As basketball season approaches, we at FTRS will be breaking down the team player by player. Today, we take a look at Quinton Stephens.
Quinton Stephens was an All-state player at the Marist School in North Atlanta and a solid 3-star recruit. He averaged 19+ points and nine rebounds per game his senior year. He was the first recruit from Marist since Matt Harpring, and played all five positions. A gifted athlete, Stephens has been slow to add the weight other young men fight to keep off their bodies.
Right off the bat in 2014, Stephens caught the attention of Tech fans and the local media by hitting 6-of-8 on 3-point shots and knocking down 22 points against hated rival uga not quite a year ago. As it turned out, that was his high point for the season. Never a great defensive player, Stephens struggled at times on the offensive end of the floor. His inability to defend more physical players at his position limited his playing time in against some ACC opponent, resulting in diminished playing time and actual point production. He finished the season with 6.0 points per game.
Quinton Stephens looks like a role player this season, but it could be an important role. I predict he will rotate with MGH and James White in the 3-spot. When Tech goes with a big line-up, he will likely have a limited role, but could play significant minutes in a "small" lineup at either the #3 or #4 spot to draw out defenders and open the inside for teammates. The key will be how much he matures as a defender.
Stephens averaged six points per game in 2014-15 in up-and-down playing time. If his defense improves, I expect him to raise his scoring a couple points. Otherwise, he could be stuck in the five to six points per game range. He could benefit greatly from a more open floor game, and it will be interesting to see how this develops with the addition of several very athletic teammates. He has a great basketball IQ and could be a key player even in a limited role.