Ben Simmons, the star of LSU Tigers and the likely No. 1 overall pick in the upcoming NBA Draft, has been ruled ineligible for the Wooden Award, LSU head coach Johnny Jones told ESPN on Saturday.
— ESPN (@espn) March 5, 2016
Sources tell ESPN that Simmons was deemed ineligible for the award by the school for academic reasons. There are a number of reasons a school can deem an athlete ineligible for the award, as detailed by ESPN.
- Candidates must be full-time students in an accredited NCAA college or university.
- Consideration should be given to scholastic achievement and aspirations. All candidates must have a cumulative 2.00 grade point average since enrolling in their current university.
- Candidates must exhibit strength of character, both on and off the court.
- Candidates should be those who contribute to the team effort.
- Candidates must excel in both offense and defense.
- Candidates should be considered on their performance over the course of the entire season (pre-conference, conference and tournament play).
Ultimately, this means little for LSU or Simmons, as their focus should be on a late push for the NCAA Tournament. The Tigers are likely NIT bound but with some big play from Simmons down the stretch in the SEC Tournament, LSU may see themselves squeaking into the big dance.