Cats getting involved with NoCal player

Diamon Simpson picked the right time to start playing well. With a number of big-time coaches in attendance, the 6-7 forward outplayed teammate Davon Jefferson. Simpson showed great athleticism and hustle.

We were in the Las Vegas gym last month to watch Davon Jefferson, presumably the coaches were as well. Both Lute Olson and Washington's Lorenzo Romar were on hand to see Simpson put on a show. At the same time Jefferson was struggling.

Simpson must have done something to impress Olson and Romar because he's listing the Huskies along with USC, Pepperdine, Dayton and, all of the sudden, Arizona.

"Arizona just jumped in the mix," Simpson said.

The Cats have not offered, but they are showing a lot of interest. Simpson has spoken a few times in recent weeks to Wildcat assistant Rodney Tention and is now exploring what the Wildcats have to offer.

"I like the program a lot," Simpson said of the Wildcats. "I am real interested."

The question remains, if he gets an offer would the Wildcats jump to the front of his list?

"They would move up," Simpson said. "They would not necessarily move up to the very front because they just got involved."

Since Vegas, Simpson has been hearing from some new schools. A handful of eastern schools have tried to get involved, with Virginia Tech and Penn State doing the best job.

The schools in his top five seem to have a number of things in common. Simpson said that they all have coaches he likes and respects and all have room for him to contribute in the near future.

All of his schools are in very different locales. He does not feel that climate and distance are a very big deal. What he would like his future school to have is either a good business school or a good communications department.

"I would like to be a sports anchor on TV.," he said of his career path away from basketball.

Simpson plays power forward in high school, but has the frame and quickness of a small forward. He spent the summer working on his perimeter game, because he knows come fall he'll be back on the blocks.

"I say I'm a three and a half," Simpson said when asked if he was a three or a four.

He takes his tests next month and will try to make all of his visits in October. His grades are good and he does not worry about getting a qualifying test score.

CAT TRACKS ANALYSIS: Simpson seems to have impressed the Cats. He has slowly climbed up the charts all summer long. His stock is definitely on the rise. He looks to be a fall back recruit for the Wildcats, but they've had to find players in a variety of places the past few years.


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