Louisville hoops spotlight: Quentin Snider

Cardinal Authority will feature each member of the Louisville men's basketball team before the start of the regular-season. This feature is on U of L freshman Quentin Snider, the reigning Kentucky Mr. Basketball.

Former Kentucky Mr. Basketball Quentin Snider had a sensational career at Ballard High School and Louisville coach Rick Pitino has said Snider will be a major player for the Cardinals' in the backcourt.

But will that time be this season is the big question.

The 6-foot-2 Snider "is getting there," according to Pitino but the coach said the freshman is needing to "still improve on the defensive end."

"Q is going to be a fine player for us," Pitino said. "He's very skilled on the offensive end, he just needs to pick up his defense. But he's like every freshman, they don't play a lot of defense in high school. He's going to be just fine in time."

Snider averaged 21.9 points, 5.9 assists, 3.8 rebounds and 1.7 steals last season at Ballard and left Ballard as the school's all-time leader points and assists.

It wasn't long after graduating from Ballard that Snider was on campus.

"It helped me a lot," Snider said. "It helped me get adjusted to the system and all of that. It's a lot different, a whole lot different.

"It's been pretty good. It's a lot faster and more physical, but it's going good."

Snider didn't play well in the first Red-White scrimmage - going just 3 of 11 from the field - but settled in for the second scrimmage. He was only 1 of 3 from the field but had five points, four assists and nine rebounds.

"It felt pretty good out there," Snider said. "I just have to make sure I keep working and keep trying to get better."

Pitino has said over and over in the preseason that Snider is "getting better." He had three points in nine minutes of the first exhibition game and then on Sunday led all of the reserves with eight points. He also had two rebounds and one assist in 13 minutes.

"Chris and Terry have been killing me," Snider said with a laugh. "It was nice to play against someone else finally.

"I feel like I am getting better but there's still a lot of work to do."

>Pitino said his team right now has a rotation of seven players with Snider "real close" to breaking into that group and making it eight.

But for now it's all about his defense. If Snider plays better defense, you are more likely to see him early in this season playing key minutes.

"I just have to work on my defense," Snider said. "It's a big difference from high school to college, bigger than you even can expect.

"I have learned a lot from those guys already and I'm still working. I want to improve so I can help this team."

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