LSU star Ben Simmons, one of college basketball’s best and most exciting young players and a likely top three pick in the upcoming NBA Draft, was not named to the Wooden Award’s finalist list.
This is according to a report by ESPN’s Jeff Goodman, who writes that Simmons did not qualify due to an academic-related issue.
LSU spokesman Kent Lowe confirmed to ESPN that Simmons “did not have the necessary criteria to be eligible”.
“From what I was told, he didn’t meet all of the requirements”, LSU coach Johnny Jones told Goodman.
The Wooden Award requires players to have a 2.0 cumulative GPA, and to be a full-time student.
Although, in reality, in a few months when Simmons is a No. 1 overall pick, this will be nothing more than a distant memory.
-Consideration should be given to scholastic achievement and aspirations.
Candidates must keep a 2.0 GPA.
-Candidates should be those who contribute to team effort.
-Candidates should be considered on their performance over the course of the entire season (pre-conference, conference and tournament play).
Simmons entered the loss on February 20 at Tennessee with 15:30 remaining in the game.
This news could not have come at a worse possible time, as the LSU Tigers and Simmons had to travel on the road to Lexington to take on the Kentucky Wildcats Saturday. The Wooden Award is the only postseason accolade that has an academic requirement as part of its selection process. Hield and Valentine are widely believed to be the runaway frontrunners for national player of the year honors.