The dreams of youngsters throughout the Derby City of one day playing for the hometown University of Louisville never includes the chance to succeed due to the dismissal of a teammate. For Quentin Snider, the Cardinals backup freshman point guard and a product of Louisville Ballard, that is the twist that his childhood dream has taken.
'Q', as he is more affectionately called by teammates and fans, has imagined playing for the Cardinals since he first discovered the game. He didn't just dream. He went to work perfecting his game and was a frequent attendee at Rick Pitino's youth camps, earning MVP honors of the event on multiple occasions.
An early U of L commitment, Snider surprised many by de-committing and nearly signing with Illinois. A last second change of heart, as well as a call to confirm that a scholarship still existed, returned Snider to the Cardinal family.
“He always wanted to be a Louisville Cardinal,” Pitino explained when announcing the signing of the four-star point guard. “In the back of his mind, he always wanted to be that.”
His freshman season has come along as his defensive play has improved. The former Mr. Kentucky has played in 27 contests this season. He drew his coach's praise after logging 15 minutes of action in the Cardinals home win over Pittsburgh on February 11.
“He is playing great offense, a very confident offensive basketball player,” he said.
Now the suspension and then surprise departure of senior point guard Chris Jones has thrust Snider into the always bright Cardinal basketball spotlight. He's expected to pick up a third consecutive start on Monday night against Georgia Tech.
His first start – last Wednesday at Syracuse – was an impressive one. Snider scored 13 points and handed out four assists without a turnover in 38 minutes of play.
“I thought Quentin Snider played outstanding,” Pitino said afterward, later adding that, “he played great tonight. I thought he was terrific. He got in the lane. He didn’t hurt us.”
Snider's hard work ethic and determination to improve has continued since he achieved his dream of becoming a Cardinal. Former U of L standout guard Taquan Dean has witnessed and experienced Snider's focus on becoming a better player and shared his thoughts via Twitter on Sunday evening.
“I've spent many 2am, 3am nights in the Yum this summer and Snider was there every time,” he posted, further sharing that, “not too many people push me to work harder but he did. So please Card fam give him all the support he needs and show him that love u gave me.”
When Snider officially joined the team and moved into Minardi Hall, his expectations included mentoring behind Jones and developing into his eventual replacement. His Hall of Fame head coach declared his future expectation of the freshman.
“I felt that since he was a young man that he belonged as a Louisville Cardinal,” said Pitino. “He's the point guard of the future for the University of Louisville.”
Tip-off between the Cardinals and Yellow Jackets is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. The important ACC contest will be broadcast on ESPN.