Hey guys (and gals; I'm not here to discriminate), everyone step into my alternate reality where Xavier has the luxury of picking and choosing among top ten recruits to suit the needs of the current roster. Settle in; it's fun over here.
Today I'm going to discuss Markelle Fultz and Kobi Simmons, a pair of five-star guards that Xavier has been recruiting so hard that my phone automatically fills in the appropriate surname if I type in either of their given names. Their merits are myriad and fairly obvious, they're both 6'5", and they weigh within 3 pounds of each other (180 and 177, respectively).
Fultz is more of a pure scorer, though his playmaking drew rave reviews in the July evaluation period. He is a very good shooter with plenty of range who uses his size to dominate smaller defenders. He can finish at/around the rim with either hand, and he does well making decisions in the open floor.
Simmons is the reverse, kind of. He operates more with the ball in his hands, depending on a long, quick first step to beat defenders off the bounce so he can slash to score or distribute. Like Fultz, he is more comfortable in the open court than the half, but he is a more natural distributor. He needs to add strength, but he already holds his own around the rim.
The thing about Simmons, as I wrote earlier, is that Edmond Sumner has the capabilities to fill that role if he stays healthy. Sumner as a third-year sophomore or Simmons as a true freshman might turn into a real question depending on how Ed does this year; my hopes are high for him.
We don't have anyone currently on the roster who does it quite like Markelle Fultz, but I think we have a combination of players who can fill in those gaps. Myles Davis can shoot and distribute a little. Trevon can score at all three levels. JP puts an insane amount of pressure on the defense, though results were still a little spotty last year. The biggest thing Fultz offers that those guys don't cover is playmaking, but if you want playmaking, isn't Simmons your guy?
I'm obviously just running off at the
mouth keyboard here. Still, it's interesting to look at a couple of very good players and have realistic thoughts about how they might fit on the roster some day fairly soon.