With the possibility, however uncertain, of Bo Ryan returning for the 2016-17 season, the Wisconsin Badgers have been hard pressed on the recruiting trail as of late. Currently, the 2016 recruiting class has one guaranteed scholarship spot, and Wisconsin is determined to fill that spot with the best recruit possible.
On Tuesday, the Badgers offered ESPN100 point guard Xavier Simpson in attempt to fill that spot. It seems the Badgers want to fill the open scholarship with a guard, since Simpson is the second guard offered in August already.
Simpson, from Lima, Ohio, is currently ranked No. 66 in the ESPN100. Listed at 5'11, 170 pounds, he is a small but strong point guard. Furthermore, according to ESPN, he is the No. 10 prospect in the Midwest region and the No. 12 point guard in a very deep point guard class. Some have said that Simpson is the best point guard prospect from the state of Ohio.
Simpson already has several other offers, including Iowa State, Purdue, Indiana and Xavier. However, after his excellent showing over the summer, he has been gaining quite a lot of attention. Simpson averaged 16.8 points, 5.3 rebounds and 6.3 assists per game against the nation's top prospects at the Nike Peach Jam.
Simpson is a multifaceted point guard with tremendous upside. He can both score and assist extremely well. At 170 pounds, he is well built and uses his strength to his advantage. His drives to the basket are very strong, and he can finish through contact as well, not to mention he can finish with his off hand, too.
What makes Simpson an even more deadly scoring threat is his step-back jumper. Whenever cut off on his drive, Simpson can take a step back and knock down a shot from distance. As a distributor, he possesses superb court vision, as well as a very high basketball IQ. Simpson can consistently find the open man when on the floor. Plus, his passes are always accurate. Lastly, he has a knack for knocking down clutch shots. Simpson isn't one afraid of taking big time shots, and more often then not, he'll stick them.
Unfortunately, 247Sports' crystal ball predictions have Simpson committing to Iowa State over 12 other competing schools, including Wisconsin. However another successful season for the Badgers and a very active Wisconsin recruiting staff could manage to change the elite point guard's mind.