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Monday, October 14, 2013
No. 4 recruit Ben Simmons picks LSU

By Jeff Goodman
ESPN.com

LSU beat out Kentucky, Kansas and Duke to land one of the elite players in the Class of 2015 in Australian power forward Ben Simmons.

"I know a lot of people will be struck by me deciding to go to LSU, but that's where I felt most comfortable," Simmons told ESPN.com on Monday. "I feel I can progress a lot there, and I feel blessed to have offers from all those schools."

Simmons, No. 4 in the ESPN 60, is a 6-foot-10, 230-pound skilled forward and the son of Dave Simmons -- who spent more than a decade playing in Australia. The younger Simmons is currently at Montverde Academy in Florida.

It's a huge pickup for Tigers coach Johnny Jones and his program, which had several ties to Simmons, the most important one being that LSU assistant David Patrick is Simmons' godfather and played with Dave Simmons in Australia.

Patrick grew up and played professionally in Australia and was integral in getting guys like Patty Mills and Matthew Dellavedova to Saint Mary's when he was an assistant with the Gaels. LSU also recently received a commitment from Simmons' teammate at Montverde -- guard Jalyn Patterson.

The recruiting process had just started to heat up for the 17-year-old Simmons, who was being pursued by many elite programs after moving to Montverde last winter.

"I am extremely thankful to all the programs who recruited me," Simmons said. "But I really felt comfortable with all the support I will have at LSU."