The college basketball world has been waiting anxiously since last year’s Final Four to catch a glimpse of this season’s #1 ranked high school player Ben Simmons to officially make his NCAA debut for the #21 ranked LSU Tigers.
The 6’10 and 240lb forward has already drawn comparisons to Lamar Odom and even 4 time NBA MVP Lebron James for his impressive NBA ready skill-set and ability to take over a game with his innate scoring, passing skills, and leadership, abilities that have him ranked as the top player on the board for the 2016 NBA Draft.
His lofty expectations were realized on opening night as he put up an impressive stat-line of 11 points, 13 rebounds, 5 assists, and 2 blocks, to join only Anthony Davis and Kevin Love as #1 ranked high school players to notch double-doubles in their NCAA debuts since ESPN started their Top 100 rankings back in 2007.
The Australian native moved to the United States 4 years ago to pursue a career one day in pro basketball, a journey which began by winning 3 consecutive National High School Championships at Monteverde Academy before enrolling at LSU.
Simmons looks ready to put LSU back into the national spotlight as the school’s most highly touted freshman since Shaquille O’Neal nearly two decades ago.
Although he’s still just 19 years of age, the point forward looked like a polished upperclassman in controlling the game’s tempo and dishing out numerous pinpoint passes that surprised the defense and helped the Tigers to a 81-71 victory over McNeese State. Fellow elite LSU freshman Antonio Blakeney was also impressive, leading all scorers with 22 points.
Check out some of the highlights from Simmons’s stellar NCAA debut……………………
Allen Moll has been a lifelong NBA and NCAA College Basketball fan who watches and studies games religiously, and coaches youth basketball in his native Lehigh Valley region of Pennsylvania. Allen has also provided content to Bleacherreport.com, Upperdeckblog.com, Cleveland.com, CSN Philly.com, Buckets Magazine, Balltribe.com, in addition to being a tenured NBA and NCAA columnist for TheHoopDoctors.com.