Scout's Look: Justin Simon

Justin Simon will bring plenty of versatility to Arizona next season. Read on to see what Scout.com's Josh Gershon has to say about Simon's strengths, what fans can expect, and more.

Wolfeboro (N.H.) Brewster Academy five-star guard Justin Simon was Arizona's first commit for 2015 and he may be the most versatile as well.

Simon brings head coach Sean Miller a player that can be a long term asset and truly develop into a great college player that can play three positions.

Scout.com's Josh Gershon has covered Simon for many years and sees plenty of potential.

“Justin is a very good player,” Gershon said. “He’s more of a jack of all trades. He can pass, defend and finish around the rim pretty well. His length gives him an advantage on the defensive end, he is disruptive in the passing lanes and he can defend multiple spots.

“He brings a lot to Arizona, and it will be interesting to see how Miller uses him next season. Simon has the potential to be a good college player, but his growth will be a slow and steady process.”

It is clear that the 6-foot-5, 180-pound guard possesses immense talent, but can he be the starting point guard from day one?

“I don’t think he absolutely needs to,” Gershon said. “The nice thing about Justin Simon is that you can put him on the floor in a different position and he can excel.

“Simon will more than likely suit up for Arizona for multiple seasons, like I said earlier his growth will be a steady process. There’s nothing wrong with him coming off the bench and learning behind more experienced players.

“I think Stanley Johnson, Aaron Gordon and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson have spoiled a lot of fans in Tucson and they think every five-star is an automatic collegiate star and that’s not the case.

"There are many times that five-star recruits turn out like Kaleb Tarczewski or Brandon Ashley and they have extended college careers. They're still good players. Take Solomon Hill for example, who was a talented five-star prospect that kept improving.”

After this season, senior point guard T.J. McConnell will leave the program. Parker Jackson-Cartwright is expected to see a significant minutes increase and get a lot of reps at the lead guard position. Gershon sees this as a perfect opportunity for Simon.

“Parker and Justin are two players that can really respond well to coaching,” Gershon explained. “They will help each other become better everyday.

“I know I said Simon doesn’t need to start from day one, but that doesn’t mean he can’t. PJC is going to have to work just as hard to prove himself, and that battle everyday in practice will help them both tremendously.”

With all the talent coming in, there is bound to be an enormous amount of hype surrounding these four talented freshman, but Gershon feels this team can be at it’s best down the road rather than right away.

“There is a lot of talent coming in, but they’re young prospects that aren’t proven,” Gershon said. “The college game is different and it takes time to find your stride. Some players do it more quickly than others, but it is truly a process.

“If each player takes the time to develop at Arizona, there’s a strong chance that their best years come in the following seasons, but not next year.”


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