John Beilein will have a new option in the backcourt in 2016-17.
The Michigan men’s basketball coach received a commitment on Wednesday from Xavier Simpson, a Class of 2016 point guard from Lima, Ohio, who ESPN.com lists as the 66th-best player in his class nationally, and the 12th-best point guard.
The Wolverines weren’t expected to be contenders for Simpson’s services until recently, when reports began to circulate that Beilein and his staff were making a late push in the recruiting process. Just days ago, Simpson announced a top-four list that excluded the Wolverines.
With senior guard Spike Albrecht set to graduate, Michigan will be looking for extra depth at the ‘1’ spot during Simpson’s freshman year.
As was the case with senior guard Caris LeVert, Simpson, listed at 5-foot-11 and 165 pounds, would likely have to add bulk to be able to contribute at a high level in the Big Ten, but he’s thought of more as a distributor and offensive facilitator than a scorer.
Simpson is the fourth Class of 2016 player to commit to Michigan, alongside Jon Teske, Austin Davis and Ibi Watson.