This one is sure to be a bit polarizing.
Just in terms of his accomplishments at LSU, he’s likely got the least impressive resume among the first-teamers on this list. Still, it’s important to look back at his time in Baton Rouge with a little context.
A native of Melbourne, Australia, and the No. 1 overall recruit in the 2015 class, Simmons’ commitment to LSU over one of the perennial blue-blood programs was seen as something of a recruiting coup at the time for coach Jones.
Expected to be a one-and-done player, Simmons impressed in his lone season with the Tigers, averaging 19.2 points and 11.8 rebounds. However, that didn’t lead to team-wide success as LSU went just 18-13 and failed to secure a tournament bid with Simmons, who went on to be the first pick in the NBA draft for the Philadelphia 76ers.
Still, his one season was indisputably very good, as he was named both the national and SEC Freshman of the Year and was a Consensus First Team All-American.
After missing his entire rookie season with a foot injury, he won the NBA Rookie of the Year Award in 2018 and has made three All-Star appearances in his career. He’s now playing in his first season with the Brooklyn Nets.