Alabama's Avery Johnson has hired vastly underrated Providence assistant Bob Simon, sources told ESPN. Terrific evaluator, recruiter.— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanESPN) April 19, 2015
Bob Simon was hired today as an assistant by Avery Johnson. Here is his bio from his previous job at Providence. According to Goodman from ESPN, this guy is seriously underrated and I have to admit that he has a lot of great experience despite the fact I have never heard of him before.
Anyway, I noticed that Simon's time has been spent pretty much exclusively in the Midwest and Northeast. No Southern roots apparently and I don't think that's a bad thing.
I absolutely agree with what CAJ said at his press conference that we should be going hard after all the top players in Alabama. I'm both relieved and pumped about Dazon Ingram and I hope he is only the first of many solid players that stay home to play for CAJ. With that said, I don't believe the state of AL can provide all the players that we need to build a top program. For one, the quality of high school basketball in this state is just not up to par with a lot of other places around the country. Not that there aren't great players and great teams, but there just aren't a heck of a lot of them. That's understandable though as AL high schools are focused on football and baseball for the most part.
I believe we need to forget our standard Southern strategy and start going hard after players from more basketball immersive cultures in the Northeast and Midwest. It's the same reason Big Ten schools recruit heavily in the South for football players...the quality of the game and the quality of the players is just better. Hopefully, Simon is going to be a big help in making inroads in those parts of the country.
In addition to this news, Cecil Hurt also tweeted about a current Providence player that is transferring. Tyler Harris...a 6'9" Forward has just graduated and is moving on. I don't think it's a stretch to say that having Bob Simon on staff now might give us the inside edge on a guy like that. We need big bodies and I don't see a downside to having a veteran player like this even though we would only get him for one year. I don't expect great things from CAJ's first season as I think it's a little unrealistic to expect great things from any first year coach, but I might change my mind if we pick up Harris and maybe another top recruit. We've got a couple of extra scholarships to give now so why not?