I Remember When...

Point guard Quentin Snider closed the door on his recruitment on Thursday when he publicly committed to Illinois. But step into the IlliniPlaybook time machine with me for a minute and take a look back at an earlier time in Snider's career.

I've seen a lot of different players over the past few years at the different events I've been to. But for some reason, I can recall the first time I ever saw Illinois commit Quentin Snider play more vividly than others.

It was May 2011 in the Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Indiana. Then a member of the Indiana Elite team featuring players such as Yogi Ferrell, Hanner Perea, Eron Harris, and Jeremy Holowell, this young point guard named Quentin Snider stood out to me.

Obviously at the time all of the hype was surrounding Ferrell and Perea, but when I saw Snider take the court, I could tell he was going to be a good one. I started telling the guy next to me how poised Snider looked on the floor and how comfortable he was running the offense with so many other stars on the floor.

Come to find out, the guy I was talking to was Scott Snider, Quentin's dad. (So yeah, I was relieved that it was all positive things I had to say). Between spurts of cheering for Q, I asked him about his son. He told me about how they would come all the way up from Louisville for practices and tournaments, but that it was worth it because Quentin was becoming a much better player.

So I kept watching, took notes, and despite the star power on the floor, Snider continued to make play after play against guys two years older than him. He just had the mentality of a floor general who could take over if he needed to.

So I did a little digging, and found what I wrote about him that weekend after watching him play. Here's what I saw out of Snider at the event:

"The Louisville native won't impress you right away physically, but once you see him play, that all changes. Snider is lightning quick and always keeps a tight handle on the ball. He gets past defenders with an array of spin moves and quick crossovers and has no reservations about taking it to the hoop.

When he drives, Snider protects the ball well, allowing him to not only draw contact on layups, but also finish with a shot for potential three point plays. He splits defenders well, and for a young guy, he has great ball handling ability."

It wasn't much longer after that that Snider committed to Louisville. I figured he was the hometown kid committed to the hometown program so that's the end of it. That's where I was wrong.

Out of the blue on July 31st, Snider decided to open things back up. Once I heard that, I started to wonder if Illinois would get involved. I thought back on what I'd seen of him and his skills fit what Groce looks for in a point guard.

Just six weeks later, Snider chose Illinois over UCLA, Michigan State, UConn, and others.

Some of the things I saw in him two and a half years ago have improved significantly. Just the same, many of the things that make him such a great point guard haven't changed a bit.

I'll be honest, when I first saw Snider, I never thought I was looking at a future Illinois point guard (though it might have had something to do with the Indiana Elite jersey) but really it's crazy how these things come full circle.

But then again, looking back on it, when has recruiting ever made sense? As they say: "Recruiting is fluid."

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