The Wolverine

June/July 2017

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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JUNE/JULY 2017 THE WOLVERINE 43 2017 BASKETBALL RECRUITING ISSUE screen-heavy offense, which has been Michigan's attack of choice the last few years. He's an elite passer and can really score it, as well, describing himself as a "playmaker." "I'd like to think of myself as a bal- anced point guard, a scorer," he said. "I attack the paint and make plays for my teammates. I'm just a point guard trying to do whatever it takes to win, really … I just want to win. "I've got one year left and I want to win at a high level, get to the NCAA Tournament and do the best we can do." Simmons scored 20 or more points in 20 games and handed out seven or more assists in 40 of his 66 contests at Ohio U. He averaged 15.5 points per game as a redshirt sophomore, shooting 41.0 percent from long range and dishing out 7.9 assists, while he averaged 15.9 points and 6.5 assists per contest last year, though his game had to change during the last half of last season. Ohio had the returning league MVP, Antonio Campbell, suf- fer a broken bone in his foot and miss the last 16 games. "From that point on he was more scorer than distributor. His ability to get to the rim was more important at that point," the Athens Messenger's Jason Arkley said. "Over the last 10 games or so he averaged 20 a game. "Jaaron is a drive-and-dish guy … a little bit mechanical in that regard, but a good passer, makes some dynamic plays that way. He can find people. He's solid and usually fundamentally sound. He might miss some shots early in the game, but he'll make them with the game on the line." He'll compete with another Ohioan, Xavier Simpson, at point guard, and took notice of how the coaches used Trey Burke in the offense a few years back. He and Burke both played for the All-Ohio Red AAU program. "Trey was there, older than me," Simmons said. "He's a great player, so I watched him play all the time. I definitely looked at what they did with him. He was obviously a star for his two years there." More than anything, Simmons sees the opportunity to win with a great team around him. He knows of Simpson — though he doesn't know him personally — and he's only been guaranteed a chance to earn playing time, not a starting job. This will be his third school — Sim- mons started his career at Houston — but he has no regrets. "I didn't go into college saying I was going to go to three schools," he said. "I went into college trying to make the best out of every situation presented to me. I learned a lot of things every place I've been at. "And it's nothing against the school I'm at now; it's just the position I felt was best for me. It just kind of worked out this way … me as a competitor and a point guard, I want to win at a high level. Michigan has the pieces to be able to do that." ❏ Simmons "… Me as a competitor and a point guard, I want to win at a high level. Michigan has the pieces to be able to do that." Simmons — a Rivals.com three-star prospect that originally committed to the University of Houston coming out of the prep ranks — scored 20 or more points in 20 games and handed out seven or more assists in 40 of his 66 contests at Ohio U. PHOTO COURTESY OHIO ATHLETICS

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