Simon impressed on visit, planning others

Four-star guard Justin Simon has seen his stock increase as of late. Read on as his AAU coach discusses a recent visit to Arizona, the other schools involved, and more.

Arizona hosted a handful of visitors this past weekend and 6-foot-4, 180-pound Temecula (Calif.) Valley point guard Justin Simon was one of them.

According to Sunny Deen, who coaches Simon on the Gamepoint AAU squad, Arizona did a good job of impressing Simon throughout the visit.

"The visit was great," Deen said. "Coach Stoudamire hosted us. Coach Miller was a bit busy because he had Kameron Chatman there, but we got a tour, saw the Richard Jefferson facility, saw the campus, where the students live, Bear Down Gym and all the historic stuff.

"We got to watch practice and it was intense. It was great. It was eye-opening for Justin and a look at how hard the high level guys go and it was awesome."

The most impressive aspect of the visit was being able to watch Simon's possible future head coach in action.

"The biggest thing that stood out for us was that Sean Miller was actually out there on the floor breaking a sweat with his guys," Deen said.

"From every detail to everything going on, he is absolutely involved with the practice, dropping a sweat with the guys up and down the floor. There is no margin for error. Guys make mistakes, but he just wants everyone playing hard and he coaches hard."

Arizona is recruiting Simon with the belief that he would be able to come in and be used in a variety of ways.

"Right now they love Justin because he is a jack of all trades," Deen said. "He can play some point, he can play off the ball and he can defend threes. He is 6-5 with a 6-11 wingspan.

"He is an old school guard and they love the fact that he can come in and fill holes and be all over the floor like a utility-type guard."

Not many people have watched Simon play as much as Deen and the coach believes that Simon's future is at the one.

"He runs the show for us," he said. "He gets everyone involved. He is a really unselfish player and a really good rebounder. I think he would be a great point guard. He definitely needs some tutelage and development, but he is a real Rondo type guard with a bigger body."

Arizona is not the only school recruiting Simon, as the 2015 four-star has seen his stock really pick up lately.

"As of late, besides Arizona, UCLA has gotten involved, Colorado, Washington has been by twice in the last week as well as New Mexico, SDSU and there are some schools from back east," Deen said.

"Missouri is involved, Villanova is involved, and Creighton is involved, so his recruitment is picking up in places he never thought."

Although it seems to be a foregone conclusion that Simon will play at a major school at the next level, Deen says that Simon is happy for each offer that comes along.

"We're definitely grateful for the opportunity and some high majors are coming in and getting involved with him, but he is one of those kids that is enjoying the process," he said.

"If the bigger boys get involved that would be great, but he is just as grateful and appreciative when mid-majors get involved too. He doesn't really look at it like that. He is looking for the right fit."

Simon has no intention of making a decision any time soon and will visit numerous schools before his junior season begins.

"He is definitely taking his time," Deen said. "He just transferred high schools, so his biggest thing right now is getting acclimated to his new school and that is really the number one focus on his mind as well as building relationships with the head coaches that are recruiting him.

"He plans to take a few more unofficial visits before his season starts. He will be at UCLA this weekend. At the end of the month he is going to see Penn State and in November he is going to see Boston College."

So what will Simon's decision come down to?

"When he goes on his visits, it is going to come down to style of play," Deen said. "He wants to play on a team that is up tempo and gives the guards freedom. The atmosphere also. He wants to go to a school where the town shuts down when they play and the place is packed."


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