No Ben Simmons in the NIT: LSU turns down postseason opportunities

LSU’s season is over, and we may have seen the last of Ben Simmons in college basketball since the Tigers announced that it would not pursue any postseason opportunities after missing out on the 2016 NCAA Tournament.

“We will be able to utilize this time to get better and start preparations for next season. We fell short of the mark of getting to the NCAA Tournament; I take full responsibility for this team, and will do the things necessary to make sure we are able to reach one of our main goals at LSU in the future,” LSU coach Johnny Jones said on Selection Sunday.

The 2015-16 season was a disappointment, and I can totally understand the school’s decision to move on from a much-hyped and underwhelming season from the Tigers. LSU not only had the potential No. 1 NBA Draft pick on the roster in Simmons, but a few pieces left from last year’s NCAA tournament team (Tim Quarterman), Arizona transfer Craig Victor II and talented freshman Antonio Blakeney.

Injuries didn’t help LSU’s cause, but even a shorthanded team was not expected to lose to College of Charleston, Wake Forest and Tennessee with Simmons on the roster. Keith Hornsby’s season-ending injury and Blakeney’s health (he was under the weather during the SEC tournament) played a role in the decision, according to Jones, but ultimately 19-14 and 11-7 in this year’s SEC wasn’t anywhere close to good enough to make the NCAA Tournament.

LSU's season ends with a whimper instead of a bang. (USATSI)
LSU’s season ends with a whimper instead of a bang. (USATSI)

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