It doesn’t take a basketball guru to figure out that LSU freshman Ben Simmons will most likely be the first overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft.
But as professional teams will be “tanking” for ping pong balls in the hopes of winning the Simmons lottery, the freshman admitted on SportsCenter that he hasn’t thought about who he might play for at the next level.
“Not really (thinking about who I will play for in the NBA),” Simmons said during an interview with ESPN’s John Buccigross. “It’s one of those things you hear it all the time on media and things like that. But I’m focused on my team right now and I’m having a lot of fun while I’m here.”
Simmons hasn’t thought much about what’s in store for him in the NBA because he’s trying to soak up all of the fun he’s having in Baton Rouge, La.
“I’m having fun, I’m enjoying it,” Simmons said. “Everybody keeps telling me to take it day-by-day by day and I’m just trying to take it all in.”
One thing NBA scouts may nit-pick Simmons about is his shooting. Simmons can score from virtually anywhere inside the paint, but he hasn’t shown much range throughout the season. In fact, Simmons has attempted only three 3-point shots this season and has made just one of them. Simmons had a pretty simple reason to explain his lack of 3-point attempts.
“I don’t feel like anyone can really stop me from going inside.”
Simmons’ NBA future is nearly locked up, but LSU’s NCAA Tournament chances are still uncertain. LSU (13-7, 6-2 SEC) will have to pick up as many quality victories as possible to overcome several disappointing non-conference performances. Simmons said his team has improved through the first month of conference play and recognizes it will have a great opportunity to pad the tournament resume against the top team in the country on Saturday against Oklahoma.
“I think we’ve really picked up the last few weeks. We had a bad loss to Texas A&M, but we really picked it up next game against Bama and we have a tough game coming up against Oklahoma.”
Simmons could add to his already excellent legacy by knocking off the No. 1 Sooners on Saturday night.