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.
Arizona coach Sean Miller continued to clean up on the West Coast by landing Justin Simon, a 6-foot-5, 185-pound combo guard out of Temecula Valley (CA).
A four-star recruit ranked No. 23 by Rivals and No. 45 by ESPN, Simon joins five-star point guard Tyler Dorsey of Bellflower (CA) St. John Bosco in Arizona’s 2015 recruiting class and gives them a versatile and tall backcourt for the future. Dorsey is also 6-4.
Both Simon and Dorsey were invited to participate in the 2014 USA Basketball Men’s U18 National Team training camp next month in Colorado Springs, Colo.
“It came down to Arizona, Kansas, Louisville, Santa Clara, Washington, Texas and New Mexico,” Ken Simon, Justin’s father, told SNY.tv. “All those schools recruited him very well and had a plan for him. The reason why Justin chose Arizona was the coaching staff and the winning atmosphere.”
Ken said he believes Justin can develop the way outgoing Arizona guard Nick Johnson did, and that they are similar players.
“His jumps shot needs some work,” Ken said. “We have total confidence that he can develop his jump shot to get him to that next stage. He’s a consistent jump shot away from being great.”
Ken emphasized that Miller and assistant Damon Stoudemire “recruited him the right way” and that he can play either guard position.
“Justin’s a guard, he can play anywhere on the floor, any one of those guard spots,” Ken said. “It will be very hard for Coach Miller to keep him off the floor.”
He also said his son is a natural leader who other players — both those at Arizona and incoming recruits — will want to play with.
“Justin is one of the kids that everybody gravitates too,” Ken said. “I believe Tyler will fall in the same category and want to play with Justin. He’s a winner, he’s unselfish and he’s a leader. He gets along with everybody.
“A lot of kids are going to see where he ends up and they’re going to want to go there.” Follow Adam Zagoria on TwitterAnd like ZAGS on Facebook
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.