Simmons on 'Blue Ribbon' Preseason All-America Team
Communications Sr. Associate
BATON ROUGE – Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook announced its 35th anniversary cover Thursday, and on that cover is its five-player preseason All-America first team including LSU freshman Ben Simmons.
For the first time in its 35 years, Blue Ribbon has put two freshmen on its preseason All-America team – Simmons and Kentucky’s Skal Labissiere – along with Virginia senior Malcolm Brogdon, Iowa State senior Georges Niang, and Providence junior Kris Dunn.
“For a long time, the criteria we primarily used to select our All-America teams was past accomplishment in college basketball,” said Blue Ribbon editor Chris Dortch, who has been in charge of the book’s direction for the last 18 editions and was a Blue Ribbon writer and co-editor for years before that. “But in recent years I’ve been fortunate to assist NBA.com and NBA TV with their coverage of and preparation for the NBA Draft, and I’ve realized that NBA potential, especially when you’re talking about lottery picks, has to be used as a criteria if you’re choosing a team of the five best college players in the country.”
Simmons has a multi-faceted game. In LSU’s recent tour of Australia, Simmons led the Tigers in scoring (20.0 ppg), rebounding (9.0 rpg), field-goal percentage (.522), assists (27), blocked shots (11) and steals (18).
Wednesday at the LSU wrap up media session for the trip to Australia Coach Johnny Jones said of Simmons:
“I was really impressed with him from game one to game five. One, he’s just excellent on the floor. He has good height, basketball IQ, but more so just on the floor dealing with all of the attention and everything that was given to him in a short period of time over there. Every stop that we were on, there was a lot of demand on him for his time, and then he was able to adjust, get on the floor and be productive and produce for his team. He was never affected or bothered by any of it. Toward the end of the deal in the last game, he may have gotten a little worn down with just minutes played and all of the things that were going on around him. Overall, he performed extremely well for us, and I was really proud of him.”
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