It's not all his fault though. LSU Basketball has had its issues on both sides of the ball. LSU's defense has been sub-par. Teams have been able to have their way in the paint against the Tigers. The offense has been frustrating to watch. Often it looks like there is no offensive scheme or plays being ran throughout the ball game. Also, the team was without starters Keith Hornsby (injury) and Craig Victor (transfer) to begin the season.
With all that being said, the answer is still YES!
Now don't get me wrong, Ben Simmons is a great basketball player. While his team hasn't, he has lived up to all the hype surrounding him this season. He has been so good that ESPN will show all his highlights even if the Tigers lost the ball game. I have no doubt in my mind he will be the first overall pick of the 2016 NBA Draft if (when) he declares for it after the season. His 6'11' frame and his array of skills have many comparing him to Lamar Odom (in his prime, not post-Kardashian Lamar) and even LeBron James himself.
However, that's just the thing. LSU Basketball doesn't need Ben Simmons to be like a LeBron James, they need him to be more like a Kobe Bryant.
While he does it well, LSU needs more of this below!
Simmons leads the team in points, assists, rebounds, blocks and steals per game. However shot attempts is something different. In the Tigers 12 games played this season, he has led the team in only seven of those meetings. The Tigers won five of those sevens games. The team has won only two games of the five games that Simmons did not lead the team in attempts.
LSU is moving into the toughest part of their schedule as they head into SEC play. Simmons has to make his presence known even more on offense as his team moves forward. It gives them the best opportunity to be successful. In order to make the NCAA Tournament, they have to be amazing in SEC play and/or possibly win the SEC tournament. There are two things Simmons can do offensively to help their chance.
One thing he has to do is average 20 or more points. His scoring will do nothing but open up his teammates more as teams focus on him. The Tigers are also five for seven in the games Simmons has scored 20 plus points.
The second thing Simmons has to do (and will need to do to get those 20 or more points) is be aggressive on the offensive side of the ball. He needs to demand touches and attack often. In the Wake Forest matchup, Simmons had a guard on him often and didn't take advantage of that matchup. Guards are to small for him and bigs are too slow for him; though many teams zone the Tigers, when he gets one-on-one opportunities he has to take them (he also has to stop being scared to take that midrange jumper). Simmons averages 12.25 shot attempts per game. In the teams' loses he averages 10 and in their wins he averages 13.85. A more offensive minded Simmons so far has led to more success for his squad.
The freshman phenomenon Ben Simmons has to take his game to the next level. He torched North Florida for 43 points going nine for 10 in the second half. His team will need more games like this. It's great that he has a tons of skills and that he puts them all on display. However his team doesn't need him to be LeBron; they need him to be Kobe.
As SEC play begins and all eyes are on you...
Who will you be Ben Simmons?