Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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2015 Point Guard Justin Simon’s Stock is Exploding Out West
By JACK LeGWINSpecial to ZAGSBLOG
The junior class is starting to get some serious point guard talent with Justin Simon‘s play showing that he has now entered the fray.
The 6-foot-5 Temecula Valley (Cal.) point guard has recently garnered the interest of many high major schools since the summer, receiving offers from UCLA, Arizona and Colorado, and interest from many others.
“Everyone’s done a good job,” Simon said. “I don’t really have any that are above any others though.”
Simon says that one school in particular is working the hardest.
“Probably UCLA, they have come out and seen me play a few times,” Simon said. “They’ve done a really good job at recruiting me.”
Simon, a native of Inglewood, says that being from LA, there would be benefits to playing for Head Coach Steve Alford at UCLA.
“It would be big,” Simon said. “Coming from Los Angeles, in the city of Inglewood, I feel it would be big for the family to come and see me play.”
UCLA assistant coach David Grace watched Simon play last night in a 64-53 win over Murrieta Mesa.
Simon currently has offers from Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado, UCLA, Cal, Boston College, Creighton, New Mexico, Oregon, Penn State, San Diego State, USC and Washington.
But Simon has a school contacting him consistently right now that hasn’t offered, is high on his radar, and it resides in Lawrence, Kansas.
Simon says that Kansas Jayhawks assistant coach Kurtis Townsend has said that Kansas has made him a priority.
“He’s told me that I’m one of the main guys they’re trying to get right now,” Simon said. “They have a great atmosphere up there in Lawrence, I’ll be seen nationally. They have a great program. They’re actually supposed come out and see me play this Thursday.”
UConn is showing quite a bit of interest as well, and Simon says that UConn is a school that he will want to visit.
“Most definitely, I definitely want to visit UConn,” Simon said. “It’s all about relationships for me right now for me, I’m just trying to improve as a player.”
Simon’s AAU Coach at Game Point Elite Sunny Deen says that he thinks multiple schools will get visits, but he doesn’t know whether they will be official or unofficial.
“Kansas, UCLA, UConn, Washington, USC and Colorado are going to get visits,” Deen told SNY.tv by text. “New Mexico is possible too. Not sure who is getting officials vs. unofficials.”
A former football player, Simon says that all of his success in basketball, and the future that is ahead of him hasn’t quite hit him yet.
“Three years ago, I was a football player, I was all about football,” Simon said. “This basketball thing is crazy right now for me. I always played basketball, but this is crazy.”
Many schools are looking for point guards in the class of 2015, and Simon should be on the radar for the best of them.
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Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.