KU signee Quentin Grimes fills stat sheet at Sunday's Jordan Brand Classic

Quentin Grimes (left), who has signed to play at Kansas, had 15 points and nine assists in the Jordan Brand Classic on Sunday in Brooklyn, N.Y. | Gregory Payan | The Associated Press

By Gary Bedore gbedore@kcstar.com

Kansas basketball signee Quentin Grimes scored 15 points, dished out nine assists, grabbed five rebounds and had four steals in the Home team’s 146-136 victory over the Away team in Sunday’s Jordan Brand Classic in Brooklyn, N.Y.

Grimes, a 6-foot-5 senior combo guard from College Park High in The Woodlands, Texas, who is ranked No. 10 nationally by Rivals.com, hit 7 of 11 shots. He was 1 of 4 from three and 0 for 2 from the free-throw line. He had two turnovers in 25 minutes.

KU recruiting target Romeo Langford, a 6-5 shooting guard from New Albany (Ind.) High, scored 14 points on 5-of-11 shooting, with five rebounds and one assist for the winning team. He hit 2 of 4 three-pointers and was 2 of 2 from the line while playing 16 minutes. Langford, who has a final recruiting list of Kansas, Indiana and Vanderbilt, is ranked No. 6 in the class of 2018 by Rivals.com.

Emmitt Williams exploded for a Classic-record 44 points on 22-of-23 shooting for the winning Home team and earned co-MVP honors with Nassir Little, who had 21 points for the losing Away squad.

Williams, a 6-6 forward who is headed to LSU, surpassed the previous scoring record of 34 points set by LeBron James in the 2003 Classic. Cameron Reddish (Duke) had 19 points and Cole Swider (Villanova) 17 for the winners.

Little, a 6-7 forward, is headed to North Carolina, as is guard Coby White, who had 21 points for the Away team. Oregon signee Bol Bol scored 22 points and grabbed nine rebounds for the losing squad.

“Coach (Bill) Self lets his guards have a lot of freedom out there on the court. They play pick and rolls, a lot of isolations. You can shoot the ball midrange, pull-up threes,” Grimes told Kels Dayton of Roundballdaily.com when asked about signing with KU. “I can play on the ball, off the ball. I think I can be a dynamic playmaker out there. I think I fit in really well next year.”

Asked to compare himself to former KU guards Frank Mason and Devonté Graham, Grimes said: “I feel I’m a little bit of both. I’m a little bit taller, maybe a little more athletic. Devonté … he can come down, pull-up, pull up for threes. I can do that as well. Frank (now with the Sacramento Kings) is really a hard-nosed guard, can get to the basket, draw a lot of contact, finish. I think I can contribute a little bit of both (while being) maybe a little taller.”

Grimes, by the way, was contacted via social media to measure his interest in playing for LaVar Ball’s Junior Basketball Association for a season instead of going to college for a year prior to the 2019 NBA Draft.

“It’s definitely not for me,” Grimes told USA Today. “It was more like a funny thing to see the ‘Big Baller Brand’ sliding in my DM’s.”

According to USA Today, Ball said the league, meant for high school graduates who want to make money while waiting to be eligible for the NBA Draft, “would be funded through the Big Baller Brand and that players could make anywhere from $3,000 to $10,000 monthly.”

The league has not yet announced agreements with any high school players.

Peers pursue Langford

Grimes was the only KU signee to play in the Jordan Brand Classic, thus the only player to speak with prize recruit Langford in person over the weekend.

Grimes and fellow Jayhawk signees Devon Dotson and David McCormack all competed in the recent McDonald’s All-American Game with Langford.

“I think if Romeo would just come to Kansas, it would be an automatic lock for the national championship next year,“ Grimes told USA Today at the McDonald’s game.

“We're just trying to pitch him that having three guards on the court will be deadly,“ Grimes added. ”We all can guard multiple positions and can play all three levels out there on the court. Whoever gets the rebound could push it, outlet the ball to the next man and then really whoever has it can set up the play and get an easy bucket for himself or a teammate.“

KU power forward signee McCormack added to USA Today: “I don't know what he's waiting on. Might as well just come to KU. We go back and forth every now and then. I feel that we're kind of in the lead as far as recruiting him. I look forward to playing with him. He would be a great addition to the team.

"I think smooth just fits him perfectly," McCormack added of Langford, who averaged 35.5 points a game this past season.

“He’s swift, he's explosive, and he just does it in the manner that you can only describe as smooth. The way he plays is just the way he acts. You see Romeo once and you get him all at one time. You see his playing style, you'll see his lifestyle in one,” McCormack added to USA Today.

LSU's Williams makes name for himself

LSU signee Williams had something to prove at the Jordan Brand Classic, which was shown on ESPN2.

“I told the players, ‘We’re all going to eat.’ I had 44 points, but guys were passing me the ball. It’s not like I was just taking a lot of shots,” Williams told USA Today.

“I’m glad people are noticing me now. I wasn’t a McDonald’s All-American, and I know I should have been one and I made a statement why I should have been one. I may take tomorrow off, but Tuesday, I’ll be back in the gym.”

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