With the majority of the freshman recruiting class on campus, the Pitt basketball team looks to finalize their 2017 roster. Head Coach Kevin Stallings has been in pursuit of a number of players that can provide scoring, maturity and leadership. The staff believes they have found one of those players in Cowley County Community College (KS) guard/forward Mike’l Simms (6-foot-5 1/2, 225 pounds). He’s described on the Coley College website as “A hybrid player” and “A gifted low block scorer that is also strong on the defensive end.”
“Pitt called my prep school coach and he told me the offer was a done deal,” stated Simms. “We started talking over the weekend and I had a second conversation with them yesterday. They offered today. Coach (Dan) Cage and Coach (Sam) Ferry have both been in contact with me. They spoke with my uncle and prep school coach as well.”
Simms has received scholarship offers from Pitt, Wichita State, VCU, Long Beach State, UC Santa Barbra, Texas Tech, East Carolina, St. Bonaventure, Loyola Marymount and Youngstown State and Miami (FL) has been in close contact as well. He averaged 14 points and 4.4 rebounds per game. Mike’l will have 3 years of eligibility. He opened a lot of eyes during the season when he scored 45 points in one game and in the final eight games of the season, he averaged 25.6 points per game.
“I attended Highland Springs High School in Richmond, VA. I wasn’t recruited at all out of high school. I had a few D2 schools come after me but I knew I was better than that,” he said. “I decided to take a year in prep school. I attended Bull City Prep School in Durham, NC. I started getting a lot of interest but nobody pulled the trigger. I finally got an offer from Coley College and I took the offer the first day. I had a great feeling about it. It was the best decision of my life.”
Simms will remind many Panther fans of former Panther standout Ricardo Greer. When asked about his strengths on the court, he stated, “I have size and athleticism. I can create a lot of mismatches with little guards coming and checking me. If it’s a bigger guard, I can blow by them with my speed.”
“What (Pitt) offers is a blessing. They play in the best conference in the nation. I would love to be able to come in and make an impact in the ACC conference. Everyone wants to play against the best. I’m hoping to visit as soon as this weekend. I’m in the process of setting it up.”
Simms is aware that he would counted on for leadership. He’s more than ready to assume the role. He said, “I would appreciate that role. I would take advantage of it. During my year in junior college, I was asked to be a leader both on and off the court. If given the change to do the same in the ACC conference, I would be more than thankful.”
“I’m very excited about Pitt’s offer. I can’t wait to visit and learn more about the program.”
Harry Psaros can be found on Twitter at @PittGuru
The Sports Now network is growing! Check out our new site PittsburghHockeyNow.com for the best Pittsburgh Penguins news and opinion.