Florida Atlantic sophomore DeMonte Simpson returns in the back-court for the Owls after having shot a team best 49.4% from the floor, and pulling down 4.5 rebounds per game - good enough for second on the squad.
Simpson played against upper echelon talent throughout his entire high school career; most notably matching South Florida Monsignor Pace’s, and four-star University of Louisville signee, Rakeem Buckles toe to toe during their on court meeting.
During his senior year, Bearden High Head Coach Mark Blevins told the local media that he had never seen a better game in the "Dog House" - site of an annual rivalry game against foe Fulton High School - when Simpson registered a staggering 33 points, and 22 rebounds for the night.
Simpson had a lot of early interest from mid major programs, and received an early offer from Virginia Tech that he walked away from. Today, he says he is where he is supposed to be at Florida Atlantic, and playing for Coach Mike Jarvis.
"I needed a coach who was going to be up front a real. Really family oriented. I think he will get the team to the next level, and want to be a part of the process."
For the upcoming season, Jarvis said he wants to see Simpson become more physical down low, to let his presence be felt, and improve upon his lay-up percentage.
Simpson recently sat down with us for "Up Close".
What is your Favorite Book?
What is your Favorite Movie?
Who is your current off the court role model?
How long have you been playing basketball?
"Since I can remember, I think I had one in the crib."
What are you most proud of?
"Overcoming adversity, and being here."
What is your major?
What is your Faith?
Other than FAU, what schools did you consider?
"Virginia Tech, West Virginia, College of Charleston, University of Tennessee Chattanooga and Auburn."
What aspect of your game do you feel is your strength?
"My size advantage, and my ability to rebound."
What aspect of your game do you feel is your weakness?
Besides basketball, what brought you to FAU?
"Coach Jarvis. It had nothing to do with the school."
What do you want FAU fans to know about you personally?
"I like to cliff jump. Back home we have a big lake with 40 foot cliff that we climb to the top of and jump off."
What are your goals for the upcoming season?
"To get a banner, and play in the NCAA tournament. We are going to transform this program."
Our next player shattered a back board while dunking at 15 years of age.