Norfolk State center Kyle O’Quinn has been the breakout star of the NCAA Tournament in the first week. The senior from Jamaica, New York posted 26 points and 14 rebounds in an upset win over Missouri Friday, his 20th double-double of the season. He did an interview with CBS that played during halftime of one of the games Saturday and was asked how he was so overlooked by colleges coming out of high school.
“When you only play one year of high school basketball, people think maybe he never proved himself,” O’Quinn said, responding to a question from Charles Barkley. “I was a benchwarmer my junior year. Schools have their recruiting plans laid out years before. I probably never came across the head coach’s desk, and Norfolk State was the first one to jump.”
And now the Spartans are benefiting from giving O’Quinn a look. He’s averaged over 16 points and 10.5 rebounds per game each of the two seasons while shooting over 55%. After what he’s done in his college career, maybe NBA teams won’t make the same mistake college ones did.