Comparisons to an NBA player while still in high school can be a hard thing to live up to, just ask UMKC’s Quinton Day.
For Day, a left-handed point guard from Paseo High School in Kansas City, comparisons to former Missouri standout Anthony Peeler followed him to nearly every gym he played in. Peeler, who was also a left-handed guard from Paseo, was a first-round NBA Draft pick and played 13 years in the league.
“People compared me to him a lot,” Day said. “I kind of thought it was unfair because he was averaging like 40 points a game as a freshman in high school, but I took it as a compliment.”
When Missouri (1-1) plays UMKC for the first time today at Mizzou Arena, some older Tiger fans might think of Peeler when they see Day’s No. 44 flashing through defenders. Peeler, who played for the Tigers from 1989-92, and holds the MU record for assists with 497, wore No. 44 as a Tiger.
Missouri was one of the teams that recruited Day in high school, but the Tigers didn’t choose to sign him.
“I liked the school and the campus and I was treated well, they just didn’t offer,” Day said. “I wanted to be there hands down.”
Day signed with USC and transferred to UMKC after playing in four games for the Trojans. Day became eligible to play five games into UMKC’s season last year as a sophomore.
Although Missouri coach Quin Snyder didn’t sign Day, he definitely hasn’t forgot about him.
“He’s a terrific kid and a really good player. He went to Southern Cal and that’s the
level of player he is,” Snyder said. “He was a Pac-10 player that decided to come home. A guy that I’m sure will have a lot to prove when he comes in our building.”
He scored 13 points a game and set a school record with 116 assists last season, a total that was second in the Mid-Continent Conference.
Day was a preseason first-team All-Mid-Continent selection and Lindy’s college basketball guide lists him as the best playmaker in the conference.
UMKC (2-0) finished second in the Mid-Continent last season, the best finish in the school’s history.
Repeating last year’s success will be a challenge for UMKC this year after returning only two starters in Day and sophomore shooting guard Tim Blackwell.
Whether or not Day’s play against the Tigers draws any more Peeler comparisons, he is expecting to hear from the fellow Paseo alum.
“We’re pretty close. He calls me to see how I’m doing,” Day said. “I’m sure he’ll call me after the game.”