Just days before the NBA Draft, Quincy Acy was in Detroit, Michigan working on his game with coach A.W. Canada. While other prospects were finishing up their workouts with NBA teams, Acy was in the gym not showing off his game, but improving it.
It's no secret that Acy is a relentless worker, almost stoic in his demeanor. His coaches have raved about his work ethic since he was in high school, but his intensity on the court is a stark contrast to his humbleness off of it. Acy is a quintessential gentleman that fully understands himself and what life is all about.
Baylor head coach Scott Drew helped mold Acy into the man he is today. Baylor is a very religious institution, and when Quincy Acy first got there, Drew would frequently remind him to read the bible and go to church. By his junior year, Acy was doing the same thing for his teammates.
Today, it's easy to see why Drew was so fond of Acy. He's just a great kid in every respect. He's one of the few NBA players that stayed in school for a full four years, and is graduating with a major in communications.
Despite not being the best player on Baylor's basketball team, he was undoubtedly its leader. He was the man in the middle of pregame circles. He rarely actually sat on the bench, as he was always up cheering for his teammates or arguing with calls he didn't agree with. He is the guy barking orders on the floor. And he leads by example.
Two of Acy's highly touted teammates, Quincy Miller and Perry Jones III, seem almost envious when they speak of Acy's intensity and consistency as a basketball player. They go on and on about his leadership -- seemingly unanimous in their opinion that he led that team.
Perry Jones III: "He grew up a lot. He has a son. His son has turned him into a man. Ekpe (Udoh) helped him through college and he helped me through college and he’s still helping me now. Just keeping me on the right path and things like that. Inviting me to church every Sunday." (source)
But don't let Acy's humility trick you. He's a monster on the court. Evidence? Check this video and this video.
His dunks are electric. His blocks are implacable. His hustle cannot be described as anything other than demoralizing to his opponents.
At 6'8" and 224 pounds, Acy was labelled as undersized by scouts and NBA teams. Acy, however, does not agree that his size inhibits his ability.
"People are going to have their opinions and you can't control that. If you let it bother you, that's your own fault. You're supposed to let it motivate you. They say I'm not skilled, they say I'm undersized. There are a couple of knocks, but everybody has their flaws. I do what I do, and I do it well." (source)
Baylor coach Scott Drew agrees.
"Some people say he’s undersized, but I think his length (7'3" wingspan) and freakish athleticism (37" vertical leap, 32" standing vertical leap) and toughness make up for that and allow him to play undersized." (source)
Raptors Executive Vice-President of Basketball Operations, Ed Stefanski, has compared Acy to Reggie Evans. Bryan Colangelo did the same. Scouts like that comparison, but feel he's more impactful, garnering comparisons to Jason Maxiell and Kenneth Faried. If his ceiling is Faried? Oh boy. His spot on the Raptors would be solidified.
Even if Acy doesn't have the same upside as Faried, his influence should be a tremendous asset to the Raptors. His no-nonsense attitude will translate extremely well to practices and his in-game dunks and blocks are perfect to rev up the crowd and his teammates.
"I love to compete. When you think of my game, we’re in Canada now, so think of a hockey player on a basketball court. I’m going to make tough plays, compete, make sure I’m going hard in every practice, every drill."
When I first heard the Raptors drafted Quincy Acy, I barely knew who he was. I watched two Baylor games, and he wasn't particularly huge in either of them. I was worried, quite frankly. But the more I learn about him, the more video I see, the more interviews I read...the more I like him. He knows who he is, he knows what he has to do, and he's committed to doing those things. I hope he sticks around. How can you hate a guy whose motivation is feeding his son?
Oh, and he has a wicked beard.