Kyle OQuinnHt/Wt: 6-10 / 240 lbs
Team: Norfolk St.
2012 Draft Profile - Kyle O'QuinnNorfolk State University is not considered to be a factory for NBA prospects by the basketball majority, but many will be surprised that this university has housed Al Beard (ABA-New Jersey Americans), Bob Dandridge (NBA legend-Milwaukee Bucks and Washington Bullets), Ray Epps (NBA-Golden State Warriors), Pee Wee Kirkland (First-round draft pick by the Chicago Bulls in 1969 and Rucker Park legend), Lee Johnson (NBA-Detroit Pistons), Jon McKinney (NBA-Detroit Pistons), David Pope (NBA-Utah Jazz, Kansas City Kings, Seattle SuperSonics); and now Kyle O'Quinn.
A young man that is 6'10, 240 lbs, with a mutant like 7'5 wingspan, will grab enough attention just being in an atmosphere! However, Kyle O'Quinn began to grab attention by more than his measurements, but by his performance on the court. At the beginning of the 2011-2012 season, the senior from Jamaica Queens, New York, had an impressive outing against Drexel. Kyle ended the game with 11 points, 12 boards, 3 dimes, and an explosive 6 rejections, to lead his team to a 61-56 win. Moreover, in a 66-53 win over TCU, he scored 17 points, grabbed 12 rebounds, had a steal, and 3 swats. Also, in a game against then #17 Marquette in which Norfolk State loss a close 59-57 contest , he finished with 10 points, 13 rebounds, 3 assist, 1 steal, and 2 blocked shots. All of this of course is impressive enough, but it was his stellar performance during the first round of the 2012 NCAA Tournament against #2 seeded Missouri (#3 ranked overall), that gained him national attention. In the Spartans 86-84 upset win over the Tigers, O'Quinn was clearly the best player on the floor with a commanding 26 points, 14 rebounds, 2 assist, 1 steal, and 2 blocked shots. After the win, in reference to Norfolk State being the only Division I school to give him a scholarship offer, Kyle said "I can't explain this right now, but I told the coaches at the beginning of the season that with the smaller offer, the only way that I can pay you back is with a Championship. We got that! This is a little overtime! I am paying back a little overtime right now." Of course the Championship that was being referred to was the MEAC Championship in which Norfolk State defeated Bethune-Cookman 73-70. During the second round of the NCAA Tournament however, the Spartans suffered a blow out loss against #7 seed Florida, 84-50, in which O'Quinn had a disappointing performance; ending the game with 4 points. It was during this time that his consistency of playing at a high level began to come into question.
After that disappointing loss to Florida, Kyle quickly re-grouped at the prestigious Portsmouth Invitational, a tournament where only the top 64 college seniors are invited to participate. From the first game of the tournament, O'Quinn showed that he would be the one to watch, leading his Portsmouth Sports Club team to a 88-76 win over Norfolk Sports Club, finishing with 18 points, 12 rebounds, 2 assist, and 4 blocked shots. His exceptional play continued throughout the tournament, and his Portsmouth Sports Club team made it to the Championship game, but loss 92-87 against Roger Brown. O'Quinn was still named the Tournament MVP, though just on his team alone were other notable players such as Henry Sims (Georgetown), and Kevin Murphy (Tennessee Tech). He was then invited to the NBA Pre-Draft Camp in Chicago, a camp inviting the top 60 prospects that are considered to be the ones to watch for the draft.
Kyle O'Quinn will need to work on his consistency in overall game performance, continue working on his game from 15 to 17 feet in (which is not too bad now), offensive awareness on an NBA level, and sustain his intensity on defense and on the boards. If he continues to develop himself as a player, he could have some longevity in the NBA. Of course this all depends on his propensity to hard work and remaining healthy.
Player profile submitted by: Bronal Gary
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