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What to Expect from Arizona Freshman Kobi Simmons

Incoming Arizona freshman Kobi Simmons is extremely talented, but what can Sean Miller’s Arizona team expect from the young player?

High School Basketball: McDonald's All-American Portraits Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Kobi Simmons, an uber-athletic point guard out of Georgia, signed his letter of intent with the Arizona Wildcats, after getting offers from schools such as Ohio State, Kentucky, and others. So why is Sean Miller, the head coach at Arizona, so excited about this incoming freshman?

For starters, Simmons is a 6-5 point guard. You do not see many of those every day. His length is perfect for the modern game, as he can realistically guard anyone from the point guard to the small forward position. Secondly, he’s just an insanely athletic player. He has the bounce to play above the rim, and the quickness to get by just about anybody on the court. Watch this gif, and look at how he’s able to use his slight hesitation to get the defender on his heels, and then watch as Simmons proceeds to blow right by him.

Not only does he use his great quickness to just totally disregard his man and get to the hoop, he only takes one dribble inside the 3-point line as he does this, and he uses his length and leaping ability to carry his body all the way to the hoop to finish the layup. He also finishes off the wrong foot, as he jumps off his left where he should jump off his right. Not only does this add a degree of difficulty to his layup, it can also cause lots of problems for defenders, as they simply expect for the offensive player to take another step before they have to defend the shot. By going off the wrong foot, an offensive player can explode up to the rim before the defender has prepped himself to go up and block the shot. Steve Nash used to do it all the time, and Kobi Simmons is quite adept at it, as you can see here:

Simmons also has a pretty nice ability to make threes, but he is not exactly a shooter. He is reliable when left open, but he will not really look to create his own shot ever, and he gets most of his points in the paint.

That, unfortunately, is where his game starts to show some holes, however. Simmons, as I already stated, is pretty much quicker than everyone else on the court, and he has no problem getting to the hoop. His problems, however, arise once he is in the paint. At 6-5 and 160 pounds, Simmons has quite a frail frame. He has a lot of difficulty finishing through contact, and will often settle for floaters instead of getting closer to the hoop and possibly getting some and-1 opportunities. This has not been a problem for Simmons yet, but as he faces bigger and better competition, shots just this one below just won’t be able to get it done.

The centers that Simmons will face in the college game will be stronger and faster than the one in that gif, and Simmons will have to adapt quickly to get his crafty finishes off. Simmons also has a bit of a low release on his jump shot, as you can see here:

It is not too much of an issue, as he is still quite effective with his shot, and he’s an excellent free throw shooter, but he will probably have to raise his release point if he wants to succeed in the NBA.

All in all, Kobi Simmons is an excellent player. What can Arizona expect from him? Honestly, it is very hard to tell. Simmons is a very gifted scorer, but the ways in which he scores are going to be very hard to translate to the college level. By everything I’ve seen, Simmons is a very hard worker, and will almost assuredly be a fantastic player at Arizona, but I can definitely see him staying for 2 years to really hone his game and become even more efficient at Arizona. Congratulations to the Wildcats fans, though. Y’all got a good one in Kobi.