Thursday, September 12, 2013
Scout's Take: Illini score with PG Snider
By Reggie Rankin
Illinois coach John Groce landed his second ESPN 100 prospect when point guard Quentin Snider (Louisville, Ky./Ballard) picked the Fighting Illini over UCLA on Thursday.
Snider, No. 28 in the ESPN 100 and the No. 7 point guard, decommitted from hometown national champion Louisville back in July and many elite programs, including Michigan State and Connecticut in addition to the Fighting Illini and Bruins, put the full court press on the four star true point guard. When it was all said and done, Groce and his staff earned the commitment from the second best player from the state of Kentucky and the city of Louisville (only Ohio State commit D'Angelo Russell ranks higher).
Why did he pick Illinois and what will he bring to the Fighting Illini? Let's break it down.
Why he committed: Illinois has a great need for a true point guard. Junior Tracy Abrams is tough, competitive and has greatly improved, but is more of a combination guard who has made the transition to point. Oregon State transfer Ahmad Starks is senior who has great experience but has applied for a hardship waiver in order to play immediately, and Jaylen Tate is a freshman so Snider has an opportunity to win the starting job as a freshman. Also the success Groce has had with point guards -- Mike Conley (Ohio State) and D.J. Cooper (Ohio University) immediately come to mind -- was also likely a factor.
What he brings: Snider, 6-foot-1 and 160 pounds, is a true point guard with a full tool belt of on-court weapons and is also regarded as a high character kid. Snider is good athlete who can push the ball on the break on the bounce or pass. He can knock down open shots with range to the arc, not to mention his ability to stop and pop in and around the lane. Snider can play fast or slow down and execute the halfcourt offense, and he can make plays at end of clock situations as well.
How he fits: Snider is not only needed in Champaign, but his style of play fits well. He will be able to create and make good decisions not only on the break but in the high number of on-ball screens that are a huge part of the Fighting Illini halfcourt offense. Snider is very good at reading situations while attacking with his special ability to change speeds, directions and gears.
Reminds us of: With his basketball feel, IQ and decision making, Snider resembles Denver Nuggets and former University of Utah guard Andre Miller at times.
How the class is shaping up: With the addition of Snider, Groce now has two top-40 recruits on board with a recent pledge from power forward Leron Black (Memphis, Tenn./White Station). Add in skilled power forward and local standout Michael Finke (Champaign, Ill./Centennial) and the Fighting Illini 2014 class jumps to No. 5 in the country. Groce is not done yet as Illinois is still very much in the hunt for No. 2 overall player power forward Cliff Alexander (Chicago, Ill./Curie) and the Illini can now devote every waking moment attempting to convince Alexander to make a permanent trip down state.