NCB On The Trail: Quentin Snider

Recruit and return: Louisville 

March, 29, 2014
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In order to return to the NCAA tournament, a team needs contributions from both returning players and incoming recruits. Here's a look at the Louisville Cardinals and their chances of dancing again in 2015.

Quick references:
2013-14 roster
2014 recruiting

Possible 2014-15 starting five:

G: Chris Jones
G: Terry Rozier
F: Wayne Blackshear
F: Montrezl Harrell
C: Mangok Mathiang


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One of four remaining ESPN 100 players is now off the board as No. 69 Anas Osama Mahmoud, a 7-foot-1 center, has committed to Louisville. A native of Egypt, he came to the United States in September and it didn’t take long for college coaches to start inquiring.

He took official visits to Louisville, Georgia Tech and Minnesota.

“I was talking to Coach [Rick] Pitino today and I told him I wanted to go to Louisville,” Mahmoud said. He took official visits to Louisville, Georgia Tech and Minnesota as well as unofficial visits to Kentucky, Auburn, Cincinnati and USF. Florida and Kansas were starting to show interest..


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Want to ask ESPN RecruitingNation national recruiting director Paul Biancardi a question about basketball recruiting? Tweet it to @PaulBiancardi using the hashtag #AskCoachB.
The Louisville Cardinals have an outstanding class coming in next season -- the Cardinals are No. 5 in our class rankings.

Quentin Snider will be the point guard of the future. He combines quickness with good decision-making abilities, as he navigates well in ball-screen actions. Chinanu Onuaku is an inside physical presence who rebounds, alters shots and scores on put-backs. Jaylen Johnson brings athletic ability and versatility to the front court. Perhaps the most talented in terms of potential is Shaqquan Aaron. He is the Cardinals’ highest-rated prospect No. 33 and is extremely long with excellent ball skills. He desperately needs to get stronger, but can stroke it from deep and create his own shot inside the arc. There is also Norwegian center Matz Stockman.

I expect Aaron to have a strong influence on next year’s team. His ability to score, shoot, and finish with length will make him hard to guard.

Snider and Onuaku are ESPN 100 prospects who should contribute right away. Snider will back up and play alongside current point guard Chris Jones. The Cardinals will need size next year, so Onuaku will have a chance to play right away if he is ready. This group is talented and athletic, with plenty of room for growth.
Want to ask ESPN RecruitingNation national recruiting director Paul Biancardi a question about basketball recruiting? Tweet it to @PaulBiancardi using the hashtag #AskCoachB.
Players move up and down with each new ranking. Quentin Snider went from No. 35 to No. 39, and JaQuan Lyle went from No. 39 to No. 41. Those are not significant drops at all. Both have played well and, at times, they have made big plays, but neither have stood out enough to move up.

On the flip side, when prospects drop, it can be more about others playing a at high level on a more consistent basis, which was true for both Snider and Lyle.

Remember, the best way for a prospect to move up is with consistent productivity and dominant performances. It also helps if they play big roles in their teams' wins.
The early signing period will officially come to an end in a matter of hours. Before the clock strikes midnight, we look at some of the biggest winners and losers of the past eight days.

Winners

[+] EnlargeJahlil Okafor
Jeff Hinds/adidasDuke is a big winner with the addition of Jahlil Okafor, the nations top-ranked overall prospect,
Duke
When the nation’s top-ranked overall prospect and best point guard coordinate a dual announcement on national TV and flip over your hat, it’s a win. Duke might not officially have the top-ranked recruiting class in the country just yet, but there’s no denying it scored the biggest prize.


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Pitino signs four ESPN 100 prospects

November, 15, 2013
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Louisville coach Rick Pitino announced the signing of four ESPN 100 players on Friday.

Leading the way for the Cardinals is small forward Shaqquan Aaron (Seattle/Rainier Beach) along with point guard Quentin Snider (Louisville, Ky./Ballard), power forward Jaylen Johnson (Ypsilanti, Mich./Ypsilanti) and center Chinanu Onuaku (Upper Marlboro, Md./Riverdale Baptist).

Snider became the fourth recruit on Friday after decommitting from Illinois. He had originally committed to Louisville as a junior.

"This is a tremendous class that is deep, talented and all have great potential to improve," Pitino. "Not only is it a well-balanced group with outstanding basketball players, but they really fit our system. We look for offensive players who can be a triple-threat -- shoot, pass and beat their man off the bounce -- and this group can certainly do that."
ESPN 100 point guard Quentin Snider (Louisville, Ky./Ballard), the No. 5 point guard in the Class of 2014, decommitted from Illinois on Friday and recommitted to hometown Louisville, where he originally pledged before his sophomore season.

What sparked this decision? And what will Snider bring to the Cardinals?


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Roundtable: What makes a good PG? 

November, 5, 2013
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Tyus JonesAP Photo/Damen Jackson via Triple Play New MediaTop-rated point guard Tyus Jones embodies all the important traits of an elite floor leader.

The RecruitingNation writers all agree that point guard is the most important position on the floor. But what is the most important part of being a great floor general? And which player in the 2014 class best exhibits those traits? That's where our experts disagree.


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5-star PG Lyle reopens recruitment

September, 14, 2013
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ESPN 100 point guard JaQuan Lyle (Evansville, Ind./Huntington Prep) decommitted from Louisville on Friday night, according to a report in the Louisville Courier-Journal.

Lyle originally chose the Cardinals in June over offers from Tennessee, Florida, Indiana, Illinois and Ohio State, among others.

"I just felt like I needed to make sure I made the right decision for me," he told the paper. "I didn't really think Louisville was the best decision for me."

Lyle is the second point guard to renege on his commitment to the Cardinals in the last two months. ESPN 100 prospect and Louisville native Quentin Snider (Ballard High School) opened up his recruitment in July before committing to Illinois earlier this week.

Head coach Rick Pitino still holds verbal pledges from ESPN 100 forwards Shaqquan Aaron (Seattle/Rainier Beach) and Jaylen Johnson (Ypsilanti, Mich./Ypsilanti).
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.

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Notes: Cartwright could be double value 

September, 6, 2013
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This time of the year, there's always something brewing. From campus visits to the value of Stanford's newest pledge, we've dumped out the notebook into a nice, tidy column to catch you up.

Cartwright's value could be two-fold


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New UCLA coach Steve Alford has gone back to his Indiana roots by landing No. 41 senior Trevon Bluiett (Indianapolis, Ind./Park Tudor). Here's a breakdown of how and why the shooting guard landed with the Bruins.

Why he committed: "Everything felt right about UCLA," Bluiett said. "Coach Alford has a plan for me and made me feel very comfortable. The support they give their program -- from academics to strength and conditioning -- it's all set up for me to be successful."

Perhaps the biggest factor was UCLA assistant Ed Shilling, who was Bluiett's high school coach for three years at Park Tudor. "Coach Shilling is a big reason why I chose UCLA. He is a mentor to me," Bluiett said. "I have known him since the sixth grade and have played for him since the ninth grade. Coach Shilling always has the right intentions and I trust him."

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Starting 5: Point guard debate 

August, 20, 2013
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Editor's note: Every week in "Starting 5," we'll roll out five stories, themes and nuggets from the basketball recruiting world to set the table with the stories that need to be told and give you a leg up on the watercooler conversations around the office.

This week we look at three point guards using different lenses, what plans KU has for Late Night in the Phog, the recruiting revivals at UConn and Minnesota plus reduced lists from bigs Paul White and Makinde London.


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Reading through the typical recruiting jargon can be a difficult task, especially for the untrained eye, but suffice it to say that things aren’t always what they seem.

Some of the most misleading statements often include sayings like, "He has offers from," or "He chose school X over," or "He decommitted from," primarily because they consider only one side of the process.

The fact of the matter is that schools choose prospects as much as prospects choose schools, and the former is no less fluid than the latter.

What does that mean? It means that sometimes when a tweet or recruiting article says Player X committed to School Y over offers from Schools A, B, C and D, what it can really mean is that Schools A, B, C and D offered Player X at some point in the past, but are no longer recruiting him, so he decided to commit to School Y.

Now, why would a school suddenly stop recruiting a prospect? Because they suddenly realized he wasn't good enough? Possibly, but more likely it's because they have since received a commitment from, or feel like they are on the verge of a commitment from, someone else at the same position whom they hold in a little higher esteem.

So, with that in mind, we're going to rewind through a particularly busy few weeks in the national point guard market and make an attempt to translate the real story. Whether it was a prospect who made a commitment or cut his list, we'll tell you which schools are in, which are out, the real story behind whose decision it was, and the bottom line for each prospect. Then we'll circle back and tell you which two ESPN 100 point guards are still uncommitted and open to new suitors.

[+] EnlargeTyus Jones
AP Photo/Damen Jackson No. 1 PG Tyus Jones recently reaffirmed his desire to play college hoops with No. 1 overall recruit Jahlil Okafor.
News: Tyus Jones (Apple Valley, Minn./Apple Valley) reaffirms his intent to go to school with Jahlil Okafor (Chicago, Ill./Whitney Young)
In: Baylor, Duke, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan State, Ohio State
Out: Minnesota
Real story: Minnesota is still on Jones' list of seven, but the Gophers aren't on Okafor's list. That, in addition to the fact Richard Pitino and his staff could be seen prioritizing other targets this summer, is indication enough that Jones isn't likely to be staying home next season. The latest twist in the story is Okafor's AAU coach, Mike Irvin, going on record saying there is a great chance Duke lands Jones, while Okafor's camp has denied the Blue Devils are the leader for the package deal.
Bottom line: Jones and Okafor do want to go to school together, but they don't yet agree on where. Jones appears pretty set on Duke, but Okafor not quite as much at this point. ESPN 100 SF Justise Winslow (Houston/Saint John's) is also part of the conversation, making this potentially one of the biggest package deals in recent history.


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Without question, the most important position in basketball from a coach’s point of view is the point guard, and the success of any team lies with its floor leader.

During my coaching career, I have had the unbelievable good fortune to recruit and coach many outstanding point guards who played in the NBA (such as Howard Eisley at Boston College), as well as standouts in the college game (such as James “Scoonie” Penn at Boston College and Ohio State and DaShaun Wood at Wright State. Eisley had a 12-year NBA career, Penn was the Big East Rookie of the Year and Big Ten Player of the Year, and Wood was the Horizon League Player of the Year.

Below are 10 keys that are vital to being a great point guard, with a look at which prospects from the Class of 2014 best demonstrate each of those traits.

[+] EnlargeTyus Jones
Chris Williams/Icon SMITyus Jones, the nation's top PG, reminds us of Syracuse's Tyler Ennis for a variety of reasons.

1. Eliminate emotional fogs


Why it’s important: The ability to perform and always have your head in the game is the first part of being a floor general. To do what the coach wants and give the team what it needs all game long takes total concentration, but it’s what separates the good from the great point guards.

Who does it best:
Joel Berry: The UNC-bound floor general is battle-tested and tough-minded with a winning approach. His mentality is to always be dialed in, and he reacts to adversity extremely well. He never allows the previous possession to affect the next play, which is rare at such a young age.

Tyus Jones: The nation’s No. 1-ranked point guard is aware and alert to what’s going on throughout the course of a game and does not get caught up in one-on-one battles when defenders make him a priority. Once his attention to detail on the defensive end increases, watch out.

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