Hoops recruiting: Simon says

Detroit Community High School combo guard Chase Simon (6-foot-6, 185 pounds) is one to watch as the class of 2007 recruiting year progresses. Simon has scholarship offers from six schools, including "mid-major" power Xavier. Major-conference programs are taking notice as well.

Heading into his junior year at Detroit Community High School, Chase Simon thought he was going to end up verbally committing to Michigan State's basketball program, but an offer never materialized for the 6-foot-6, 185-pound combo guard.

Simon, though, has received six Division I scholarship offers, and several major-conference programs are keeping a close eye on his development this summer heading into his senior year.

"I thought (Michigan State) was going to be the school I was going to go to going into my junior year because they recruited me really hard after the summer," Simon said in a telephone interview last week. "I was going up there for the… Michigan State reunion where all the old guys came up there to play open gym. I came up there for them. I always came up there. I used to talk to the coaches all the time, just to talk to them. I talked to (head coach Tom) Izzo. I called Izzo. He used to call me. I thought I was going to actually go there. But they never offered and they got a couple of commitments for the guard spots."

The Spartans have received verbal commitments for the class of 2007 from guards Durrell Summers (Redford, Mich.), Chris Allen (Norcross, Ga.) and Kalin Lucas (Orchard Lake, Mich.).

Simon has scholarship offers from Oakland, Dayton, St. Bonaventure, Xavier, St. Louis and Wisconsin-Green Bay. He is also receiving interest from Iowa, Michigan, Wisconsin, Penn State, Purdue, Temple and Fordham.

Among the schools that have tendered him, Simon said Dayton and Xavier could be considered favorites since they have been recruiting him the longest, but he considers his recruitment open to all suitors. Of the schools showing interest in him, he is most interested in Michigan because of its proximity to his home. However, he did not sound optimistic that the Wolverines would offer him after receiving a commitment from point guard Kelvin Grady (East Grand Rapids, Mich.).

He said he did not grow up a Michigan fan, but "I grew into one as I thought about staying at home and having my family come see me. Then I thought about it. It is good to have family (nearby), to play close to home, be a couple hours away. Michigan is only 30 minutes away from my house, so that would be even better."

Simon has been receiving an increasing amount of interest from Wisconsin; he said he has been told by the Badgers' coaching staff that he made a favorable impression on them at AAU events this spring.

"All the assistants saw me play and they are just waiting for Bo Ryan to see me play," Simon said. "They talked about me several times; that he wanted to get familiar with me so he could take it to the next level."

"But I don't think they saw me at my best," Simon quickly added, "because… I had a slow start in AAU and I finished real good in the last two, three tournaments with having all-tournament honors in both tournaments. They didn't see that part; they didn't see me play then."

Simon plays AAU ball for the Michigan Mustangs.

"There was a change in coaches and I opened up my game a little bit more and I felt more comfortable under the coaches of AAU," he said.

"I'm looking to have a big summer with summer league with my high school team and finish out strong in AAU, getting stronger and playing more aggressive and I think I'll be all right," Simon said.

Simon is considering making unofficial visits at Wisconsin, Iowa, Dayton and Fordham, among others, this summer, and he is beginning to think about possible official visits for the fall. He said he has talked to UW's coaching staff about an official visit, which would occur if the Badgers were going to offer him a scholarship.

"Maybe Wisconsin for an official," Simon said. "I might take an official to Xavier cause they have recruited me the longest."

Simon played varsity basketball at Detroit Renaissance as a freshman, then transferred to Detroit Community, where he was the starting point guard as a 6-2 sophomore on a team that reached the state quarterfinals. He grew three inches before his junior season and has grown an inch since.

"We were supposed to have a real good season (last year) but we finished 18-6 and lost in the… semifinals at regionals," Simon said. "And that was a disappointing loss, but we beat some real good teams this year too like country powerhouses like (Detroit) Country Day, Pershing (and) Southeastern."

Simon said he averaged "18.5 points, 7.6 rebounds and 8.8 assists" per game as a junior last season. "I can get that rock to our wings and post players," he said, regarding his high assist total.

Simon feels he could play the point or a wing position in college.

"I think I'll be best at whatever they need me at because I'm a combo, but when you put me in a position to play in a system I think I can play it well," he said. "It (doesn't) matter to me. I'll play the 1 or 2 in college."

Simon is a three-star prospect according to Scout.com.

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