On a night when Kris Dunn, the most complete player in college basketball, registered a triple-double, LSU freshman Ben Simmons produced an equally silly stat line showing why NBA scouts and general managers are drooling over the prospect of drafting him next spring.
Simmons dropped 43 points, 14 rebounds, seven assists, five steals and three blocked shots in 37 minutes of playing time in a ridiculously fast-paced 119-108 win over North Florida. The most interesting part of the perfromance was that Simmons managed to score all of his points in the paint and didn't even attempt a 3-point shot. This was old-school dominance.
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) December 3, 2015
Simmons was remarkably efficient making 15 of his 20 field goal attempts and 13 of 15 free throws. He is the first LSU player to score 43 points in a game since Shaquille O'Neal did so back in 1991. ESPN Stats & Info also determined that Simmons is the only player from a major conference program in the last 20 years to score 40 points with at least 10 rebounds, five assists and five steals in the same game.
While it's fun to see Simmons making history and demonstrating why many believe he is already one of the world's best basketball players, LSU coach Johnny Jones has to be beside himself with his team's inability to play effective defense at times. It's hard to see a team even this supremely talented making much of a run at tournament time with such a complete lack of commitment at times on one end of the floor.
It's a problem Jones needs to get fixed soon, or college basketball fans will be saying goodbye to Simmons much too soon in the spring.
- - - - - - -