PointGuardU.com caught up with Wildcat legend Miles Simon to talk about the current state of Arizona Basketball.
Simon was the Most Outstanding Player of the 1997 NCAA tournament, and then had a brief stint with the Orlando Magic and won a championship in the CBA before returning to Tucson to become an assistant coach.
Simon now works for ESPN as a college basketball analyst. Simon has announced games across the ESPN lineup. This year Simon added a weekly ESPNU telecast about teams from the West Coast Conference, Western Athletic Conference and Big West Conference.
Simon offered his thoughts on the incoming 2011 recruiting class, including Josiah Turner.
“I love, love his game,” said Simon. “He’s a strong, quick guard. He’s a great passer with good court vision. He’s a pass first point guard, which I think is the best thing about him.”
With next season’s strength being in the backcourt, and the highly touted freshmen coming in, Simon is reminded of his playing days. And with Miller already demonstrating how quickly he can develop players, Simon expects Arizona will be fun to watch.
“I think you saw the growth of Jordin Mayes at the point guard position last year,” Simon told PGU. “In that Texas game he was great. I think with those guys, and with the way Sean Miller coaches, you can put two or three guards on the floor at any time, kind of like myself, Mike Bibby, and Jason Terry. You can have more than one point guard on the floor.”
Like Mike Bibby, Arizona has another a sophomore that is expected to be a top five pick. Simon reflected on what Derrick Williams was able to accomplish in his two year career.
“He had a tremendous, tremendous year,” said Simon. “All the best to him. With his work ethic he’s going to be fine regardless of the lockout.”
As a former assistant coach, Simon spoke about Archie Miller and his recent hire at Dayton.
“It’s great for him,” Simon said. “He’s a young coach, up and coming, has done a great job recruiting. The whole goal is to be a head coach and he got it done so quickly.”
Simon isn’t worried about Arizona’s abundance of guards on next year’s roster.
“With Josiah being so unselfish, and MoMo and Mayes being able to score the ball, it’ll be a good mix,” Simon said. “It’s a good problem to have.”
After winning a championship his junior year, Simon returned to Arizona for a chance to repeat. He knows about expectations in Tucson.
“It was a great run to the Elite 8, I’m happy for the program and fans,” said Simon. “But now that they got that far, those fans are going to want a Final Four. And they’re going to want it soon. I think Sean Miller can give it to them.”
PGU would like to thank Miles Simon for taking the time to speak with us, and for all he did for the University of Arizona as a player and coach.