Quentin Snider may have earned more respect nationally after leading Louisville to a 73-70 win over rival Kentucky last night in the Yum Center but locally we have all respected him from the day he committed to Louisville after his freshman year at Ballard High school. Snider finished the game with 22 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 steals. He did so on a Wednesday night, nationally televised game versus the 6th ranked team in the country which also happens to be the in state hated rival.
After Quentin committed to Louisville he still had 3 years left to play in high school. Growing up in Louisville and being a Louisville fan all his life, it was his dream to suit up for the Cardinals. Playing AAU ball for former Card Ellis Myles just added to the love for his hometown University. Q and his dad would watch Louisville games and studied all the great point guards that came through like Peyton Siva and Edgar Sosa, just waiting for his turn. But Rick Pitino brought in Chris Jones the year before Q would be a freshman and Chris had 2 years of eligibility left. Then Pitino got a commitment from JaQuan Lyle who would also be in Snider’s recruiting class. This made it difficult for Q to see much playing time so he decided to decommit from Louisville and explore other options. Despite his love for Louisville he wanted to play so he committed to Illinois. Lyle then decommitted and Snider quickly followed his heart back home and signed with Louisville.
Snider’s freshman year he knew that he wouldn’t play extensive minutes because that’s just how Pitino’s system is set up. You must learn his complex defense to see the floor. Snider only saw game action to give Jones a breather or to cover foul trouble. He averaged about 9 minutes a game. Q quietly sat and played his role on the team. Never once complained all the while maintaining confidence in his abilities. Then Chris Jones was dismissed from the team and the point guard duties were passed onto Q. Many people outside of Louisville just assumed that because Jones was dismissed so late in the season that the season was basically over for Louisville. Well, you know what they say about assuming. Louisville had played well enough throughout the season to earn a double bye in the ACC tournament where they were abruptly sent packing after their first game against North Carolina. They still earned a 4 seed in the NCAA tournament but many picked against Louisville because of their newly appointed freshman point guard and team chemistry. After victories over UC Irvine, Northern Iowa and NC State, Q and the Cards were one win away from the final four. A Mangok missed put back with 4.9 left kept the Cards from reaching another final four. Q wasn’t the high scorer or leading rebounder but that wasn’t his role. He played solid, didn’t make any major mistakes and gained a tremendous amount of experience.
Now a junior he is the quiet leader of this team. Quentin is not the fastest guy on the court. He is not the tenacious on ball defender like Russ or Peyton. He is not the type of guy who can create his own shot like Preston or Terry but I guarantee you he is the hardest worker you will ever see, has the biggest heart and he rarely has a bad game. If you ask him he will say his worst game was last year in Rupp where he scored a total of 0 points and Louisville lost by 2. I’m quite sure that was motivation for last nights performance.
What I saw last night was a result of hard work and pure heart. Q knew that Louisville hadn’t beaten their rival in a while and he wanted to break that streak. Not for him but for everyone else. You could see that he was playing for the name of the front of the jersey and not the back. He was playing for all those kids who spent hours and hours in the gym after practice working on their shot just like he did. He was playing for all the Louisville fans that made the Yum Center the loudest it had ever been. He was playing for his teammates, coaches, staff and fellow students. He was playing for his hometown. He was playing for everybody but himself. You didn’t see him posting trash talk on Twitter or giving interviews proclaiming confidence in victory. Q just sat back, kept to himself and when it was time to go to work, he went to work. Q is a speak softly, and carry a big stick type of guy. I couldn’t be more proud of him and I hope he gets more national respect for the player, athlete and young man that he is.
As Always, GO CARDS!