Grimes becomes first Cougar selected in the first round in over 30 years

By Tyler Tyre, Sports Editor
Posted 7/30/21

“It’s indescribable, I woke up with a big smile on my face just knowing that I’m going to be playing at the most famous arena in the world every night, 41 games out of the season,” Grimes said in a video posted to the Knicks twitter account on Friday. “I’m really lost for words.”

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Grimes becomes first Cougar selected in the first round in over 30 years

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When Quentin Grimes name was called in the first round of the NBA draft on Thursday he let it all out.

The University of Houston standout was selected with the 25th pick by the New York Knicks, making him the first University of Houston player selected in the first round since Greg Anderson 34 years ago.

“It’s indescribable, I woke up with a big smile on my face just knowing that I’m going to be playing at the most famous arena in the world every night, 41 games out of the season,” Grimes said in a video posted to the Knicks twitter account on Friday. “I’m really lost for words.”

Grimes averaged 17.8 points and 5.7 rebound for the Cougars in his junior season, en route to being named the American Athletic Conference’s player of the year.

He led Houston to its first Final Four since 1984 and led all players in scoring at the NBA draft combine.

“The first time I realized he would probably go in the first round was probably when I was in Duncanville recruiting while he was at the draft combine in Chicago,” said University of Houston basketball coach Kelvin Sampson in a zoom interview to reporters. “My phone started blowing up and I looked at it and guys I know in different front offices kept telling me how great Quentin was doing.”

The NBA values “3-and-D” style players more than at any point in history and Grimes fits the bill as someone who is a stingy defender and will be able to spot up and hit open shots.

The Knicks front office and head coach Tom Thibodeau and the Knicks front office orchestrated a trade that gave them the No. 25 pick and a second round pick next year while sending the Los Angeles Clippers the No. 21 pick in this year’s draft.

Thibodeau is one of the most hard-nosed and defensive minded coaches in the league, he traded for the pick specifically to get Grimes.

“I’m excited just to learn from him (Thibodeau),” Grimes said. “I know he and coach Sampson have a lot of similarities and I’m going to embrace that from day one. I want to learn everything I can and take everything on the chin. I want to earn everything I get and don’t want anything given to me. I feel like that’s the kind of guy that Thibs wants. It’s going to be a match made in heaven.”

Grimes doesn’t want to set any specific goals for the season but is excited for everything to get going.

“I’m just trying to come in and have an immediate impact,” Grimes said. “I don’t like to set goals for myself too far ahead. I like to trust my work and let my work speak for itself, but I definitely have high expectations, not only for myself but for the team and I feel like right now with what the Knicks are doing, we can have a really special season.”

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