Thursday, January 22, 2009

Quintrell Thomas

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.


annyong said...

Micah Downs had all kind of personal issues when he got to campus. He ran through seven different high schools; his dad was (is) pretty unstable as a father figure; he skipped a high school team outing to work out on his own; gave a ref the finger during a game; signed with KU and then told everyone he was declaring for the draft; and when he got on campus didn't get his way so he took his ball and went home.

Your point about leaving home 1500 miles behind only to find out you might not play very much is valid. But I think this is probably closer to a Russell Robinson situation than a Micah Downs situation. Granted, Russ knew he just had to sit down his freshman year and he'd get to play. The path to playing time is not as clear for Quintrell. Maybe the better comparison is Alex Galindo. I don't think Galindo fit Bill's mold like Micah in that neither one really showed the desire to defend. I also believe just as Micah knew he wasn't going to unseat Brandon, Galindo probably figured he wasn't going to steal playing time from Giddens.

I have not heard anything about Quintrell's personality one way or the other. I disagree with an allegation that he doesn't fit Bill's mold, but I can see that Quintrell may know that players his age or younger might play more than him. My point is, Micah Downs is and always was a whiny, pompous bitch. Unless Quintrell is like that, we'll see him stick out his freshman year and eventually be a solid contributor.

(As an aside just imagine that Micah Downs came to KU with a team that had Sherron Collins as a junior. Would Sherron have backhanded him in to leaving earlier or forced Micah to grow up?)

Hiphopopotamus said...

Like you, I firmly believe that Quintrell fits Bill's mold perfectly. And I think the Darnell jackson comparisons are very valid.

I also knew I shouldn't compare anyone to Micah Downs, let alone someone that has always come off both humble and stable.

I'd also agree that the Galindo comparison works better as he too didn't see much PT in his future, and especially because he moved back closer to home. Remember, Quintrell seriously considered Rutgers and Maryland.

Like I said in the post, I hope and even think I'm wrong on this -it's just a worry that I can't shake.

annyong said...

I hope you're wrong too.

Something that is pretty funny in hindsight is that I completely forgot Downs decided to declare for the draft. I remembered a lot of high schools, his dad, the ref incident, all that stuff. I also vaguely recall there was a Myspace comment by Downs after he left, disparaging Kansas. So when I checked to get my facts straight abouth the high schools, I was reminded of the NBA draft.

Good riddance.

annyong said...

There is a good article in the LJW this morning about Quintrell's attitude, and his thoughts on watching while others get to play. If I was smart enough to know how to provide a link, I would. But just go to and figure it out. You're already on the internets anyway.

Anonymous said...

Shame on you for dissing on Micah when you don't know the true facts!