There’s no denying the hottest commodity when it comes to recruiting over the past year has been Australian born forward Ben Simmons, who made the surprising choice of playing for LSU rather than one of the usual NCAA blue bloods like Kentucky, Duke, Kansas, and North Carolina.
He finished his high school career at Montverde Academy as the unanimous #1 rated high school player per ESPN, over other elite talents like Skal Labissiere(Kentucky), Brandon Ingram(Duke), and Jaylen Brown(Cal).
The 6-9 and 240lbs Simmons also has been so highly touted that he has been compared to all time NBA greats like Lebron James and Magic Johnson for his insane combination of advanced offensive skillset and passing abilities that currently have him projected as the #1 pick in the upcoming 2016 NBA Draft, before even playing one minute for the LSU Tigers.
While it was hard to come by, we were able to secure footage of Simmons in his first action with the Tigers, as they began an overseas exhibition trip in Australia where they will be playing 5 games over the next 2 weeks before returning to the United States.
The trip began in Newcastle on Saturday night, as Simmons and fellow elite incoming freshman Antonio Blakeney, both made their collegiate debuts, beating a team of New Castle All Stars 89-75, overcoming a 10 point deficit in the 2nd quarter.
As expected, Simmons was spectacular in posting a double-double of 22 points and 10 boards, getting to the rim at will for a couple of rim rattling dunks, while effortlessly setting up his teammates like Blakeney, who also added 16 points in the win.
Up next for LSU is a Sunday match-up against the Sydney Kings of the National Basketball League, as we get a chance to see Simmons match-up against some of Australia’s top professionals.
It sure looks like the Aussie will be a problem for opposing players in the SEC this season…………….
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.