The train is not slowing down for Sean Miller out west anytime as Arizona’s head coach as locked up yet another top 25 recruit, this time landing a commitment from Justin Simon, according to a report from Scout.com.
Simon is the No. 23 recruit in the country, according to Rivals. He joins fellow five-star guard Tyler Dorsey in Arizona’s 2015 recruiting class, meaning that Miller has locked up commitments from two of the best guards in a class that doesn’t have much guard depth.
Simon is a 6-foot-5 off-guard from Temecula, CA. He plays his AAU ball with Gamepoint Elite.
“Simon is a versatile backcourt player with length who thrives in transition and on the defensive end of the court,” wrote Eric Bossi, a recruiting analyst for Rivals. “Some project him as a point guard but Rivals.com likes him more as a versatile utility guard who plays all around the perimeter. He has good size, handles and passes well and is a good defender. Simon must continue to improve his jump shot.”
Miller has built a pipeline into California, as Dorsey, Simon, Aaron Gordon, and 2014 freshmen Stanley Johnson, who ranks top five nationally, and four-star point guard Parker Jackson-Cartwright are all products of California.
The 6-foot-3 guard averaged 10.3 points per game, while shooting 42 percent from three, as a freshman. He, along with Malcolm Hill and Michael Thorne Jr., is one of three returning players who averaged double figures last season.
This could prove to be a make-or-break year for John Groce, who enters his fifth season at the helm. He guided the Illini to an NCAA Tournament in his first season, but hasn’t been back since.
The key for the Illini is health. Abrams gives them experience and leadership, but it won’t be a surprise if there’s some rust in his game after spending the past two seasons on the sideline. Having a healthy Coleman-Lands will help stabilize the backcourt, while Hill, an all-conference caliber forward, and Thorne anchor the frontcourt.
Like Alkins, Jones was a sought-after scorer. The 6-foot-4 two-guard was rated No. 69 overall in the Class of 2016 by Rivals. He picked Indiana over offers from Cal, Cincinnati, Georgetown and more than a dozen other high-major programs.
Jeter, the 6-foot-10, played in a reserve role as a freshman, averaging 1.9 points and 1.9 rebounds per game last season. He will be part of a loaded frontline that includes heralded freshmen Harry Giles and Marques Bolden, as well as redshirt senior Amile Jefferson, who returns to the lineup following a foot injury.
The greatest player in Auburn program history will honored with a statue outside of the team’s home arena.
The university announced that Charles Barkley, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer, will be the fourth athlete to be given a statue, joining Heisman Trophy winners Bo Jackson, Pat Sullivan and Cam Newton.
“It just means a great deal to me,” Barkley said in a statement. “Being a kid from Alabama, going to Auburn. I think everybody knows what Auburn means to me. It’s going to be pretty cool.”
Barkley, currently working as an analyst for TNT, was the SEC Player of the Year in 1984, as well as a second team All-American. He averaged 14.1 points and 9.6 rebounds per game in 84 appearances for the Tigers.