kobi simmons georgia basketball

Kobi Simmons’ Final Four Includes Georgia

Five Star Guard Kobi Simmons has cut his list from 6 to 4 – and Georgia is in that Final Four.

Revisiting Kobi Simmons’ Top Six and comparing it to his Final Four shows an interesting contrast as one school was clearly replaced by another in his list and made his Top Four choices.

Xavier, Ohio State, Kentucky, UNC, Georgia and Arizona were the list for Kobi Simmons.  Not surprisingly, like many prominent High School Basketball prospects, an unexpected and unconsidered addition is made to the list.  The unexpected and previously unconsidered addition this time is UNLV. The Final Four is now:

First off, this is a big deal for UGA considering that the staff found a way to get in front of Arizona and North Carolina on the recruiting trail.  Contending for a potential Top 10 pick in the NBA Draft is important as it shows that Georgia can compete for 5 Star prospects, it is far more than just a pipe dream or a token offer.

Kobi Simmons should he join the 2016-17 Georgia Basketball Team would be a part of a very different roster assembly than last season’s team or even this season’s team.  Simmons would become a likely starter joining a very stacked and athletic backcourt.  Should Simmons be a “one-and-done” player at Georgia, it will not impact 2017 recruiting efforts to land a Small Forward and a few post prospects.

Unlike when Kentavious Caldwell-Pope joined the 2011-12 Georgia Basketball Team, the cupboard is not left bare in any particular position and he would join one of the most talented Georgia Basketball teams to ever grace Stegeman Coliseum.  Instead of comparisons to 2001, the comparisons immediately turn to 1981 back when Dominique Wilkins was regularly putting on a show along with Vern Fleming, James Banks, Terry Fair and Eric Marbury.  Kobi Simmons could enjoy the advantages that KCP never was able to enjoy.  There are many making a big deal over Malik Newman staying in-state and attending Mississippi State, but Kobi Simmons would be joining a much more vaunted lineup at UGA.

Fending off Kentucky, Ohio State and UNLV will be a challenge.  Each of these programs has in their history an NCAA Championship while Georgia does not.  Kentucky and Ohio State both have perennial powerhouse programs and have placed players immediately into the NBA as NBA Draft Lottery selections.

Kentucky’s Depth Situation (via Verbal Commits)

The highlighted names are likely to be one-and-done prospects for Kentucky.  This means that Kobi Simmons will be the given the keys immediately at UK.  John Calipari has proven himself to be a master of landing top talent and then creating a style of play that fits his elite teams best.  His teams do not always carry over as far as chemistry because of the early entries to the NBA, which means that every team is a completely different team with a brand new identity.  The learning curve is far from steep and the system is effective.

Ohio State’s Depth Situation (via Verbal Commits)

Ohio State is VERY YOUNG this season, but next season will be far more mature and able.  Ohio State does not have any players that are expected to jump early at this point for the 2016 NBA Draft like the way D’Angelo Russell wisely did.  Ohio State is stacked with 4 and 5 star talent in the Class of 2015.  The group from the Class of 2014 are not slouches either.  From a depth and experience standpoint, Ohio State will make things much more challenging for Kobi Simmons.

UNLV’s Depth Situation  (via Verbal Commits)

Only one player on this season’s UNLV team is projected to be drafted in the First Round of the NBA Draft, Stephen Zimmerman.   There should not be any obstacles to Kobi Simmons becoming a starter in the 2016-17 Season at UNLV and the comparative lack of exposure that the schools of the Mountain West Conference receive has not necessarily had a negative impact on players entering the NBA Draft.  After all, Anthony Bennett of UNLV was the first pick of the 2013 NBA Draft.  UNLV Shooting Guard Rashad Vaughn was drafted by the Milwaukee Bucks with the 17th pick in the 2015 NBA Draft.

Visit Schedule:

  • Kentucky:  This Weekend
  • UNLV:  September 4th Weekend
  • Ohio State:  September 11th Weekend

No Official Visit to UGA has been planned and Kobi Simmons plans on deciding where he will attend on September 19.  Do not despair Dawg fans, Simmons has made multiple visits to Athens and he is also from Alpharetta, which means he can visit whenever he wishes without having to incur massive travel expenses.

Georgia’s Unique Selling Points

  • Close to Home:  Attending UK, Ohio State or UNLV means that his family cannot see him play every college game.  He could become homesick or wish to see his family and hometown friends, but they are quite a distance away from home.
  • Not too Close to Home:  Being 90 minutes away in Athens means there is some buffer room for Kobi Simmons to be independent and soak in a true college experience, even if it is just for one year.
  • The Carmelo Anthony Effect:  Playing in-state and bringing a championship to a local program is a big deal, especially when it has never been done before.  Carmelo Anthony in one season took Syracuse from a program that was close, but no cigar to an NCAA Champion in the 2002-2003 Season.  At Kentucky, Kobi Simmons would just be another in a long list, but he has an opportunity to become a legend in Athens.
  • Weather:  It gets cold in Lexington and Columbus in the winter, but Kobi Simmons knows the weather in Georgia and apparently is familiar with it.
  • Relationships:  Georgia has put in a lot of effort to build relationships with the local AAU programs in the past three years.  Kentucky recruits internationally and does not necessarily have the local relationships in the Atlanta area, to be more specific, the Atlanta Celtics program.  There is a greater sense of trust in the coaching staff at UGA.

Will Georgia land Kobi Simmons?  Still likely not, but being in the Final Four in his recruiting is a good sign.  Jaylen Brown gave Georgia lip service, Kobi Simmons is giving Georgia an opportunity for his signature.


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