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May 24, 2010 at 8:43 AM

Desmond Simmons: “I’ll Fit In … Because I’m A Winner”

Caught up with Salesian High forward Desmond Simmons (right), who is the first member of the 2010 class that includes center Aziz N’Diaye, swingman Terrence Ross and guard C.J. Wilcox, who redshirted his freshman year last season.
Simmons has been somewhat overlooked recently because he committed to UW last year in May and signed a national letter of intent seven months ago in November.
Still, he could play a major role next season. At 6-7 and 205 pounds, Simmons has a similar game to departing senior Quincy Pondexter. He’s very active at both ends of the court and uses quickness and tenacity to outwork opponents.
Simmons describes himself as “a winner” for good reason. He’s won more games at Salesian than any other student-athlete, according coach Bill Mellis.
Simmons touched on a variety of topics including his thoughts on recruiting class, how he fits in and whether he’ll redshirt next season.
Here’s a portion of the interview.
(Why did you commit to Washington?) “It had a lot to do with Coach (Lorenzo) Romar. I got a good vibe from him when I went up for my unofficial (visit) in May. Just being in Seattle and just the school itself, it seemed like a place I could see myself living for the next four years and their style. The way the play fits me pretty well. I felt like it was the best decision for me. But it had a lot to do with Coach Romar.”
(What did you like about that visit?) “The people on campus, the way the people reacted with each other. The campus itself is nice. I like the campus a lot. From what I did see, I was impressed.”
(Have you been keeping up on recruiting process?) “I’ve been keeping up and I’m familiar with the people that they have coming in so far.”
(As the first member of the 2010 class, what are your impressions?) “I’ve never really thought about it like that. Some people said when I committed it was considered early I guess, but I never thought about being the first to commit in my class to Washington.”
(By comparison, it seems your recruitment was fairly drama free compared to the others.) “Drama is a good word. I’d say that.”
(Do you know anything about the other guys in your class?) “I’ve seen a YouTube clip of Terrence Ross. The 7-footer, I have not seen.”
(What do you make of the recruiting process? Not just the guys in your class, but the guys who were almost in your class?) “Everybody has their thing and how they want to handle recruiting and all that. I guess they feel they’ve got to do what’s best for them. For me it was more of I felt like I found a school that had all of the qualities that I was looking for and I didn’t see any point in trying to prolong the situation. Since I was young it was my goal to get a scholarship to play Division I basketball I felt like I found that school and I didn’t want to linger around. I felt like once I found that school, I wanted to seal the deal.”
(How do you think you’ll fit in with this class and with next year’s team?) “I think I’ll fit in pretty well. I always plan to work hard and outwork people. That’s my thing is to just work hard. That’s what got me a scholarship, my work ethic and how hard I play. I think I’ll fit in fine with this group of guys because I’m a winner and I play hard and I work out hard. And I don’t mind putting in any amount of work so I think I’ll fit in fine.”
(Are you planning on making an immediate contribution or would you redshirt your first year?) “I haven’t thought about that. I’ll be able to make that assessment once I get to Washington and see where I stand and get on the court. That will be able to tell me more than anything else.”
(When will you arrive?) “I come up there for summer school July 11 and I’ll be out there from July 11 to August 6. I come back home Aug. 6 to Sept. 13 I believe and I go back up there in September and be up there for the school year.”
(Are you ready for everything to begin?) “I am. I’m enjoying my last month or two at home with my family and my friends. I’m enjoying that as well, but I’m excited to get out to Washington to start that new life.”
(What will you do in your last month or two before college begins?) “I’ll continue to do what I’ve been doing this spring which is working out, working on my game and probably the last month or so I’ll probably make the decision to spend more time with my family and my friends. But still continue to work out and put in the work.”

Comments | Topics: C.J. Wilcox, top 25


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