By Micah Brown —
In an offseason full of allegations and investigations, it was hard to tell what was in store for the 2017-18 men’s basketball team.
One player worthy of support is Louisville’s own Quentin Snider. Ballard High School’s all-time leading scorer committed to U of L as a high school freshman.
The 6-foot-2 point guard embodies everything fans want to see in a player: passion for the game, a love for the city and leadership skills that will have a lasting effect on the team’s newcomers.
Dating back his first year at U of L, Snider has been no stranger to high-pressure situations.
When point guard Chris Jones was dismissed from the team in February 2015, former coach Rick Pitino turned to the freshman back-up to lead the team for the remainder of the season.
In the first-round game of the 2015 NCAA tournament, Louisville struggled with UC-Irvine. Tied with 8.9 seconds remaining, Snider sunk two free throws to seal the postseason victory.
Nearly making the Final Four, Snider gained immeasurable experience as a freshman.
With two years of experience under his belt, last season the junior point guard was poised to lead his team to the coveted Final Four. During the off-season, Snider improved on his 3-point shooting ability, which translated to a 47.6 percent three point percentage in ACC play.
All the hard work Snider put into his game during the offseason was put on display as the Cardinals hosted arch-rival Kentucky.
With all the hype and national coverage that comes with the rivalry game, Snider showed no signs of nerves. He played the best game of his season, posting 22 points to go along with five assists and six rebounds, as he led Louisville to a 73-70 victory over their rival.
The game served as a glimpse as to how formidable the team was, and how poised they appeared to make a Final Four run in the postseason.
Fast forward to the NCAA tournament, the Cardinals ran into a red-hot Michigan team. Eventually falling against the Wolverines, Snider had his poorest performance of his career, going 0-for-9 from the field with no points.
Despite what has taken place at U of L this offseason, Snider has made it clear that he is ready for the season to get underway.
“We still got the same team,” Snider said. “I’m ready for this season … I’m just trying to make a statement for this last year, trying to go to the Final Four. We definitely have the team for it.”
While there is so much uncertainty and angst surrounding the program, senior leadership is vital. For Louisville, that leadership comes from someone who grew up right in its backyard.
You can follow Micah Brown on Twitter @micah_brown74
Photo by Laurel Slaughter / The Louisville Cardinal