After averaging just 7.5 minutes in 24 games this year, Arizona Wildcats freshman guard Justin Simon has decided he will transfer.
"I enjoyed my year at the University of Arizona," Simon said in a statement released by the school. "I would like to thank my coaching staff, teammates and the incredible fans here for all they did for me. My decision to transfer is centered on playing time. I would like a bigger role as a basketball player. Hopefully, I will be able to find this at my next program."
Simon came to Tucson as the consensus 34th-best recruit of the 2015 class; he just didn't see the floor as much as was expected. Even when Allonzo Trier went down for four weeks with a broken hand, we still didn't see Simon very much.
The freshman from Temecula ended up averaging 2.3 points and 1.2 rebounds per game. He did shoot 23-of-46 from the field.
"Justin did an outstanding job in our program this year," said head coach Sean Miller. "He was an excellent student and teammate while representing our program in a first-class manner at all times. I look forward to helping him in any way I can as he transitions to another university to reach his goals."
People could compare this to Gabe York's freshman campaign, and York's decision to stay at Arizona. Back in the 2012-13 season, York played a total of 87 minutes. Simon got 180 this year.
This decision probably also has something to do with the incoming recruiting class that Sean Miller has. You could argue that Kobi Simmons, Rawle Alkins and Terrance Ferguson would all keep Simon down towards the bottom of the depth chart again in his sophomore campaign.
Wherever he decides to go, Simon will have three years of eligibility remaining. He's shown that he could be a potentially great player at the D-1 level. It's just that the current roster structure at Arizona is not set up for his success in the short term.