The Conquistadors feel they just landed the final piece to the puzzle to make it back to the National Tournament in hopes of winning a National Title. It was just hours ago when the men’s basketball staff received a call saying Alvaro Simoza a center would be transferring to Florida National University to play his remaining two years of eligibility for the Conquistadors.
Simoza is transferring from Barry University (Miami, FL), arguably one of the best NCAA D2 programs in the country. In two years, legendary head coach Butch Estes and his staff has lead Barry to two NCAA tournament appearances and in doing so Alvaro has been a big part of it. This year Alvaro was part of the only team in the country to beat the NCAA DII National Champions Florida Southern.
FNU’s Athletic Director and Head Basketball coach Scott Schmidt said “We are very thankful to have Alvaro become part of the FNU family. Our relationship with the Barry staff has helped our program a great deal. Alvaro will fill a missing piece for our rotation that I feel should help us immensely.”
Coach Schmidt also talked about this year’s upcoming schedule with the likes of UNLV and University of South Florida both top NCAA D1 programs. Coach Scott said with trips to Vegas, Virginia, South Dakota, Alabama and Pennsylvania, Alvaro will be a large part in helping us compete this year. Before attending Barry University, Alvaro Simoza played for Head Coach Marcos Molina at Hialeah Gardens HS, where with fellow Barry teammates Adrian Gonzalez and Yunio Barrueta helped win the 2012 Class 8A Florida High School Athletic Association State Title.
ALVARO AT A GLANCE: Big body with good inside skills … Can stretch the defense with his ability to take his game out to the perimeter.
SOPHOMORE (2014-15): Appeared in 17 games … Scored season-high seven points, going 3-for-3 from the field, in win over Sioux Falls in Odio Thanksgiving Classic (Nov. 28) … Matched career-high of five rebounds vs. Puerto Rico-Rio Piedras (Nov. 29) … Had two assists in two games … Had a block in two games … Had six points, three rebounds and a steal vs. Puerto Rico-Mayaguez (Nov. 21) … Scored in five of the first eight games.
FRESHMAN (2013-14): Appeared in 19 games … Scored season-high four points in win at Florida Tech (March 1) … Grabbed season-high five rebounds and had three points in win over Florida Memorial (Nov. 12) … Scored in three straight games in February.
HIGH SCHOOL: Selected First-Team All-Dade County by Miami Herald as a senior … Second-Team All-Dade as a junior … Ranked No. 101 on Florida Hoops Top 150 players in state in 2013 …Ranked No. 6 among Top 25 Class of 2013 players in South Florida by RMF Magazine … Averaged 19.6 points and 11.rebounds per game in 2012-13 … Averaged 15 ppg and 10 reb as a junior … Helped lead Gladiators to 2012 Class 8A state championship … Team advanced to region finals in 2013.
PERSONAL: Son of Julio Simoza and Gloria Izaguirre … Has brother, Alejandro … Major undeclared.
SINGLE-GAME HIGHS [all-time ranking]:
Points: 7, Sioux Falls — 11/28/14
Rebounds: 5, Florida Memorial — 11/12/13 ; Puerto Rico-Rio Piedras — 11/29/14
Assists: 2, vs Nova Southeastern — 03/07/15 ; Sioux Falls — 11/28/14
Steals: 1, Puerto Rico-Mayaguez — 11/21/14
Blocks: 1, Palm Beach Atlantic — 01/10/15 ; Sioux Falls — 11/28/14
FG made: 3, Sioux Falls — 11/28/14
FG attempts: 5, Puerto Rico-Mayaguez — 11/21/14
3FG made: 1, 4 times
3FG attempts: 2, at Palm Beach Atlantic — 02/07/15 ; vs Clayton State — 12/20/13
FT made: 2, at Saint Leo — 02/08/14 ; at Florida Tech — 03/01/14
FT attempts: 2, 4 times