Great news that Quentin Snider has been cleared to practice with the University of Louisville basketball team. Watching from the sidelines over the past three weeks has probably been more painful than the injury.
Snider was knocked out of action after taking a hard fall after a layup against Duke. He was averaging 12.1 points and 2.6 rebounds. He was making five assists per outing in his last four games.
Earlier he had perhaps the best game of his career in leading the Cardinals to a win over Kentucky, putting a career high 22 points against the Wildcats. The 6-foot-1 junior was coming into his own, embracing his leadership role, thriving in the Rick Pitino system.
Hard to gauge how much he was actually missed, with UofL winning four of six games in his absence. Louisville won games against Georgia Tech, Pittsburgh, NC State and Boston College by an average of 31 points while faltering against Florida State and Virginia.
UofL appeared to have made tremendous strides over the past month, enough so that some analysts were expecting the Cardinals to be competitive against Virginia. That was already asking a lot with the absence of Snider and Tony Hicks but made worse with the one-game suspensions of Mangok Mathiang and Deng Adel.
No question that Donovan Mitchell became almost indispensable during Snider’s absence, gaining in confidence and shooting accuracy, along with a sharper appreciation for the point guard role. He can only benefit from Snider’s return.
The hope here is that the injury has no lasting effects on him. Snider could play as early as the game against Miami on Saturday. Don’t expect much after missing practice for almost four weeks.
Snider never was the quickest guard but he knows how to work the Pitino system. Just having him on the court will be a major plus.