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Arizona basketball: Kobi Simmons gets his swagger back against ASU

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After struggling last week, Simmons bounced back with a 13-point game against ASU

Arizona State v Arizona Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Of the trio of freshmen the Arizona Wildcats have, Kobi Simmons is the one most victimized by “peaks and valleys” as Sean Miller calls them.

The freshman’s performance will be up one week, but down another.

Last week, Simmons was in a so-called “valley.”

In the pair of games against Utah and Colorado, Simmons combined for 11 points on 4 of 13 shooting, while having twice as many turnovers (six) as assists (three).

“Kobi Simmons was in a rut in the last two games,” Miller said Thursday after Arizona beat ASU. “He didn’t shoot the ball well. He lost a little confidence.”

Of course, that was just one week after Simmons averaged 16.5 points per game against the Bay Area schools.

Miller said last week even his best freshmen like Aaron Gordon, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, and Stanley Johnson lost their confidence at times, and usually it’s only a matter of time before it comes back.

“As much as you can lose it quickly, you can get it back,” Miller said.

Sure enough, that was the case for Simmons.

The 6-foot-5 guard dropped 13 points on 5 of 9 shooting against ASU on Thursday, along with five assists, and four rebounds in the Wildcats’ 91-75 win.

He also knocked down a trio of 3s.

Miller credited Simmons’ resurgence to a “great week of practice.”

“It was nice to see him make some shots,” Miller said. “He really can shoot the ball. He worked hard for four days.”

Given the natural inconsistency of freshmen, Simmons will likely hit another “valley” at some point this season but, for now, he appears to out of the “rut” he was in just a short week ago.

“I Thinkkk I Got Myyy Swagggaaaaa Back,” he tweeted.


You can follow this author on Twitter at @RKelapire