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.
Head coaches from UNC, UConn and Nebraska visit Class of ’23 Roselle Catholic guard Simeon Wilcher
By ADAM ZAGORIA
Since the fall recruiting period began Sept. 9, Class of 2023 guard Simeon Wilcher of Roselle (N.J.) Catholic and the NY Rens has hosted a slew of college coaches.
UNC head coach Hubert Davis, UConn head man Danny Hurley and Nebraska head coach Fred Hoiberg are the head coaches who have been in attendance at open gyms for the 6-foot-5 Wilcher, who is ranked the No. 2 combo guard in his class per 247Sports.com and recently turned down a high-six-figure offer from the new Overtime Elite League.
UNC’s Davis and assistant Jeff Lebo were in on Tuesday, when they also visited with Gill St. Bernard’s forward Mackenzie Mgbako.
“It was actually great talking to Hubert,” Sergio Wilcher, Simeon’s father, said by phone. “First of all, you have the North Carolina head coach coming to see your kid, and regardless of what else you’re talking about it’s an amazing thing.
“They love his size, his style of play, the way he plays. We talked about the fit and what they do at North Carolina. He really just spent time getting to know myself, my wife and getting to know Simeon. We spent a lot of time just talking, it wasn’t even really a whole lot about basketball.
“I’ve had these conversations before and very rarely have they gone in that direction where he spent a lot of time talking to my wife. And Coach Lebo was there, too, which was great. It was good.”
C.J. Wilcher, Simeon’s older brother, is now at Nebraska so there’s a family connection there. Simeon will visit Nebraska Oct. 1-3.
“The message is consistently the same because of the type of player that Simeon is,” Sergio said. “He has great positional size, he defends, he facilitates. He can shoot the ball.”
On the first day coaches were allowed in to see prospects, UConn’s Hurley and Kimani Young were in to see Wilcher and his teammate Akil Watson. UConn, of course, has a handful of New Jersey players on its current roster, including former Patrick School standouts Adama Sanogo and Samson Johnson and former Roselle Catholic guard Corey Floyd Jr., who reclassified from 2022 to ’21. Now they are keying in on Wilcher.
“Oh, they love him,” Sergio said. “I’ve known Danny, it’s a relationship thing. We talk about the basketball thing but I know those guys. Kimani’s known Simeon since he was probably 6 years old. So that’s a lot of relationship. We have a great relationship with them and they understand what type of basketball we want to play and the environment we want him in and they’re going to develop it.”
Meantime, Wilcher is planning visits to several schools in the coming weeks, including Oregon, Maryland and Syracuse, where he recently visited for their Elite Camp.
“Sim grew up wanting to go to Oregon because my oldest two sons played football,” Sergio said. “….Everybody had a college team, Simeon was just always attracted to Oregon. And then as he got older, he realized Oregon has all the cool stuff.
“I spoke to Dana [Altman], we’re going to go out there. We haven’t picked a date yet, but we’re going to visit Oregon.”
Other visits are on tap, as well.
“We’re going drive down to Maryland, too, we’re going to drive up to Syracuse, too,” he said.
For now, those schools are heaviest in the mix, but Wilcher is open to others as well.
“He has his net spread wide,” Sergio said. “There’s no one that’s going to be he’s trending this way or that way.”
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Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, 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.