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Newcomer 'nalysis: Simeon Wilcher

Updated: Jul 8, 2023

Simeon Wilcher transferred from North Carolina after Five-Star PG Elliott Cadeau reclassed, and St. John’s immediately jumped and got his commitment.


Watching all of these games was so much fun. The energy that Wilcher and opposing teams in that NY/NJ area had was absolutely incredible. He’s that prototype fun, tough New York/New Jersey PG that you just love. No more preamble, let’s get to it.

Wilcher’s ability to get to the rim is special. He’s fearless, absolutely not afraid of anyone. In a game against Aaron Bradshaw, the #5 player in this class, Wilcher attacked the rim relentlessly. He fears nothing. Absolutely love that toughness from a guard.


He’s also very good inside, with excellent body control and speed, able to finish in many different ways. He can go around you if needed, he can finish straight through contact, he can rise up and dunk over you; he will do whatever is needed to get those two points.

Wilcher is clearly very comfortable with the ball in his hands. He loves getting downhill, and that enables him to create for himself and others. He’s lightning-quick with the ball, which makes him very tough to guard in the full court. He has a quick first step and uses that very effectively to blow by opposing guards. His speed is a weapon, and he utilizes it very well, creating for himself and his teammates.


However, there are times when Wilcher will force something that isn’t there. Whether that’s a pass or a drive on a collapsing defense, he’s got so much confidence in his abilities that he does tend to force it a bit. This led to turnovers and that could/probably will translate to the Big East, but for a freshman guard, I’d much rather have a fearless, confident freshman than one who gets nervous.

There was far too much talk about his jumper being “improving,” or “almost there,” when frankly I was really impressed by his shooting ability. He’s a slasher first, but he was very effective from deep. His jumper is very pretty and he’s clearly been working on it to a point to which he’s very confident in it. Good mechanics, he gets very high on his jump making it very tough to block. It’s a little slow, but it goes in and since he gets so high on his jump, it's going to be pretty tough to block. Plus, it goes in, so that helps.

Man, defensively I was just not impressed. He should be better on this end. I didn’t use every clip I had here, but I expected a little more. There was one possession where he shut down Dylan Harper, but he would also get beat a ton in transition or just be in the completely wrong spot. Especially if St. John’s decides to play Wilcher, Jenkins and Dingle all in the same lineup, I could see Wilcher really struggling.


I haven’t seen him defend at a high level, and if he has to guard these bigger, stronger guys, I could see that being a real problem. Wilcher is far too talented to keep off the floor, but defensively he could be a liability.


Overall


I’m a sucker for these tough point guards. I love them. These guys who are just fearless can take over big games and steal victories from the jaws of defeat.


I believe Erick McCollum on a TBT broadcast a couple of years back called someone a “four-level scorer” because they can score at all three levels and create shots for their teammates, and I think that describes Wilcher’s game perfectly. He finds ways to create shots for himself and his teammates. Reminds me a bit of Russ Smith. Not nearly there yet, but maybe he gets there one day.


I think one real question I have is about his position. Wilcher is clearly more comfortable with the ball in his hands, how would he work as a secondary ball-handler? Would he still be able to play his game within an offense? I’m very interested to see what role he plays this year. He’s a very fun player to watch, and I expect some absolutely electric moments from him this season.


P.S.


Shoutout to the NJHoopRecruit channel, as you can see by the tag in all those clips, this is where I got just about every clip I used from. If you want the full games, they've got them there!


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