfer redshirt Ed Morrow ready to do damage, as well as top Wisconsin prospect Joey Hauser.... well, you can see Wojo’s point there.
All of that is nice, of course. It’s a step or two past the point of “the visit went well,” or “he really enjoyed his time on campus,” both of which are time honored customary answers about official visits. It will be a cold day in hell before someone says that their official visit was a complete disaster. Still, to a certain degree, this all still falls into the category of “things people tell their club team director to say to the public about their visit because it sounds nice.”
There was some legitimate news coming out of this interview, though. Ready? Here it is:
“The plan is to announce in November and hopefully be a part of the early signing period.”
That, kids, is different than what Grimes said about his timetable in early October. In an interview with Rivals at a USA Basketball mini-camp, Grimes indicated that he was in no hurry to make a commitment. He went so far to say that he was leaning towards signing in the spring to give himself a chance to see what happened with the rosters of the various teams that he was considering in terms of who was or was not going to be returning in the fall of 2018.
That’s the kind of thing that you want to do when you’re considering Kansas and Kentucky, two teams stocked to the gills with All-American candidates and top 10 recruits. Sometimes it’s hard to figure out who may or may not head to the NBA Draft early, so it does make sense to wait to get all of that under control.
I don’t want to cause anyone to get overly excited here, but shifting from a “wait til spring” mindset to a “going to sign a letter of intent in two weeks” mindset does seem to be the kind of thing that favors Marquette. The Golden Eagles will most likely not see anything drastic happen to their expected 2018-19 roster between now and April, so if you wanted to see Grimes’ change of heart on signing as a positive in MU’s direction, I can see how you would get there.
I should point out at this juncture that Grimes has seven predictions on his 247 Sports Crystal Ball, and all seven are for Kansas. Of course, the most recent one of those was in late September, and four of the seven are more than a year old.
The fall signing period officially starts on November 8th, two days before Marquette begins the 2017-18 season at the BMO Harris Bradley Center against Mount St. Mary’s. As a reminder, at least for right now, Marquette does not project to have a 2018 scholarship available for Quentin Grimes.