The one thing you always want to be known as when you are high school or collegiate athlete is coachable. If you can not be coached, you can never be a big success. We already know that Ben Simmons is going to be a huge star, but his coach confirmed on Thursday.
According to The Times-Picayune, LSU head basketball coach Johnny Jones talked about his top freshman and he is very impressed by what he has seen so far. This came after his impressive showing with the team during their Australia trip two weeks ago.
“I was really impressed with him, just from game one to game five,” Jones said. “One, he’s just excellent on the floor. He has good basketball IQ. And more so, just on the floor dealing with all the attention and everything that was given to him in a short period of time over there. I mean, every stop 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 and was never affected or bothered by any of it.”
Although he has been impressed with Simmons, Jones said that Simmons does have room to grow, like most athletes in a big spot like Simmons.
“I think toward the end of the deal, by the last game, he may have gotten a little worn down just from minutes played and all that and all the things that were going on around him, but I thought overall, he performed extremely well for us, and I was really proud of him,” he added.
Simmons, who has been hailed as the early favorite for being the No. 1 pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, played very well for his team while overseas. He shot 36-for-69 (52.2 percent) from the field, 4-for-9 (44.4 percent) from 3-point range and 24-for-39 (61.5 percent) from the free-throw line.
One concern for Simmons, however, was his turnovers. He committed 27 in five games.
“He handled the ball a lot,” Jones said. “And the pace of the game was a little bit faster, and we were playing against some pros, and those guys understand and they can read a little bit better sometimes no-look passes, and that’s something that Ben will continue to be able to make an adjustment to, as he transitions to high school to college, as well.
Those are all things that can be fixed and there is plenty of time for Simmons to correct them. June 2016 is still a long ways away.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports