Bloomington, Ind. – There's something in particular that IU Coach Kelvin Sampson likes about Stan Simpson.
Sure, there's the 6-9, 220-pound frame any college coach would covet. He combines that size with the sort of athleticism that makes him a dominant defensive presence on the interior. It all adds up to a player who's Scout.com's 22nd-ranked center nationally, someone who most analysts consider to be a rapidly blossoming talent with a very bright future.
But that's not all that the Hoosier coach likes about Simpson, who landed an IU offer about a month ago.
"He said he likes tough Chicago kids," Simpson said.
Sampson has made that pretty apparent in his time at the helm of the IU program. In his first recruiting class, he signed three players with Chicago Public League roots – JaMarcus Ellis, Brandon McGee and DeAndre Thomas. The Hoosiers' interest in Simpson suggests it's a trend that is likely to continue.
Simpson will play for one of the Chicago Public League's heavyweights this season – Simeon H.S. He transferred there in the off-season after starting his prep career at Leo H.S., and he's excited about his prospects at his newfound prep home.
"I think I'm going to get a good education there, and it's a great program," Simpson said.
Once the 2007-08 prep season comes to a close, Simpson will turn his attention to a major Division I basketball future. He still appears to be a long way from making a college choice, but he said Indiana, Minnesota, Arkansas and Kansas State have surfaced as his favorites.
Sampson has made an impression on Simpson, and it appears the Hoosiers will be in a position to be a major player in the recruiting battle for this Chicago standout.
"Indiana is one of my top schools right now," Simpson said. "They've been after me since my sophomore year of high school, so they've been showing a great deal of interest."
While Indiana has been showing interest, Simpson has been showing promise. He recently impressed on-lookers with his performance at the LeBron James Skills Camp, where he had a chance to go up against the likes of Ed Davis (ranked No. 2 in the '08 class by Scout.com) and DeMarcus Cousins (ranked No. 4 in the '09 class by Scout.com).
"The exposure was really good because I played against some of the top players in the country," Simpson said. "I knew it would be a good camp for me because there were some good players there and a lot of good coaches also."
Sampson was among those coaches in attendance and he's singled out Simpson as potentially the latest Chicagoland product to be Bloomington-bound. Simpson admits that's an enticing possibility.
"I think he's made a real effort to get kids from the area, giving them a chance to play on a high level, the national scene, in the Big Ten," Simpson said. "I think he has made a real good effort to get Chicago kids."
IU Finds Plenty to Like About Simpson
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