Jaaron Simmons Transferring to Michigan< < Back to
Ohio Bobcat fans knew this was a possibility but did not want to believe it.
Now they are forced to face their fears.
Jason Arkley of the Athens Messenger reported Monday night that star point guard Jaaron Simmons will transfer to the University of Michigan.
Simmons, who is set to graduate this week, has one year of eligibility left. Due to NCAA rules, Simmons can transfer anywhere without sitting out.
He’s doing just that.
“It’s one of the toughest decisions I’ve ever had to make,” Simmons told Arkley. “We have a great relationship. Nothing negative happened, there was nothing bad about it. I’m just trying to do what I think is the best for me as an individual.”
Last year, Simmons averaged 15.9 points per game and 6.5 assists per game and was named First Team All-Mid-American Conference. In his first year at Ohio, he set the program record for most assists in a single season with 275. Perhaps his best game came on Feb. 4 against Akron. Simmons scored 38 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and had five assists.
The loss of Simmons leaves a major hole for the Bobcats. James Gollon and Jordan Dartis are the only ones returning next year with point guard experience. Zach Butler and Teyvion Kirk are incoming freshman that have committed to Ohio for next year. They are both point guards and now could receive significant playing time.
The Wolverines finished 26-12 this past season and made it to the Sweet Sixteen on the NCAA Tournament where they lost to Oregon. Derrick Walton Jr., who started all 38 of Michigan’s games at point guard during the 2016-17 season, is graduating.
For Simmons, this is a chance to play in a Power five conference and a chance to prove his is one of the best point guards in the country, something Ohio coach Saul Phillips has been saying since Simmons first arrived in Athens.
For Ohio, they now have to replace their best player, again.