Remembering the time that Rutgers signee Derek Simpson bested the nation’s No. 1 basketball recruit

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Derek Simpson signed with Rutgers on Wednesday, the three-star guard becoming another important addition for the Scarlet Knights basketball team. Under-recruited, Simpson is a really solid player with all the tools that make him fit a Steve Pikiell coached team.

To that point, there was a time in February when Simpson was the best player on the court in a game against DJ, the consensus top player in New Jersey and the No. 1 recruit in the country for the class of 2023.

Late last February in a 78-56 loss to Camden, Simpson’s Lenape battled against the top boys basketball program in the state. Simpson scored a game-high 29 points in the loss for Lenape. But watching him in that game, he was the best player on the court and that says something given Wagner’s stature as an elite prep recruit.

Ranked the No. 8 player in New Jersey according to 247 Sports, Simpson certainly falls under the classification of being under-recruited, holding offers from Arizona State and Rutgers to go along with Albany, Fairfield, Northeastern and Old Dominion among other mid-major offers.

In a video entitled “WHAT DOES A DIVISION 1 BASKETBALL PLAYER LOOK LIKE?” Camden Elite founder and president Antoine Miller broke down the game between Wagner and Simpson.

At one point, Miller remarks about Simpson in the game that“the court awareness and reaction time of that kid – that’s a Division I basketball player – just seeing the floor 10 times better than anyone else.”

Wagner finished with 20 points in the win over Lenape. He holds offers from the likes of Kentucky, Memphis and Syracuse among others.