PIT BULL ON THE COURT, POODLE IN THE CLASS ROOM - BEN SIMMONS
The most dominate freshman in the country was not a finalist for the Wooden Award when it was announced on Saturday (March 5th 2016). Why you ask?! He has been fantastic individually and his wild stat lines resulted in averages (19.6 points, 11.9 rebounds, five assists per game) we haven't seen since the 1994-95 season.
Ben Simmons was not certified by LSU for a Wooden Award nomination because he "did not have the necessary criteria to be eligible," reporters comment that the LSU staff says it was an academic-related issue.
The Wooden Award's set of criteria includes academic requirements, stating all candidates must have at least a 2.0 grade point average and be full-time students. The award requirements also state "candidates must exhibit strength of character, both on and off the court."
Simmons was benched by Head Coach Johnny Jones for the start of a Feb. 20 game against Tennessee, a result of not going to class. This
is not unusual for a school to not certify a star player for the Wooden Award. Syracuse did not certify Carmelo Anthony in 2003 because he reportedly had a 1.8 GPA in the first semester.