NCAA Basketball Recruiting: Kansas signee Quentin Grimes leads USA Basketball in FIBA Americas

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KANSAS CITY, MO – MARCH 10: Head coach Bill Self of the Kansas Jayhawks celebrates as the Jayhawks defeat the West Virginia Mountaineers 81-70 to win the Big 12 Basketball Tournament Championship game at Sprint Center on March 10, 2018 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

KU incoming freshman Quentin Grimes has been impressive in his USA Basketball national debut.

Consensus top-8 2018 prospect Quentin Grimes poured in 20 points to lead USA U18 national team to a 115-71 route of Puerto Rico in the FIBA Americas Championship. With the win, Team USA finishes atop of Group A in preliminary play with a 3-0 record.

Grimes has shown off his athleticism, passing ability and scoring prowess throughout the first three games. The 6-foot-4 combo guard really accentuated his speed and demonstrated his capability of different types of finishes against Puerto Rico on Tuesday. He did struggle from shooting from beyond the arc.

Grimes finished the game 9 of17 from the field though just 2 of 8 from beyond the arc.  He also hauled in three rebounds to go along with four assists, two steals and one block. In addition, Grimes registered a game-best 28 efficiency rating.

The Woodlands (Texas) native is tied for second on the team with 12.3 points a game through three contests. He is tied for second on the team with six steals and tied for fourth with 10 dimes. Grimes, who is shooting 53% (17 of 32) from the field, leads the team in minutes played at 22.3.

Team USA got off to a first start. The red, white and blue scored the first seven points and then pushed the lead to 23-8 at the 4:01 mark. Puerto Rico answered with five straight points, but the US tallied eight of the quarters final 13 points to take a 31-18 lead.

USA opened the second period on a 14-2 run as they clamped down defensively. The US ended up outscoring Puerto Rico 25-11 in the period to take a 56-29 advantage into halftime. As the Americans forced 15 turnovers in the opening half. Grimes led the way with 10 points while Matthew Hurt tallied nine.

Team USA remained in control throughout the second half. The Americans shot 51.2% from the field and made 10 of 25 (40%) of their 3-pointers for the game. They also dominated the boards, outrebounding Puerto Rico 50-35, and were credited with 32 assists on 42 buckets.

North Carolina signee Coby White continued his solid play as did 2019 top-10 national recruit Cole Anthony.  White contributed 15 points, six rebounds, four assists as well as four steals. While Anthony tallied 14 points and dished out five assists.

Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, the team’s leading rebounder, posted a double-double with 13 points and 10 boards. Hurt finished with 12 points while Mark Watts chipped in with 11.

It wasn’t all good news for Team USA. Kentucky commit Tyrese Maxey was limited to 14 minutes of action as he turned his right ankle. Maxey is questionable for the remainder of the tournament.

Puerto Rico finishes second in Group A with a 2-1 record. Giovanni Santiago paced three islanders in double figures with 17 points. Dyondre Dominguez added 12 points and Jose Placer had 11. Puerto Rico shot 38.2% from the field and just 26.1% from beyond the arc. They also committed 22 turnovers.

Kansas head coach Bill Self is heading a USA Basketball squad for the first time. Self is assisted by fellow college head coaches Anthony Grant (Dayton) and Danny Manning (Wake Forest).


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