LSU’s Ben Simmons is ineligible for the final Wooden Award ballot, and is not listed among the latest set of finalists for the award. Simmons is averaging 19.7 points, 11.9 rebounds, and 5.1 assists for the Tigers, and is the favorite to be the first pick in the NBA Draft. The snub calls in question the integrity of an award that claims to acknowledge the Most Outstanding Collegiate Basketball Player of the Year, a view shared by many analysts including ESPN’s Andy Katz.
Simmons was on the Wooden list on February 10 that included 20 players. Goodman reports it’s an academic-related issue.
LSU coach Johnny Jones said after the game that he “wasn’t sure” why Simmons was ineligible but was told the player did not meet all of the award’s criteria. One of the requirements to win the coveted award is that you much carry a 2.0 GPA.
According to the Wooden Award website, candidates must be full-time students in an accredited NCAA college or university and meet the following criteria.
Candidates should be those who contribute to team effort.
They take into consideration a player’s entire season of play, as well as opening rounds of the NCAA Tournament.
The Australian banked big numbers again on Saturday (Sunday AEDT) with 17 points and 11 rebounds as LSU were thrashed by Kentucky 94-77.
LSU assistant David Patrick, who is also Simmons’ godfather, told ESPN that Simmons reacted to being informed by the news by telling him, “All I care about is winning”.