Breakdown: Justin Simon commits to Arizona

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Point guard hasn’t exactly been the deepest of positions in the class of 2015, with most of the top playmakers seeming more like scoring guards than point guards.

Last spring and summer, though, Justin Simon emerged as a potential top-tier prospect at the point guard position – and he followed that up with an impressive high school season to cement his standing as one of the premier point guards in the class.

His ascendance up the 2015 rankings brought plenty of schools calling, with Arizona, Oregon, Colorado, USC and others on him early. UCLA offered in January, while Louisville and Texas started coming on strong in the spring. Florida, Indiana and Memphis recently got involved. 

But Simon didn’t want to wait any longer to make a decision – he committed to Arizona on Tuesday.

This continues to cement the Wildcats as the school of choice for many West coast prospects. Sean Miller has owned recruiting out there for several years now, and landing both Simon and Tyler Dorsey confirms that fact. 

He is the sixth-highest ranked player off the board in 2015, joining Ben Simmons (LSU), Dorsey (Arizona), Charles Matthews (Kentucky), Luke Kennard (Duke) and Malachi Richardson (Syracuse) on the committed list.

The file on … Justin Simon

  • Height: 6-foot-5
  • Weight: 180 pounds
  • Position: Point guard
  • Ranking: No. 29 in 247Sports Composite for class of 2015
  • High School: Temecula Valley (Calif.)
  • AAU: Gamepoint Elite

How he fits at Arizona: Simon is one of the best point guards in the class of 2015, and he will have the opportunity to get minutes immediately for the Wildcats. Simon’s best attributes are his athleticism and defensive ability, and people that have watched him consistently say he will be able to be a versatile perimeter defender at the next level. Simon is also a quality passer who uses his size and length to create issues for opponents. Arizona does have Parker Jackson-Cartwright as a point guard from the class of 2014, but Simon has a higher ceiling and is more physically ready to handle the college game. Arizona will have plenty of other guards on the roster, with junior college guard Kadeem Allen and rising sophomore Gabe York capable of handling the ball.

What it means for Arizona’s class: Arizona now has commitments from two of the best guards in 2015, with Tyler Dorsey making his pledge back in January. Dorsey is more of a scoring guard who can also handle the ball, and I do think they can co-exist in the same backcourt at Arizona. Dorsey has said in the past that he would like to play the point guard position unless he grows a few inches, but playing alongside another big guard like Simon could create mismatches for opponents. Allen, York and Jackson-Cartwright will also battle for minutes in the backcourt, although incoming freshman Stanley Johnson could play the small forward spot (if he’s still in Tucson).  With the future backcourt in good hands, Sean Miller can now focus solely on the frontcourt for the rest of the class. Elite big man Ivan Rabb is the main target, with Chance Comanche, Chase Jeter and Ray Smith also among the potential recruits.

Which school loses the most: Louisville. Over the past few weeks, it seemed like the Cardinals were making a big push for Simon – and some people even thought they were taking the lead in his recruitment. The 247Sports Crystal Ball had the Cardinals as one of the co-leaders for Simon. Louisville is set with big men for the foreseeable future, but the Cardinals wanted another guard in the class of 2015. Quentin Snider is a solid point guard, but Louisville was pursuing Simon and Isaiah Briscoe from the junior class. With Simon out, expect the Cardinals to make an additional push for Briscoe. 

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