Quentin Snider didn’t start at guard for the University of Louisville basketball team against North Carolina State. Rick Pitino apparently concluding Snider wasn’t quick enough to keep up with Anthony Barber and his catlike speed.

Snider wouldn’t stay on the bench for long, thanks to an officiating crew that was tagging three UofL guards with two fouls apiece in the first half — getting 32 minutes of playing time for the game. The sophomore guard would make the most of them, turning in his best offensive game as a Cardinal. In the end, it could be argued that it was Barber who couldn’t keep up with him.

Quentin Snider time.
Quentin Snider time at Raleigh.

Time and again, Snider answered the call in the second half, making three of his four 3-pointers. He would also make a pair of free throws, propelling UofL to a 71-55 lead at the 4:28 mark. NC State would somehow manage to reduce the deficit to one point but Snider had already done his damage.

UofL would need a layup and a couple of free throws from Damion Lee and a pair of unlike free throws from Jaylen Johnson — not to mention a hyper-crucial TV review of an out-of-bounds play — for the 77-72 win and a 2-0 mark in the Atlantic Coast Conference race.

Snider would connect on seven of 11 field goal attempts, including four of six from 3-point land, and three of five free throws for a career high of 21 points and game scoring honors. He would also add two assists and make two steals.

Barber, who deserved all the attention Pitino gave him in the days leading up to the game, would wind up with 20 points. The object of UofL’s defensive pressure, he would fire off 22 shots, making only seven of them.

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Who is that No. 32 playing center at UofL these days? Well, it was Chinanu Onuaku again, continuing his upward trajectory, continuing to mature, making fans forget his freshman challenges. Jump shots, hook shots, tip-ins, rebounds, you name it. Winding up with his second double-double game in a row, with 12 points and 14 rebounds. Gaining confidence every trip down the court, he’s growing up quickly, maturing that game of his.

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Good to see Damion Lee putting a crucial game on ice, two games after missing that final shot against Kentucky. He’s having more fun than ever, loving his time as Louisville, making the most of it. Seven of his 13 ponts in that second half, including four UofL’s last six points

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Maverick Rowan, who chose NC State over Louisville in an extended recruiting battle, showed why he was so coveted by UofL. The freshman guard was three of four from the 3-point arc, finishing with 17 points. The last person any Louisville fan wanted to see making the 3-point shot.

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By Charlie Springer

Charlie Springer is a former Louisville editor and sportswriter, a public affairs consultant, a UofL grad and longtime fan.