University of Houston basketball coach Kelvin Sampson on Friday officially announced the signing of Kansas transfer Quentin Grimes to a scholarship grant-in-aid agreement.
Grimes, a 6-foot-5 combo guard from The Woodlands, Texas, announced plans to leave KU after one season on May 29. He orally committed to Houston over runner-up Texas A&M on June 27.
Grimes — he averaged 8.4 points, 2.5 rebounds and 2.0 assists a game his freshman season at KU — will practice but not play in games for Houston during the 2019-20 season unless he receives an NCAA waiver that would allow him to play in games immediately.
“I know his mom, Tonja, and dad, Marshall, are going through the process with an attorney to do that. We’d like to see him be able to play,” Sampson told Mark Berman of Houston Fox 26-TV station on Friday. “You have to be patient and let the process play itself out,” Sampson added.
The basis for the possible waiver has not been revealed. Grimes’ transfer places him about an hour’s drive from his Houston home.
Grimes will be allowed to play for the Cougars during their trip to Italy next month, Sampson told Berman.
Sampson said he’s thrilled to add Grimes to the squad.
“One of the things I have always liked about Quentin is his basketball IQ and his ability to make plays. Everyone knows he can score, but one of his biggest strengths is being a playmaker,” Sampson, two-time defending American Athletic Conference Coach of the Year, said in a news release.
“Quentin is pretty good at a lot of things, but what he does really well is think the game. That’s how he is going to help us. I am excited to welcome Quentin and his family to Houston basketball,” Sampson added.
Grimes hit 38.4% of his shots a year ago and 34% from three. He put his name in the 2019 NBA Draft pool but withdrew from the draft on May 29.
“Quentin really hasn’t talked to me about the NBA,” Sampson told Berman. “He just talks about getting better. I think that tells you a little bit about his maturity. I don’t think he’s a 1-2-3. He can play wherever you need him to play.”
Of choosing Houston, Grimes said in Friday’s release: “We had a great visit when my family came to Houston, and I knew a lot of the guys on the team. I liked they way they embraced me and made me feel welcome. I liked everything about coach Sampson and the way he coaches the game. He is a players’ coach. He lets his players play through mistakes, but he still coaches them hard.”
Houston went 33-4, won the AAC regular-season title and reached the Sweet 16 a year ago. It marked Houston’s first berth in the Sweet 16 since 1984.