The Wolverine

June-July 2017

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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42 THE WOLVERINE JUNE/JULY 2017 2017 BASKETBALL RECRUITING ISSUE BY CHRIS BALAS M ichigan added a poten‑ tially huge piece to its 2017‑18 team in proven point guard Jaaron Sim‑ mons, a graduate transfer from Ohio University. Simmons had originally declared for the NBA Draft, but didn't receive an invitation to the NBA Draft Combine. The first‑team All‑Mid‑American Conference standout was still talking with U‑M head coach John Beilein about how he'd proceed in early May, though he was expected to join the team this summer. One thing he was certain about, though — his decision. Dayton, Kansas, Ohio State and others were looking at him before he chose the Wolverines, and he even considered returning to Ohio U. "For sure [I was thinking about that]," he said." But the Michigan coaching staff … they've got a good coaching staff, good history, tradi‑ tion. Coach Beilein, he's proven. "They've just got a lot of good pieces for a point guard to play with. With the potential of [big men] D.J. [Wilson] and Moe [Wagner] coming back and the guys that are already set to come back, that's a lot of good pieces around me." Simmons did everything a prep would do on his official visit the weekend of April 15, including hang‑ ing with the players on the Michigan team. He meshed well with them, he said, and toured the facilities, met with analysts and counselors, and watched some of the spring football game. His good friend, Mike McCray, is a fifth‑year senior linebacker on the football team. "Mike McCray is like family, re‑ ally my God brother," he said. "His mom is my God mom, so we're really close." Simmons is outstanding in a ball IMMEDIATE HELP Ohio U. Point Guard Transfer Jaaron Simmons Will Add Competition At His Position Simmons ranked second nationally with 275 assists in 2015-16, but he had to become more of a scorer this past year and responded by averaging 15.9 points, 6.5 assists and 3.5 rebounds per game. PHOTO COURTESY OHIO ATHLETICS

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