Former LSU forward Ben Simmons seemed pre-ordained to be the top overall pick in the upcoming NBA Draft from the moment he stepped foot on campus in Baton Rouge. The stellar recruiting class Johnny Jones brought in seemingly carried the condition that most of those players would be gone after one year.
In that year though, big things were expected to establish the program a little bit more for the long term. Instead, the season turned into a disappointment as the Tigers struggled against elite competition and never quite found their footing enough to make the NCAA Tournament — or even the NIT.
It raised a lot of questions about how that team came together and how it all fell apart, with some big accusations flying around, too.
Simmons, to some people, had one foot out the door and that affected his effort on the court for LSU in his lone season, adding to that disappointment.
But teammate Tim Quarterman wants to dismiss that notion. Following a workout with the Philadelphia 76ers, Quarterman addressed directly the issues about Simmons and his effort and commitment while in Baton Rouge.
— Keith Pompey (@PompeyOnSixers) May 30, 2016
“Ben is a great person and a great player and he is a great competitor,” Quarterman told reporters. “I don’t think throughout the season he ever quit on us. I think he continued to play hard. I think us losing frustrated a lot of us as competitors, because we always wanted to win. As for him being a competitor … he’s a great competitor and a great player and never gave up on us.”
Simmons, of course, is projected to be the top overall pick in this year’s draft — to the Philadelphia 76ers. Obviously, the Philadelphia media were interested to hear what Quarterman had to say about Simmons as his teammate. And he certainly would stick by his teammate and support him despite the difficulties in his last season with LSU.