MAPLE GROVE, Minn. – Xavier Simpson ranks as one of the top available point guards in the Midwest. The Lima (Ohio) High standout reports scholarship offers from Illinois, Iowa, Iowa State, Northwestern, Purdue and Xavier, among others.
We watched the 6-foot-1, 175-pounder from King James Shooting Stars at last weekend’s EYBL event here. In 17 games on the circuit this spring, Simpson has averaged 15.6 points, 4.4 assists (2.5 turnovers), 4.1 rebounds and 1.7 steals. He’s shot 48. 7 percent from the floor, including 39.2 on threes, and 72.9 from the line in helping his squad reach July’s Peach Jam.
What I Saw: Simpson is a pass-first point guard generously listed in the EYBL program at 6-1. He’s about the same height as Mac Irvin’s Charlie Moore, which I would guess is between 5-9 and 5-10. Like more, Simpson is solidly built and shows off a very good handle. He uses screens well and gets to the basket where he’s strong enough to finish against bigger players.
I saw Simpson match up against Washington state’s Payton Pritchard, who most services rank as a four-star point guard in the ’16 Class. Pritchard, who is headed to Oklahoma, is more of a score-first point guard and held a size advantage. But Simpson played him to a draw in my view and King James topped Seattle Rotary.
Simpson and Moore are basically the same player in my eyes. The former enjoys a better supporting cast on the circuit which makes it tough to perform a complete comparison.
Overall, like Moore, Simpson is a high major point guard that will be a good catch for anyone who has offered a scholarship. And like his Chicago counterpart, in order to reach his ceiling, he will need to improve his deep and mid-range games and add strength to defend at the next level.