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.
Kentucky’s Calipari checks in on 2018 forward Simi Shittu
Kentucky coach John Calipari checked in Tuesday on Simi Shittu, the 6-foot-10, 225-pound forward from Vermont Academy and the CIA Bounce AAU program.
Calipari called Vermont Academy coach Alex Popp as well as Shittu’s mother.
“Calipari was excited that Simi is just 17 years old,” Popp said. “He was also excited to hear that Simi is a gym rat. He mentioned that Simi is very fortunate to be playing the game of basketball in this era. Cal said the trend right now is positionless basketball and that’s what Simi is.
“I personally think Simi is unique because he makes the positionless thing work on offense and defense. Usually young players try the positionless deal because it’s popular, but they lose momentum because they get exposed on defense. Simi thrives on both ends of the floor in this role. That’s why I think he is a top 3 player in the country.”
Simi Shittu ’18 Junior Season Highlights 2016-17 from Vermont Academy Boys Basketball on Vimeo.
A first-team All-Peach Jam selection, Shittu previously told ZAGSBLOG he hopes to cut his list down to “five or 10” sometime after AAU season, possibly in August.
“I’m just taking it day by day,” he said recently.
Popp said North Carolina, Oregon, Vanderbilt, Baylor, Notre Dame, Arizona and UConn are “working the hardest on Simi.”
Kentucky’s Kenny Payne is expected to watch Shittu this weekend at the CIA Bounce event called “The Classic” in Brampton, Ontario.
Shittu previously said getting offers from Kenucky and Duke “would be nice, that’s up to them really.”
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.