WASHINGTON — American University has one game remaining on its nonconference schedule, but the final tune up before Patriot League play begins Dec. 30 may be the Eagles’ toughest challenge of the season.
American (2-8) visits Louisiana State (6-4) Tuesday (8 p.m., 1050AM and www.wfed.com) and SEC Preseason Player of the Year Ben Simmons.
Simmons was also named a preseason All-American and the 6-foot-10 forward is the projected first overall pick in next year’s NBA Draft.
“He’s a triple-double waiting to happen every single night,” American head coach Mike Brennan said on his weekly radio show, AU Hoop Talk.
Through the first ten games of his collegiate career, Simmons has lived up to the hype, leading the Tigers with 18.7 points-per-game, 13.9 rebounds, 5.8 assists, 2.2 steals and 1.4 blocks.
“He’s all about getting his teammates involved, he’s all about making plays and doing whatever he can to help his team win the game,” said Brennan.
“It’s fun to watch a guy that talented be that unselfish with the scoring, but selfish about everything else- rebounding, taking charges, and all the things that great players [do]. You don’t want to go crazy with your comparisons but Bill Russell did everything to help his team win, he didn’t just do one thing, and that’s what you see with Simmons- he does everything.”
Earlier this month, Simmons recorded a season-high 43 points on 15-of-20 shooting in a 119-108 win against North Florida. Simmons became the third LSU Tiger to score 43 points in a game joining elite company in Shaquille O’Neal and “Pistol” Pete Maravich.
“It’s always a fun challenge to play a guy like that,” said Brennan. “It’s fun to challenge yourself and to play against the best players in the country and play in environments like that, so our guys are excited to get down there.”
LSU is a perfect 6-0 this season at the Maravich Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Catch the call of the AU Eagles and LSU Tigers with Dan Laing, Tuesday at 8 p.m. on 1050AM. Pregame coverage begins at 7:45 p.m.
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