Power Forward Ben Simmons Committing to LSU Begins New Era in 2015

By noahweintraub
Crystal LoGiudice-USA TODAY Sports

Early Monday afternoon, ESPN’s Class of 2015 elite prospect Ben Simmons committed to LSU. This commitment combined with the Tigers recruiting success in the last few years will make them a very good team in two years.

ESPN’s Class of 2015 has Simmons listed as the fourth-best prospect. He is a 6-foot-10 forward, weighing 230 pounds.

Simmons is an atypical elite prospect because he is from Australia, Montverde Academy. Fans and the media should not diminish his playing ability because he is from Australia.

There are YouTube videos showing his immense potential, including the Jordan Classic games earlier this year.

In the videos, he shows his great skillset. He can do it all, from passing to mid to long-range shooting to blocking shots.

Simmons committing to the Tigers might have surprised many people because Kansas had also given him in scholarship offer.

“I know a lot of people will be struck by me deciding to go to LSU, but that’s where I felt most comfortable,” Simmons told ESPN.com on Monday. “I feel I can progress a lot there, and I feel blessed to have offers from all those schools.”

Simmons will most likely join the Tigers’ three Class of 2013 Top-100 recruits, if they decide to stay at LSU in 2015. Those three recruits are power forwards Jarrell Martin, Jordan Mickey and point guard Tim Quarterman.

The Tigers also have a top-100 recruit for the 2014-15 season; center Elbert Robinson. They appear to be doing some great recruiting outside of Simmons in the Class of 2015, as they are considering four additional top-100 prospects, according to ESPN.com.

Tigers’ head coach Johnny Jones could try to have Simmons persuade those other prospects, along with future top 100 prospects, to commit to the Tigers. Simmons could help establish a winning tradition at a college that is used to only seeing that with the football team.

Any college basketball team that can say that they have eight top 100 prospects on their roster should be deemed, at the very least, a very good team. Teams like Duke and Kentucky typically have many top-100 prospects on their roster and the experts consider them title contenders nearly every season.

The potential for the Tigers is sky-high, but the problem is that they play in the same conference as the Wildcats, Kentucky. Wildcats’ head coach John Calipari should have a very good team, as he has every season on paper since 2009-10.

The Tigers could win the Southeastern Conference with a very deep and talented roster. The Wildcats will probably be the better team on paper, but that does not mean the Tigers could not finish with a better record.

Fans and the media should expect the Tigers to begin posting at least 20-win seasons in the 2015-16 season. It would not be a surprise if they start making deep March Madness runs that year with a deep roster.

The only deterrent to the Tigers’ 2015-16 success is if their top prospects from the Class of 2013 and 2014 decide to enter the NBA Draft by then.

Noah Weintraub is a Contributing Writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @NoahWeintraub, join his Facebook group, or add him to your network on Google.

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