Simmons’ goal to ‘Keep Dayton on the rise’

Jaaron Simmons will do the same for Alter.

“They’re doing good things,” said Simmons about Dunbar grads Norris Cole (Heat), Daequan Cook (Bulls), Geron Johnson (Memphis University), Ryan Bass (Oakland) and Andre Yates (Creighton).

“I’m going to make a name for myself and keep Dayton on the rise.”

Simmons, a 6-foot-2 guard, closed out his senior season with an incredible high-scoring postseason run that ended with a Division II state semifinal loss to eventual champion Columbus Watterson.

Last week he signed with Houston, picking the Cougars over Butler and Tulane.

He already has passed college entrance exams and will graduate in June with a 3.0 GPA. Even better, Houston was in need of a point guard.

Here’s what Simmons had to say about that and more:

Q Why Houston?

A Their style of play is different. Houston plays more of my style of play. I like to get up and down the court. They have a good situation for a point guard to come in and be able to work for minutes and earn playing time. They have a lot of good pieces, but we need a point guard. I’m gonna take care of that.

Q What made Houston special?

A They’ve got a lot of tradition. They’ve got a great coaching staff. The have the leading scorer in Conference USA (Joseph Young; 18.0 ppg), the (CUSA) freshman of the year (Danuel House; 12.4) and a first team All-CUSA player (TaShawn Thomas). … We’re gonna make some noise.

Q Ready to make the transition from scorer to set-up guy?

A It’s always different. As an AAU player, I played with a lot of talent. It’s more of a traditional pass-first point guard in AAU. At Alter, I knew that I had to score. It’s great to be able to do both. That’s one thing that (Houston) really liked about me.

Q Former Dayton coach Brian Gregory wanted you. Current Flyers coach Archie Miller also pursued you. Why aren’t you headed to UD?

A They got a new coaching staff. Their recruiting process is a lot different. They still recruited me pretty hard, though. They picked up two guards (Kyle Davis of Chicago Morgan Park High School and Dayshon Smith of New York City, who attended Putnam Academy in Connecticut) in my class. There was no reason for me to go there once two point guards were already there. … They offered two guards before me and they both committed.

Q Was there more recruiting interest in you as Alter progressed through the postseason?

A It was a great way to go out. As far as AAU-wise, my recruiting stock was pretty good. Just more schools kept coming in throughout the season. I had a lot of offers. Houston was in there the last couple weeks of the season. They were in the gym a lot.