Anfernee Simons, a five-star shooting guard and one of the top players in the class of 2018, may forego college basketball altogether.
Simons, the No. 12 player in the country per 247Sports, graduated high school last year, and is currently doing a prep season at IMG Academy in Florida.
A fifth year is pretty common in college basketball, for players who need to up their academic profile, improve their game, or develop physically. It often helps them land offers from bigger college programs. For Simons, however, it may mean that he can skip that whole step and jump right to the NBA.
Because Simons graduated from high school in 2017, he will be eligible for the 2018 NBA Draft. He tells ESPN that he is taking it under consideration, now that he knows he can make the leap.
“Some people have brought it to my attention,” Simons told ESPN during an interview in Connecticut, where his team was participating in the National Prep Showcase. “As long as the opportunity is there, I will do it.
“I can see myself going to the NBA combine, if I have enough teams to actually invite me or recommend me for the combine and enough teams want to bring me for workouts. I really need to hit the weight room hard and get a little stronger.”
NBA scouts are taking notice as well. According to Scout’s Evan Daniels, Simons lit it up with a number of them watching this afternoon.
Anfernee Simons just had a massive second half here at the NPS in front of a host of NBA scouts. 22 points, including four three-pointers. Second game back from a broken hand.
— Evan Daniels (@EvanDaniels) November 18, 2017
Simons was a Louisville commit until the FBI investigation into the Cardinals, and other schools, cost head coach Rick Pitino his job. Florida is now considered the favorite to land him, with 71-percent of the votes in 247’s crystal ball. He also holds offers from Alabama, Florida State, LSU, Oklahoma State, Tennessee, Texas A&M, UCLA, Virginia Tech, and others.