Coming in he was touted as a more developed Darnell Jackson. And while that’s still on the table, I can’t shake the feeling that he may be the next Micah Downs, as much as it pertains to Kansas. I don’t mean that as in insult to Quintrell, but in the sense that Downs simply 1) didn’t fit Bill’s mold; & 2) knew he wasn’t unseating Brandon Rush. I personally believe that Quintrell does fit Bill’s style, but the second aspect makes me a little uneasy.
Quintrell came to us as an all-state and all-county player from New Jersey. He was also the MVP of his high school team – one that won the state championship in New Jersey and was ranked #2 nationally by USAToday. So despite being pretty raw, he comes in having been used to not only playing time but the accolades that come with success. This is by no means anything new for a highly touted freshman to have trouble adjusting to the D-I level, but there are other factors at work here. Primarily, personnel.
With any luck we’ll keep Cole around for one more year, but two is pushing it so I don’t look at him as an obstacle as Quintrell would still have at least two years of eligibility remaining. The Morris twins are a different story as both have clearly separated themselves from Quintrell; and as you all know, they’re freshmen as well. Furthermore, neither look like they’ll be bolting anytime soon for the league – maybe after their junior year, but not before. Factor in Thomas Robinson next year – who Self calls the best rebounder he’s ever recruited – and there’s a good chance Quintrell will be looking up at 3 guys his age or younger.
Now, obviously he has the ability & opportunity to unseat everyone I’ve mentioned not named Cole Aldrich. The twins are further along right now and Robinson comes in highly touted, but Bill didn’t recruit Quintrell for nothing. He too came in rated extremely high – and though I put very little stock into those rankings, I mostly agreed with his from what I’d seen. I watched him play on a couple of occasions and each time I saw a guy who hustled on every play, found his way to the ball and attacked the rim. In other words, he was exactly the kind of guy you want on your team even if he had a lot to work on to become a complete player.
So what do you think? Does anyone have any insight on this? Has Quintrell been working hard in practice to reclaim the time he thought he’d be getting? Or is he just being brought along with the thought of really contributing down the road? Or, are my fears legitimate and he’s starting to question if he made the right decision coming all the way from Jersey to the middle of the country, only to end up on the bench? The optimist in me likes to believe he sees the bigger picture, because I think he has the demeanor and skill set to really develop and help out at some point (in fact, I wonder if he shouldn’t be getting more minutes now – but that’s beside the point) either next year or certainly by the time he’s a junior.