If you think you've seen everything when it come to basketball recruiting, think again. In one of the most bizarre recruiting stories, four-star point guard Xavier Simpson verbally committed to Michigan on Wednesday over offers from Wisconsin, Illinois and others. What makes this decision so shocking is the rapid turn of events that occurred just hours before Simpson's commitment was announced.
Only a few hours ago, it appeared the Badgers were Simpson's first choice, especially since he was announcing his decision immediately following a visit to Wisconsin this past weekend. However, seemingly out of nowhere, Michigan rose through Simpson's list of suitors to ultimately become his pick.
Congrats to X on his commitment to Michigan. We'll see you next season #Badgers— Kev (@Mr__Iverson) September 9, 2015
This incredibly rapid change of heart has left many Wisconsin fans, including myself, shocked and maybe even a bit depressed.
Behind the scenes, Xavier Simpson had one of the weirdest recruitments in a while. Choosing a school not on his final list is another layer.— Jeff Borzello (@jeffborzello) September 9, 2015
I’m now laying on the floor of my dorm, in utter shock of Michigan stealing Xavier Simpson at the last second— Trevor Simmons (@BadgeringTrev) September 9, 2015
What does this mean?
Unfortunately, the Badgers missed out on a huge recruiting target in Simpson, who ranks at the No. 66 prospect overall and the No. 12 point guard in the 2016 class according to ESPN. Furthermore the Badgers lose a great distributor, as Simpson had incredible court vision and an excellent passing ability. Simpson would have most likely been the heir apparent to Bronson Koenig.
While the sudden loss of Simpson is quite a tough pill to swallow, not all is lost. Wisconsin still has recruiting targets left on the board, including JaQuori McLaughlin, the Badgers' top target according to 247Sports. Luckily, McLaughlin and Simpson have very similar styles of play and would most likely fill the same role for Wisconsin. McLaughlin is a four-star guard as well, and is slotted as the No. 26 point guard in the deep 2016 class.
Attention now turns back to 2016 PG JaQuori McLaughlin, who will visit #Badgers on September 19— Zack Miller (@miller_zack) September 9, 2015
With Simpson now off the board for the Badgers, all eyes return to McLaughlin, who plans on making an official visit to Madison on Sept. 19th.
Well, JaQuori McLaughlin, please don't commit to Utah.— Duje Lashlee-Walton (@thegnc) September 9, 2015
Hopefully McLaughlin's recruitment will go smoother than Simpson's, otherwise it is back to the drawing board for the Badgers.