Simon gives UA versatile talent

Justin Simon is one of the best all-around players in 2015. Here's an in-depth evaluation looking at what Arizona is getting in the versatile prospect.

Arizona's newest commitment, 6-foot-5, 180-pound Temecula (Calif.) Valley's Justin Simon, is one of the most versatile prospects in 2015.

At Scout.com, we don't have a combo guard label, and with positional roles changing so rapidly it can often lead to internal debates about what a kid should be listed as.

In Simon's case, offensively he's a combo guard all the way; he has the unselfishness, vision and creating ability of a one, but the size, handle, body control, slashing and midrange pull-up ability of a two or three.

Defensively, with his lateral quickness and 6-foot-11 wingspan, Simon will be able to defend all three perimeter positions.

Ultimately we feel that if Simon continues to develop at the same rate and hits his ceiling that he'll play on the ball professionally, but in college his versatility will allow him to play wherever is needed on and off the ball.

What is maybe most exciting about Simon is that he's still just scratching the surface on his development curve, both physically and skill wise, yet he's made vast improvement as a player over the last year.

In fact, not many prospects on the West Coast have made the ridiculous progress that Simon has over that same time period. He was much more prospect than player a year ago and now he's definitely more player than prospect, yet with no real caps physically or skill-wise.

Heading into his junior season his biggest concern was his shooting but he really improved from midrange throughout the year and while he needs to get better from three, he's made strides there as well.

Given the facts that his mechanics aren't broken, that he's a hard worker and he's already made so much strides as a shooter, Simon should be able to keep developing his jumper over the coming months and years.

Besides his midrange pull-up - a shot that Simon usually hits at a pretty good percentage - Simon is also capable of hitting runners and floaters, areas he's improved at over the last year.

Simon's body control is one of his most impressive attributes. After one dribble from the perimeter, he's always two long strides away from the rim, can jump off either leg and can finish with both hands.

As he's slowly gotten stronger, he's become a better athlete and his lanky frame will allow him to continue to put on strength over the coming years. Given the fact that he's already a good athlete and is improving yet has so much physical upside, it's safe to assume he'll only keep improving athletically as he gets stronger.

Offensively Simon usually does a good job of fitting in as he's needed. He'll sometimes play the role of distributor and focus on creating for others and if his team needs points, he'll put the ball on the ground and get to the basket whenever he wants, while also picking his spots from midrange.

On defense Simon will have to keep developing fundamentally and learn Sean Miller's defensive principles, but ultimately he should be able to successfully defend three perimeter positions. His size, length, quickness and approach to defense are all very impressive for a high school player.

Simon currently sits at 16th nationally in 2015 due to his long list of physical tools and skills with the upside to only keep developing across the board. He's a big pickup for Arizona and should find a role early into his UA career.


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