For only the second time in the 23-year tenure of James Jones as Yale’s head basketball coach, the Elis are adding a transfer student. Casey Simmons, a 6-6 swing from Milton, Mass., will join the Elis for the 2023-24 season. (Dominick Martin in 2002 marked the first such occurrence.)
As a senior at Milton Academy, Simmons was rated as the No. 1 prospect in Massachusetts and the No. 92 player in the country by 247Sports.
Yale recruited him out of high school, but he chose Northwestern over Yale, Penn, Boston College, Georgetown, Miami and Penn State.
Last season, Simmons played in 27 games as a freshman and started seven of them. Simmons posted nine points against Fairleigh Dickinson and six points against NJIT and Illinois, averaging 2.5 points and 1.5 rebounds per game.
Simmons is an excellent athlete and a slasher as a basketball player who can play the two or the three spots with equal ability. Simmons plays very good defense and is especially adept at shot blocking.
He is a similar player to former Bulldog and lockdown defender Trey Phills and has been eyed as a successor to rising senior Matt Cotton.
A scheduling note: Yale will play presumptive No. 1 Gonzaga on the road and also travel to Fairfield in December to play in its new 3,500-seat arena. It will be Yale’s first matchup against the Stags since 2015, when they were helmed by former Princeton coach Sydney Johnson.