"My relationship with Coach Miller is very strong, and he is going to put the ball in my hands and allow me to make plays on and off the ball," Simmons said. "Also I think the Arizona style of play and the Pac-12 Conference's style of play best fits my game."
"It just felt like a family," Simmons said. "I just felt really wanted and needed there. Every player in the team has texted me and hit me up."
The No. 18 player in the ESPN 100, Simmons saw his recruitment take plenty of twists and turns during his junior and senior seasons. Kentucky was long thought to be the leader, but the Wildcats focused more on De'Aaron Fox as the summer progressed, and Fox committed to coach John Calipari in November.
Ohio State and UNLV were also involved, but the Runnin' Rebels fell out of the mix once the program and coach Dave Rice parted ways earlier this month. Had Simmons committed during the early signing period, the Buckeyes were in a good position, but he decided to prolong his recruitment and other schools entered the fold.
Miller made a late push and was able to close the deal even though Simmons did not take an official visit to Tucson.
"I will get a visit set up soon after I commit," Simmons said.
Simmons, a 6-foot-5 point guard, had 34 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists in a double-overtime win against Frank Jackson (No. 14) and Lone Peak (Utah) at the Hoophall Classic on Saturday afternoon. A St. Francis (Ga.) product, he recently became the school's all-time leading scorer, passing the 2,000-point mark.
Simmons should be able to compete for a starting job next season for Arizona. The Wildcats have used multiple players at point guard this season, including sophomore Parker Jackson-Cartwright and junior Kadeem Allen. Freshman Justin Simon was a four-star point guard coming out of high school, but his minutes have been sporadic.
Simmons is the second member of Arizona's 2016 recruiting class, joining talented power forward Lauri Markkanen, a 6-11 prospect from Finland.
Miller and the Wildcats are still in pursuit of elite prospect Josh Jackson (No. 3), the highest-ranked uncommitted player remaining in the class. Australia native Harry Froling, a 6-9 inside player, is also on their radar.