Just call him 'Mr. Intangible'

You more to find out about Desmond Simmons, the more he stands out as a Lorenzo Romar recruit. As a 6-foot-6 player out of Salesian High School in Richmond, Calif., he scored 31 points and 19 rebounds as a junior to help the Pride win their first ever CIF crown in 2008. It's fitting that Simmons is the leader of a team whose nickname is the Pride.

"It really ticks him off when he loses," Washington Head Coach Lorenzo Romar said Wednesday during the first day of the early signing period for Division-1 basketball. "This guy wins. It's tough to top that. That game was on the line. Great players reach great heights when it's needed the most, and he's one of those guys."

Simmons was the only player that signed early for the Huskies. Romar said that he was hoping to sign two, and is still hopeful to add at least one more player to their 2010 class. The Huskies have until Wednesday the 18th to add anyone else during the early signing period. The regular signing period for D1 prospects doesn't start until April.

Romar can't talk about unsigned players, but it's expected that one of their targets is Terrence Jones, a 6-foot-7, 210-pound forward from Jefferson High School in Portland. Jones is ranked as the No. 6 power forward in the country by Scout.com

He did say that they are definitely on the lookout for a taller player. "Doesn't mean he's a center," Romar added. "Kevin Durant isn't a center. He would be sweet, wouldn't he? He's not a center, but he's tall."

Simmons is the kind of player Romar has historically recruited. He's just a player who also happens to have a 6-foot-11 wingspan. "He's just a warrior, man," Romar said.

Scout and Rivals both have him pegged at different positions, so that means he's versatile and he's athletic. Romar's immediate comparison was made to his first commit ever to Washington - Bobby Jones. Jones was a do-everything recruit for Romar, finishing his career 21st in scoring (1226 points), fifth in steals (134) and ninth in blocked shots (59). At various times in his career, Jones was UW's yearly statistical leader in rebounding average, field goal percentage and 3-point percentage.

"You think of a guy that possesses many intangibles to impact winning, a guy who has a motor that is always running, and at a pretty high rpm rate at that," Romar said of Jones and why he compares Simmons to his first ever Husky recruit. "He's a consummate team guy. Championship teams have guys like that on their team."

"(Simmons) will be a fun guy to coach, because he is literally going to do anything you ask him to do. He will not complain. He's never talking about 'look at me'. He's got a great, great attitude and an unbelievable desire to do whatever it takes to help this team win. He's strong physically also. He's a pretty strong kid."

The Huskies first saw Simmons at the Hoops Jamboree in St. Louis during his sophomore year, a showcase for the top 100 underclassmen in America. Romar had found out about his interest in the Huskies, so the coaches made an effort to watch him as much as they could.

"We began recruiting him at that point," Romar said. "He really hustles, he really plays hard. That's what stood out to me. You're talking about someone that's a lot like Jon Brockman in his approach. He just gets after it. He doesn't back down. He might get popped in the nose and is right there in the mix. I doubt if he sits out very often in practice because he wants to play. He wants to get better. He'll be one of the first guys in the gym and one of the last guys to leave. If you tell him to work on something, he'll work on it.

"He's Mr. Intangible. When you have someone like that and you surround him with some talented basketball players, he plays an integral part in what you're trying to do."

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