LSU's Ben Simmons named National Freshman of the Year
BATON ROUGE - USA Today has named LSU basketball's Ben Simmons the 2016 National Freshman of the Year on Tuesday.
This is Simmons first national post-season award.
“He was consistently dazzling, whether or not it was him taking the ball coast-to-coast and dunking, or a jaw-dropping pass to a teammate,” USA Today Sportswriter Nicole Auerbach wrote.
“Simmons' skill set is a product of his unique basketball upbringing. He first learned the game as a child in Australia, where it's taught more as a team-first, pass-heavy game in which players are assigned specific roles. Simmons learned to take over games here in the United States during AAU tournaments and at Montverde Academy. The result? A perfect blend of a player who can play unselfishly and selfishly when need be. His versatility is his greatest strength,” Auerbach added.
A Melbourne, Australia native, Simmons has averaged 19.6 points, 11.9 rebounds and 5.0 assists per game with a nation’s best six games of 20-10-5. He leads all Division I freshman with his 11.9 rebounds average with his sixth in the NCAA and he is third among all freshman in scoring. He has 22 double doubles this year and is ranked fifth in the nation in that category.
The award-winning freshman will be back on the court Friday as the Tigers move to the quarterfinals of the Southeastern Conference Tournament in Nashville. LSU plays at 2:15 p.m. against the winner of Thursday's Vanderbilt game and the winner of Auburn-Tennessee on Wednesday.
The game will be broadcast on the SEC Network with live audio carried by affiliates of the LSU Sports Radio Network.