When coach Lamar Bigby describes the strengths of forward Nate Grimes, he reaches into the past, not the future, for his comparisons.
"The best way I can describe it is that he's a throwback player," said Bigby, who heads Grimes' AAU team. "He's not a 2000s player. He's a 1980s player. That's the way he approaches the game, and that's the way he plays it, with that mentality."
Bigby's primary reference for Grimes is toughness -- an approach to the game reminiscent of that of three decades ago. It's just those types of players that Huggins has aimed for in this and future classes, so it's not a surprise that he has reached out to Las Vegas to offer Grimes. Future trips, though, will be shorter, as the 6-8 Grimes is transferring to Quality Education academy in Winston Salem, N.C., for his senior season.
"He's making the move mostly for competition reasons," Bigby said. "He will be able to play against better competition during his senior season.
Grimes will bring with him a game suited to the open post offensive system often run by Huggins and West Virginia. Positioned along the baseline in many offensive sets, Grimes can step out for a jumper (up to and including 3-point range). He also comes off screens well and can curl to the hoop and attack the rim with his length.
"We run some screens and pick-and-pops for him too, and he can score in a couple of different ways," confirmed Bigby.
Getting a commitment will be tough, as Grimes has nearly 20 offers, and figures to expand that number as he moves operations to the east for his senior season. Bigby said that Grimes is not concentrating on recruiting just yet, but has been focusing on improving during the summer and preparing for his senior season."He hasn't looked at whether he might commit during the early signing period or not," Bigby said of Grimes' plans. "He is still working to improve his game."