University of Kansas

Former KU guard Quentin Grimes granted NCAA waiver, is eligible to play at Houston

Former Kansas guard Quentin Grimes has been granted an NCAA waiver to play in games for the University of Houston this season.

Grimes, a 6-5 combo guard from The Woodlands, Texas, who averaged 8.4 points, 2.5 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game while starting all 36 games his freshman season at KU (26-10), pulled his name out of the NBA Draft pool on May 29, at that time announcing he’d be entering the transfer portal.

Grimes participated in the Cougars’ overseas trip to Italy this summer despite the fact that it was not known whether he’d be allowed to play in games at UH immediately or have to sit out a season in accordance with NCAA transfer rules.

The Houston Chronicle’s Joseph Duarte reported Tuesday: “In Grimes’ favor, a source said, was Kansas’ support for him to be immediately eligible. The website Stadium reported Grimes received his eligibility based on fact the Jayhawks did not have an open scholarship spot available after he withdrew his name from the NBA Draft and decided to return to school.”

“I’m really happy for Quentin and his family,” Houston coach Kelvin Sampson told the Houston Chronicle. “I thank the NCAA for approving his waiver. We’ve got a lot of work to do, a long way to go, and we look forward to getting after it.”

Grimes, who now is beginning his sophomore season, told the Chronicle that the NCAA ruling, “takes a big weight off my shoulders. When we submitted the waiver, we didn’t know how (the NCAA) would be thinking, how they were going to read it. I knew it would be around this week. The past couple of days I was kind of nervous.

“Coach Sampson has been coaching me every day as if I was playing this season,” Grimes said. “I was in position to be ready and be an impact right away.”

Noted Grimes’ mom, Tonja Stelly, to Mark Berman of Houston’s Fox26: “Good things come to those who do the right thing. We have a lot of emotions for many different reasons and we’re very happy.”

Another former KU guard, Charlie Moore, also was granted a waiver this offseason after electing to transfer from KU, and will be beginning his junior season at DePaul. Moore elected to play in his hometown of Chicago to be with a family member who has had medical issues.

Dotson, Azubuike mentioned

Kansas senior Udoka Azubuike and sophomore Devon Dotson, who were named to the preseason all-Big 12 basketball team last week, received votes for the Associated Press preseason All-America team on Tuesday.

Cassius Winston of Michigan State, Markus Howard of Marquette, Jordan Nwora of Louisville, Myles Powell of Seton Hall and James Wiseman of Memphis were named All-Americas.

Joining Azubuike and Dotson on the “others receiving votes” list: Kerry Blackshear Jr., Florida; Cole Anthony, North Carolina; Jarron Cumberland, Cincinnati; Tre Jones, Duke; Sam Merrill, Utah State; Charles Bassey, Western Kentucky; Mamadi Diakite, Virginia; Anthony Edwards, Georgia; Tyrese Maxey, Kentucky; Reggie Perry, Mississippi State; Payton Pritchard, Oregon; Lamar Stevens, Penn State; Isaiah Stewart, Washington and McKinley Wright, Colorado.

Jayhawks in the NBA

In all, 11 former KU players are listed on rosters of NBA teams as the 2019-20 season begins.

They are: Cheick Diallo, Phoenix; Joel Embiid, Philadelphia; Devonté Graham, Chartlotte; Josh Jackson, Memphis; Frank Mason, Milwaukee; Ben McLemore, Houston; Marcus Morris, New York; Markieff Morris, Detroit; Svi Mykhailiuk, Detroit; Kelly Oubre, Phoenix; Andrew Wiggins, Minnesota. Jackson is expected to open the season with the Grizzlies’ G-League team.

Thompson completes visits

Bryce Thompson, a 6-4 senior combo guard from Booker T. Washington High in Tulsa who is ranked No. 19 in the Class of 2020 by, made his final official visit — to Oklahoma — last weekend. analyst Eric Bossi likes KU’s chances to beat out OU, Oklahoma State, North Carolina, Texas, Arkansas and Michigan State.

KU has been recruiting Thompson since he was a freshman. His dad, Rod, played for KU coach Bill Self at Tulsa.

“The Sooners are right there and it wouldn’t be a major surprise to see Thompson land in Norman. That being said, I ultimately see Thompson ending up at Kansas,” Bossi writes. “Yes, the NCAA’s notice of allegations is a concern but the long standing relationships between the KU coaching staff and Thompson and his family should be enough for the Jayhawks to win out.”

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Gary Bedore covers all aspects of Kansas basketball for The Star — the current team as well as former players and coaches and recruiting. He attended KU and was born and raised in Chicago, as well as Lisle, Ill.