The Louisville Cardinals have gotten off to a great start in the 2015-16 season. They have an 8-1 record and are ranked 19th in the AP Poll and 16th in the Coaches Poll. Granted, the competition hasn’t been that great just yet, outside of a close road loss at Michigan State. But Louisville isn’t just winning their games; they are dominating the opponents. While most of the talk has been around the two graduate transfers, Donovan Mitchell highlight dunks, or even the improvements of Matz Stockman, one of the more quiet players on the team is proving to be the most important: Quentin Snider.
Through 9 games, Snider has played 248 minutes (27.6 per game), which is third behind Damion Lee (262) and Trey Lewis (261). In those 248 minutes, Snider has dished out 43 assists. The next closest is Trey Lewis with 27. But the more impressive part of this stat is turnovers. Quentin has only turned the ball over 10 times this season. That is an assist to turnover ratio of 4.3:1. How good is that? Let’s take a look at how that compares against other top players in the country…
I looked up the leaders in assists in college basketball. To qualify to be on the list, these players must be on pace to play in 75% of the teams’ games. As far as his 4.8 assists per game average, that only puts Snider at 89th in the country. But like I said, the impressive part here is the assist to turnover ratio. Here are the top assist to turnover ratios in the country. The numbers displayed for each player will be how many assists they are averaging for every 1 turnover.
James Robinson (Pittsburgh) – 8.80
Nick Norton (UAB) – 5.44
Monte Morris (Iowa State) – 5.07
Quentin Snider (Louisville) – 4.30
That’s right, 4th in the country in assist to turnover ratio among the top 100 assist leaders in all of college basketball. By the way, 8.80 is just crazy. It will be interesting to see if Robinson still has that pace when the Cards face Pittsburgh in January.
Snider averages 1.1 turnovers per game. Where does that put him in this group of 100?
James Robinson (Pittsburgh) – 0.6
Nick Norton (UAB) – 0.9
Quentin Snider (Louisville) – 1.1
And there he is again. He ranks 3rd in the least amount of turnovers per game in this group of 100 players that lead the country in assists.
Louisville averaged 69 points per game last season. So far this year, that average is 87 points. Again, I know who the Cards have played. I know that is one of the reasons that the scoring is up. But I also know that the scoring is up because of guys like Damion Lee and Trey Lewis. And they do get some of their points because they have Quentin Snider on the floor setting them up to get those buckets. And he can’t set them up if he turns the ball over. So that ball control, sometimes overlooked, is very critical.
I said it last season and I will say it again. I think that Chris Jones being dismissed from the team was the best thing to happen for THIS year’s Louisville basketball team. It allowed Snider to get a head start on being THE point guard that runs the show. Let’s face it, last year’s team probably wasn’t going to win the National Championship. But the season can not be thought of as a lost cause and that is because of the development of Snider in the NCAA Tournament. He played in the biggest games of the season, and played really well. Fans quickly went from “Well now we have a Freshman running the show, we will see how this goes” to “point guard is not even a worry anymore. We are set.”
Guys like Lewis, Lee, and Mangok Mathiang are probably the vocal leaders. Donovan Mitchell is being talked about a lot lately for his contributions and his freakish athleticism. People are excited for Deng Adel to return. Ray Spalding is catching the attention of Cards’ fans everywhere. But the one constant, the reliable one, is the one that sometimes goes unnoticed because he is just so quiet: Quentin Snider, the man in charge of running this well-oiled machine that we call the Louisville Cardinals.