Rumors have been swirling around the coveted 5-star combo guard Kobi Simmons, ranked 18th in the nation, 3rd at his position. He released his final three schools earlier this week, which included Ohio State, Kentucky and now the Arizona Wildcats. UNLV was in his previous top three, but the firing of head coach Dave Rice changed things quite a bit. Before releasing his top three, he did note that Arizona had still been in his recruitment and that they were not out of the hunt.
— Shoogs (@JordanKobi) January 14, 2016
I Will Be Committing Saturday On Espn @ 6 P.M. Everyone Tune In! Between Arizona , Ohio State , Kentucky !
Ohio State has been the overwhelming favorite throughout his recruitment. But since Simmons released his top three schools, the momentum has quickly shifted to Arizona. What made it hard to believe that Arizona is now the leader came down to two factors. One, he's never been to Tucson (that we know of). Two, he said Arizona was back in his recruitment just days ago and is set to decide on Saturday, pushing his decision timeline to a matter of days within releasing his top three.
Ohio State is no longer recruiting Kobi Simmons, sources told @CBSSports. Makes college decision on Saturday. All signs point to Arizona.— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) January 15, 2016
Many believe that if he wanted to go to Ohio State, he would have signed with them during the early signing period and ended his recruitment. Although, some have said that he was waiting for Kentucky to get back into the mix, which explains why he did not sign with Ohio State. But from what I have seen, it seems like Kentucky scouts and analysts thought that their Wildcats were out of it and laid off on his recruitment.
Now Arizona came bursting onto the scene, and seem to be the favorite to land Simmons. A week ago, on 247Sports' Crystal Ball, Ohio State had a commanding 63% among those who predicted, with Kentucky not too far behind. A week later, Arizona has climbed up to over 50%, dropping Ohio State and Kentucky down quite a bit. Many analysts and recruiting experts have quickly switched over to Arizona, including 247Sports' Jerry Meyer, who I think is the best in the business.
The common question most people will have concerning Kobi Simmons lies within the starting rotation next season, and if this pushes away Josh Jackson. Jackson is the No. 1 ranked player in the country, and he's going to start where ever he goes. A Kobi Simmons commitment doesn't take Josh Jackson out of the equation, and could even help depending on their relationship and how great Simmons is of a recruiter. That just gives Arizona that much more depth next season, whether or not Allonzo Trier decides to bolt to the NBA.
The issue is going to be the help in the frontcourt. With only Dusan Ristic, Chance Comanche and Lauri Markkanen, this is where Miller would go all in for Harry Froling, who is in Tucson for the Washington games. If that doesn't happen, then you can expect a graduate transfer.
But back to Kobi Simmons. Props to Miller if in fact everything works out on Saturday. This recruiting class had zero identity, with only one commit in Markkanen and all eyes on landing Josh Jackson. With no Josh Jackson, this class was thought to be a bust. You'd figure that Miller would be able to pull off a few mid-tier 4-star guys based on Arizona's prestige if Jackson didn't pick Arizona, but he would be coming in and swooping up a top 20 player that no one saw coming less than a week ago.