JUCO Center trims his list to four

JUCO Center trims his list to four

With many of the top programs in the country still on the hunt for quality prospects with which to round out their 2011 recruiting classes, Carterville (IL) John A. Logan Community College center Stan Simpson has popped up on many a radar – and now the 6-foot-9 prospect's list is down to four.

With the 2011 recruiting process winding to its conclusion, many of the top programs in college hoops are still full steam ahead in their hunt for prospects with which to fill out their respective classes.

The Kansas Jayhawks are one such program. Still heavily involved with wings DeAndre Daniels and Ben McLemore, Head Coach Bill Self and his staff have been scouring the country in recent weeks for a hidden gem in the low post.

Which is why they've thrown their hat into the ring with (Carterville) John A. Logan Community College big man Stan Simpson.

A former member of the Class of 2008, as a prep out of Chicago's Simeon High School - the same school that famously spawned Chicago Bulls star Derrick Rose - Simpson signed with Head Coach Bruce Weber and the University of Illinois. After redshirting in 2008-2009, he played just 2.1 minutes per game last year during his redshirt freshman campaign and made the decision to transfer.

Now with the Volunteers, Simpson's play has ensured he will have no shortage of options when he returns to Division 1 play next year. The decision to go to junior college has worked out "for the best," allowing him time to hone his skills as a rebounder and shot-blocker while also improving his offensive game.

But the area where he has seen the most improvement is one which can't be measured statistically.

"Playing hard all the time," Simpson said. "Trying to get every rebound, making good post moves and scoring."

As to his recruitment, four programs have surged to the front.

"I'm down to four schools," the 6-foot-9 center said. "UCONN, Kansas, Kentucky and Memphis."

Simpson claims offers form all three at the moment with the exception of Kentucky, who he said told him they would pick recruiting back up once their run in the NCAA Tournament came to a close.

The Jayhawks have gotten involved only recently, with assistant coach Kurtis Townsend acting as the lead recruiter.

With the futures of junior forwards Marcus and Markieff Morris uncertain, as both are potential NBA prospects, an opportunity exists for a talent like Simpson to earn a spot in the rotation.

When asked what intrigues him about the Jayhawks, his answer was simple.

"They win," he said. "Coach Bill Self, and Kansas' program itself."

Simpson expects to begin setting up official visits to each of his final four in the coming weeks, and will sign in April's late signing period.

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