- Greg Ostendorf, ESPN Staff Writer
University of Alabama head coach Anthony Grant is going back to his roots to recruit 2013 big man Antravious Simmons.
When Grant visited Simmons (South Miami High) at his school, it was like going home for the Crimson Tide head coach who also grew up and played high school basketball in the Miami area.
According to South Miami head coach Robert Doctor, Simmons has a top five that includes Alabama, Memphis, South Carolina, South Florida and VCU. But if you ask the 6-foot-9 post player, he has two schools that currently stand out: Alabama and VCU.
“At Alabama, I just started talking to Coach Grant,” Simmons said. “I like the way he is. He told me he likes the way I play, the style I play in and that I’m a back-to-the-basket kind of guy. I also like the players and the way they play. With VCU, I just like the coaching staff.”
Simmons visited VCU in January and plans to visit both Alabama and South Carolina this summer for their team camps. He wants to make a decision before his senior year, but he’d like to visit all of his finalists first.
Currently, he’s in the middle of the AAU season, playing with Team Breakdown, one of the premier teams in the state of Florida.
“It’s going good so far,” Simmons said. “Once we get our team put together, we should be winning some tournaments. We’ve been doing okay at tournaments but we should be doing better. We just have to play our game and we’ll be great.”
Simmons is a prototypical post player, but he also has the ability to run the floor, which fits with what Alabama likes to do.
“He’s a great back-to-the-basket player,” Doctor said. “He can rebound real well and he runs the floor real well for a big man.”
Wherever he decides to go, Simmons is looking forward to the opportunity to come in and play early.
9hMark Schlabach and Sharon Katz
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