LSU freshman Ben Simmons might be as close to a flawless college prospect as we’ve seen in recent history.
The 6-foot-10 forward can pretty much do everything. He can penetrate the lane off the dribble, he has an incredible finishing ability around the rim, he is an exceptional passer and he has the length to play multiple positions on both sides of the floor.
But Simmons’ jump shot and quirky shooting form has NBA scouts puzzled.
SB Nation’s Kevin O’Connor may have discovered Simmons’ lone fatal flaw. O’Connor has a hypothesis that Simmons shoots the ball with the wrong hand. In the article, O’Connor tracked each of Simmons’ field goal attempts and studied which hand he shot the ball with.
Through his evaluation, O’Connor discovered that Simmons took 216 of his 265 layups, floaters, runners and hook shots with his right hand, despite being classified as a lefty. Using clips, O’Connor noted that Simmons typically leaps to the rim with his right foot, which is bizarre for a left-handed player.
According to O’Connor, Simmons has made just 12 of his 35 jump shots this season, all with his left hand. Simmons excels at getting to the lane and finishing with finesse, but he lacks an ability to hit jump shots from outside the lane with consistency.
Perhaps Simmons really is ambidextrous and taking a runner in the lane is a drastically different action than a stand-up jumper. But the NBA team that likely invests the No. 1 overall pick in Simmons may have to tune up the phenom’s shooting.