Thursday’s first game on Court No. 2 at the NBA Players Association Top 100 Camp drew extra observers toward the east side of Virginia’s John Paul Jones Arena.
Teams featuring Quentin Grimes and Immanuel Quickley — thought by some to be the two best point guards in the Class of 2018 — were about to tip off. But Grimes can be forgiven of the match up didn’t quite live up to the anticipation. With coaches rotating players in and out every six minutes, the two weren’t even actually on the floor that often. And when they were, Grimes often looked half a step slower than the aptly named Quickley.
A little fatigue on Grimes part could be excusable, however. The Houston-area product has had a whirlwind start to his summer vacation, returning from the Adidas EuroCamp in Italy just before the start of the Top 100.
“I got in about 10 o’clock last night, so my legs had to adjust a little bit,” Grimes said. “But that was one of my best experiences so far playing basketball. The physicality is much different playing against guys who are five years older. There’s a whole new setting you have to get used to. They have a really good IQ for the game over there.”
And still, there were more than a few glimpses of the reasons Kansas coach Bill Self has made signing Grimes a priority. The 6-4, 175-pounder, whose mother is a KU alumnus, managed to get his hands in passing lanes defensively and create some easy buckets for himself and teammates off the dribble.
Those are things Self loves to see from his guards, and Grimes indicated the Jayhawks head coach was personally spearheading the recruiting effort.
“I talk to Coach Self almost every week,” Grimes said. “He calls and lets me know I’m a big priority, what his visions are for me, who he has coming in to play with me.”
Not that Kansas is without stiff competition. Baylor, Texas and Texas A&M have made a hard push out of his home state while LSU and Indiana have also gotten involved recently. Arizona, Duke, Oklahoma and Kentucky have also spent time pursuing 247Sports’ 12th-ranked player in the class.
Grimes said he’s preparing to get more serious about the process and narrow down a list, but if he were to name a top three right now it would be the Jayhawks along with Texas and Arizona.